The Great Outdoors
As the weather starts to warm up, residents from across the Chicagoland area are planning new ways to embrace the great outdoors. From planning the perfect patio update to starting a container garden, now is a great time to set our sights on cultivating beauty and comfort outside.
Ready, Set, Garden!
Starting a garden is easier than ever with the help of a few materials, and a little bit of knowledge. Whether you’re a novice or an expert green thumb, a container garden makes fresh veggies and beautiful plants accessible for all.
- Containers of various sizes and depths with proper drainage
- High-quality soil
- Hand-held cultivator and small gardening trowel/scoop
- Seeds or sprouts
- Water source
- An area with plentiful sunlight
- Choose what you’d like to grow. Container gardeners see great success with herbs like basil, sage, lettuce, and tomatoes, just to name a few.
- Select the right container for your plants. Herbs and lettuce do well in large, shallow containers with a screened bottom to allow for root aeration. Tomatoes thrive in deeper containers, making a bucket the best option.
- Pick the perfect spot. Herbs and lettuce need a few hours of sun per day, while tomatoes require full, direct sunlight.
- Prep your containers with 2 to 4 inches of compost and soil. Planting spouts? They’ll need a few inches of space around the roots. Planting seeds? Scatter them evenly across the planter. Note: you’ll want to have a few planters going at once so you always have fresh produce ready for your next meal.
- Be sure to water your plants regularly, watering around the base of your plants. You’ll also want to use your hand-held cultivator—or claw—to aerate the surface of the soil, taking care not to disturb the roots.
- To harvest your plants, use scissors to snip the leaves starting at the base of the plant first. At the end of the growing season, you can easily store your composted soil to reuse later or keep your garden going year-round indoors.
Get your patio prepped for another season of outdoor entertaining with these easy tips and tricks.
- A fire pit offers a cozy gathering spot, and a unique focal point for any outdoor area.
- Searching for a high-impact, low investment way to upgrade your space? Outdoor throw pillows are an affordable option, and can easily change the look of your patio in moments.
- You don’t need a lot of space to have an impressive outdoor area. A small bistro table easily creates a quaint nook ideal for intimate gatherings.
- All-white surfaces are more than just chic—they’ll also help keep your patio cooler in the warmer months.
Plant, Plant, Baby
Check out these lush garden centers and nurseries for all your plant-related needs,
all conveniently located across the Chicagoland area.
Adams & Son Gardens
1057 N California Ave, Chicago
CityEscape Garden Center
3022 W Lake St, Chicago
Chalet Nursery & Garden Shop
3132 Lake Ave, Wilmette
8845 W 87th St, Hickory Hills
4411 N Cumberland Ave, Norridge
7513 W Cermak Rd, North Riverside
1646 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago
Fiore Nursery and Landscape Supply
2901 W Ferdinand St, Chicago
Gethsemane Garden Center
5739 N Clark St, Chicago
Old Town Gardens
1321 N Wells St, Chicago
170 S River Rd, Des Plaines
Sprout Home Garden
745 N Damen Ave, Chicago