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In the Chicago late summer garden

In Chicago, in August/September,the late summer garden and yard is my favorite time of the year.

Everything finally fills in and looks lush! Birds are singing and everything is so green!!! It’s a shame how fleeting it is. Once we get our first heavy frost my yard becomes a barren wasteland. In fact, to prove my point, here is a fake book cover I wasted waaaaayy too much time on this morning.

Chicago gardening in October

Not. Even. Kidding.  I know you Midwestern gardeners get it. Are you with me?

Anyhoo, while the yard does still look fantastic, I thought I would share a few snaps with you.

pea gravel path and marigolds

I know my legs and boots are just what you wanted to see, but I am in love with our pea gravel path.I think we need more in our yard and I am considering turning the grassy area behind our brick patio into a pea gravel area.

Brick patio and backyard area

We could put a table out there, or our fire pit. Also, It gets  a little wet there so I think it would drain better too.

Pea gravel path on raspberry lane

This is the view from the other side. Do you see those monster marigolds? They are almost 3 feet tall and haven’t bloomed yet!

Somebody put the wrong seeds in the wrong package at the seed factory. Those are not what I bought but they are cool. I can’t wait to see what they look like when they bloom….If they ever do.

heirloom sunflower seeds

I planted some red heirloom sunflowers this year. They aren’t very tall, but they are really pretty. There are two varieties and are a red color.

red heirloom sunflower

One is a bit deeper than the other.

merlot heirloom sunflower

I was a little ticked off when the packages came because one only had 3 freaking seeds in it and it was like $7! Luckily, they are prolific, so I have already started saving the heads for next year.

Red sunflowers for everyone!

Outdoor bench and mirrorI moved things around on our deck a bit, and moved the roadside find bench to under the eaves where it would take less of a beating from the weather.

The mirror was a very awesome Target clearance item.

Outdoor andirondack chairsI moved our Adirondack chairs to the other side near the deck squash I didn’t plant.

deck squash

I am not sure what variety it is. It just kind of came up on it’s own and I let the vine go, so for now I am calling it deck squash.

I’ll share more of my yard later. And Little is doing better. We have a follow up appointment so hopefully she’ll be going back to school coon. I can tell she is feeling better because she is bored and fighting with her sisters. Ah, the sweet sounds in life.

Jen signature

You can see more of my past garden posts here, like shade planting and here.


  1. My son and his fiance both had that horrible virus. It lasted 2 weeks for his fiance and 1 1/2 weeks for my son. My son had pleurisy. I don’t know if this is just a Chicago virus but I would advise everyone everywhere to get a flu shot. So happy that your Little is better!

  2. Is the marigold a pale yellow of the large variety? I’ve seen the large varieties bloom very slowly. Beautiful garden. Yes to the pea gravel! Love the deck squash. lol. It does resemble an acorn squash.

  3. I love all the plants, blooms and foliage you have in your yard, Jen…it must have been a little easier to be outdoors after all of our heat. I’m actually tired of going out but this is the time that all the perennials go on sale and since this week is somewhat cool, I may head over to Home Depot.

    Almost everyone in my family has had this wicked cold or virus. It is literally spreading from house to house and it lingers. I’m still miserable and now hubby has it. Sort of an odd time of year, right?

    Take care!


    1. It is a weird time of year Jane! I am an outside person, so I love gardening this time of year when it’s not too hot.

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