Urban Gardening by Bike, Take 2

Last summer, I shared my adventure of creating an urban garden on my small balcony.  I am sad to announce that none of those plants survived the winter.  I brought the herbs inside when cold weather set in, but soon had to throw them away after I found tiny bugs all over them.  Sad.

This summer, I’m starting fresh.  On Sunday evening, my friend Sara and I took a class on plant propagation at Sprout, a cozy gardening shop in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood.  Plant propagation is making a new plant out of an existing plant.


Sara and I biked to Sprout separately and left Betty and Poppy outside to spend quality time together on the rack.


Meanwhile, we were inside the beautiful shop, learning how to clone plants by dividing their roots or clipping their leaves.

After an informative hour, we each got to take home five baby plants: an orchid, lemon button fern, acalypha, sanseviertia and begonia.  These will all be house plants, so I don’t have to worry about the winter freeze.  As long as I keep them away from my cats (they love munching on leaves) and remember to water them, everything should be fine.


We were very proud of our baby plants!  ;-)


The little guys made it home safely, although quite shaken up after traveling over Chicago’s notorious potholes.

I plan to take more classes at Sprout, including one of their upcoming classes on terrariums.  (There’s also a Sprout location in Brooklyn.)

Who else is trying their hand at gardening this summer?  Any tips to share on houseplants?

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4 thoughts on “Urban Gardening by Bike, Take 2

  1. Simeon39 says:

    With regard tips on house plants, you best buying ‘The House Plant Expert’ by Dr. D.G.Hessayon that give you all information you need to get going and that what folk like myself who earn a living in the Horticulture Industry have on their book shelves for reference.

  2. ** says:

    Am glad of your sustained interest in home-gardening. :-)

    Tips? Ok …. basically … place plant where ( window) it could get ‘enough’/maximum sunlight …. don’t ‘over-water ‘ (soil well-drained and just ‘lightly’ moist …ok!).. don’t over-fertilise … once in roughly a month or slightly longer period apart <- check on fertiliser required by particular plant and its availibility/substitution — dilution of fertiliser etc)

    Happy gardening ! ;-)

  3. naturallycyclingmcr says:

    Hey Dottie! With regard to plants on the balcony, one way to help them get through winter is to protect the soil. Usually around November time (before frost and snow sets in, here in the UK anyway) I wrap my pots with crunched up newspapers at the bottom of the plant (right on top of soil) and then wrap around with bubble wrap. The trick is to protect the roots. It doesn’t matter as much if the leaves etc die of frost during winter, but if the frost gets to the roots then your plant is gone!

    You may have to change newspaper over winter months, if it gets too soggy etc, but otherwise it should get the plants over the worse of winter.

    Good luck and enjoy gardening!
    L xxx

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