Putting down roots

As my kitchen (really my entire apartment) is currently in a state of utter disarray, has been for the past few weeks, and will be for another few, my cooking of late has pretty much consisted of salad (and often take-out salad at that). I’ll explain in a minute, but for now, an update on the garden, which is so far blowing my expectations away. Here are a few highlights:

StrawberryBaby lettuce Tomatillo flower

As for the reason for the kitchen chaos? I’m moving! Today I’m officially a first-time homeowner in Chicago.


I did say I wanted a change and I think this counts. I wasn’t planning to leave the ranks of the apartment-dwelling when I started looking for a new place in April, but everything seemed fated to make this happen. I’ve never been one to take the view that renting is throwing money away, it definitely has its perks and benefits, but I’m really excited about this step–and my new porch! Kitchen! My own laundry! I can’t wait to start cooking and sharing projects from my new space soon.

One of the best parts about the new place though? It’s closer to my garden! Here are some more pictures, including my plot layout and how the view has changed since mid-May:

Vegetable Garden Planner
Mapped out my plot
5-20-14 garden
May 20: Planted strawberries, kale, eggplant, tomatoes, basil, chives, sweet and hot peppers, tomatillo, and parsley. Radishes, peas, and some lettuces are making their presence known. Planted seeds for beans, borage, kale, and more lettuce and radishes.
5-31-14 garden
May 31: It’s so happy! Peas are definitely growing fast (though they aren’t really using the trellis, I need to train them better), beans sprouted, along with new radishes. Lettuce is really popping up. Planted cucumber seeds.
First harvest
Strawberry harvest First harvest!
6-5-14 garden
June 5: Holy crap, lettuce. I guess I didn’t really need to plant those extra seeds a few weeks ago. Peas are vining (though around each other instead of the trellis), all my beans sprouted and chard is starting to poke up. Borage is starting to fill up its little squares and kale is very happy. Thinned out my purple radishes as I don’t think I planted them right; French radishes are doing much better. Dug up and divided my parsley as I apparently planted about 8 plants in one big clump. I think my cucumber seeds sprouted. Jalapeno has a teeny tiny start of a pepper! Tomatillo and tomatoes are going gangbusters.

Tomato flowers Cherry tomatoes, parsley Basil, parsley, chard, sweet pepper 6-5-14 garden 9

9 thoughts on “Putting down roots

  1. Your garden is absolutely gorgeous! You definitely have a green thumb.
    I discovered your blog via Apartment Therapy. Congratulations on being a new home owner. I live in Chicago as well. With the constant rent increases, I would love to be a home owner. Someday…….
    I’ve bookmarked your blog. Looking forward to reading more posts. Take Care.


    1. Hello neighbor! Thank you so much for the compliment on the garden and the blog! And yeah, the rent increases are starting to get crazy–mine went up 20% over the past 2 years. I have to say, it’s pretty awesome not having to hoard quarters to do laundry any more.


  2. This is so amazing! Congratulations 🙂 It’ll be a great change. Your garden is beautiful, as well! I wish we had a garden, haha. We don’t even have a yard… just pavement and sidewalks! I can’t wait until I own a house someday!
    Congrats again! The chaos is totally worth it.


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