Chicago, Life, Summer

An Oregon Summer. In Chicago.

Summer in the Midwest.
How can I describe it to someone who has never been to the Midwest?
You know how it is kind of crappy in winter from November to May? Well, we look forward to summering ’round these parts because it gives us back our happiness.
Restores our faith in humanity.
And gets us out of the house for over 15 minutes at a stretch.
But sometimes summer is mean.
Think 103 degrees mean.
I can hear y’all groaning who live in the south.
You get nine months out of the year where it is decent and you don’t get frostbite on your nipples when you walk out the door.
Just give me this.

Last summer, they canceled fireworks here. Canceled FIREWORKS.

Because it was too hot and dry.
Every summer at this point, our lawns look like large Triscuit crackers.
Our flower pots are dry and cracked.
Our water bills are astronomical.
We have to sell stuff on Craigslist to pay our ComEd electrical bills.

So this year, while everyone within earshot has been complaining about the weather (I included most days), there has been something a little magical going on outside.
That almost went unnoticed.
The rain and colder temps?
They are makin’ love to my plants.
Barry White kinda love.


purple clematis in summer
The above is a clematis.
That is taking over our sidewalk.
I don’t have the heart to trim it back.
So I am hoping this is a lovely way to deter solicitors.


beautiful lavender in summer

My neighbor actually said, “were these here last year??”
Yes, they were.
Only they weren’t purple.
They were gray.
From the extreme heat.

summer garden

Those pretty pink lilies didn’t even bloom last summer because of the heat.
My friend Bec lives in Oregon.
They are having 90-degree temps there.
So we got their summer and I don’t want to give it back yet.


dappled willow in summer

That dappled willow is huge!
And the roses that I have done NOTHING to that are from the grocery store last spring?


clematis in summer

Nothing says, DON’T COME IN HERE more than a plant stretching across the sidewalk.


Barrel hostas in summer

This is a Pinterest idea!
I planted hostas that my husband brought home from his parents’ yard into our barrels.
I had the worst time keeping any sort of annual alive through the summer in these.
Because of the heat and also too much shade on one side of the drive, it was always pretty ugly by mid-July.
These are perfect!
They will come back every year, they are so low maintenance and they look amazing in here.

*Side note- Rebecca was here the other evening and asked what I was going to do with the barrels during winter.
Me- Umm you know, cut them down like the ones in the ground.
Rebecca- Yes, but are you going to cover them?
Me- Uhhhhhh
Rebecca- so they don’t die?
Me- Uhhhhhhh
I hadn’t thought that far ahead.


hostas in a barrel in summer

See those legs?
That is called “unbridled glee”.
She has actually propelled herself off the ground.
We call her Tigger.


beautiful flowers in summer

These pots are usually pitiful this time of year.

flower pot in summer

And see that behind the pot?
That is green.
The first week of July.
Unheard of.

So I plan to embrace this weird change of events this summer.
I don’t miss the 90 degrees.
I do miss the pool.
But it will be back soon enough.
Along with our 200 dollars a month ComEd bill.

5 thoughts on “An Oregon Summer. In Chicago.”

  1. I detest the heat. I get really lazy and really cranky when it is hot hot. Last year, there were actually days when it was too hot to swim. The pool water was gross-yuck-I-feel-like-I'm-swimming-in-pee-warm. Your plants look lovely.


  2. Swimming in pee is not good.By the way, it's gonna be 90 on Wednesday.Can't wait to see you!


  3. As long as it's not humid, I'm good.I'm also enjoying our non-Triscuit looking lawn-:-) Oh, and, my hydrangeas are starting to bloom! Yay!!


  4. i love all of those bright colours, kari! everything looks so vibrant!my garden and everyone else's for that matter looks so lush and green and bright, especially compared to last year!happy gardening!


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