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Below are the 5 most recent journal entries recorded in Gardens in the City's LiveJournal:

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009
5:52 pm
House plants question
I know this is a forum mainly for urban gardens, but I think most of you probably have houseplants as well and might be able to help me out with this question.

Since moving into my new apartment, I have been looking for a couple of floor plants (5-8' tall) to put by the window. My old apartment was terrible for plants - always too hot and dry for anything short of cactus or aloe to survive - so I really would like to put together a nice selection of plants in my new place.

Here's the challenge - I have all-southern exposure, which means that unless my blinds are shut, the plant will get full sun at some point during the day. I have cats, and they like to sit in the windows, so I usually open the blinds part way so they can do so. I run a humidifier in my bedroom but don't want to run a second one in the living room just for plants.

At Home Depot and Ikea, they are both selling potted palms (bamboo/kentia mostly, looks like) but the stickers on the side of the pots say "bright, indirect sunlight". Do these plants do well in areas where they might get a lot of sun, not necessarily "indirect"? If not, what would you suggest?

Also, I was pondering growing a couple of tomato plants indoors, in pots, since I have, as noted above, tons of sunlight (but no porch/roof access). Has anybody successfully grown tomato plants indoors, and if so, what tips would you give? Would it be better to take a large pot and create a 2-3 plant pot/planter, or to do a hanging pot and let the tomato plants hang downwards?
Saturday, March 22nd, 2008
12:44 pm
I have been trying, for 3-4 years now, to find a place around the North side that has "community gardening" - that is, where you can rent a patch of ground for the summer and grow your own vegetables. So far all my leads are dead ends... does anybody know of a place that offers this kind of thing? I'd imagine I'd have to get my app in pretty quickly as it's nearly gardening season... thanks!
Monday, September 24th, 2007
2:17 pm
i've been thinking of trying to put in some winter crops, either indoors or out (under some kind of greenhouse). have any of you had luck with this? even just, say, herbs or tomatoes inside in the cold season?
Monday, August 13th, 2007
2:45 pm
Lurie Gardens

One of the best public gardens in the city for flowers... Lurie Gardens in the heart of Millennium Park. It took a while for them to get the garden really growing, but now these days you can stand in the middle of it and almost forget you're right in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the country.

Monday, July 23rd, 2007
3:17 pm
Living in Evanston
Following gundy's example, here's what I work with:

I have one of the tiniest houses on the North Shore, in Evanston. The front garden is probably 8' X 8' at the most. The front of it closest to the sidewalk contains annuals. The middle is made up of three annabelle hydrangeas. Then I've got some boxwoods, a redstick dogwood, and a plum-type tree that was planted too close to the deck 40 years ago. For perennials I've got a few ferns, a bleeding heart that's growing like wildfire, and a coneflower. I try to buy one or two perennials a year, to flesh that out some. Oh, and I've got a few ferns, too.

In the back yard, I've got two very small garden beds, room to park my MINI Cooper, and then a strip of no-man's-land that needs to be ignored. I've grown lettuce, cucumbers, squash, green beans, and spinach successfully. The carrots, radishes, and pumpkin experiment of last year failed because apparently I've got a concrete pad under my backyard that's less than 2' down from the soil. Eventually when I get lots of money, I'm going to rip up the whole backyard (all 20' X 20' feet of it...or maybe it's even less) and really maximize the space.

This year I've also got tomatoes, tomatillos, and assorted peppers growing in pots.

Oh, and the backyard has almost no full sun because of a giant black walnut tree in the neighbor's yard.

But the best part of living in the tiniest little house in Evanston means that I have no grass to cut. And the water bill is never that high.

I agree with gundy on one thing. Plants are EXPENSIVE. I must spend at least $200 on annuals a year for both the front garden bed and the flower pots/planters. That's why the perennials get short shrift, even though they are more worth it in the long run.
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