Saturday, October 04, 2008

About a bint

The obligatory "about me" post:
I am a 30-something gardener in a hundred-year-old house on the northwest side of Chicago. Our yard is vast by city standards (37.5 feet wide) and I've been learning how to garden in it for 12 years now. When we bought the house there were artificial evergreens, a rapidly-growing elm hedge, and a smattering of petunias in the yard. I like to think it's a little nicer now but I am rather biased.

In real life I am a graduate student in evolutionary biology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where I study genetic variation in the American basswood, Tilia americana. Ironically, almost having a Ph.D. in biology does nothing for my garden. I can sequence DNA but that doesn't explain why I can't grow phlox!

In my plant choices I lean towards Midwestern native perennials or at least things that look or act like natives. I love flowers of purple and gold and I dislike red and pink. My gardens are mostly border gardens, leaving the rest of the lawn as play space for my darling greyhound. I also have a whole lot of houseplants.

I've kept a garden website and a personal blog for several years. Now that I've finished most of the field work for my dissertation, I'm looking forward to spending more time with my pretty green babies, all of which are named Junior because it's just easier that way. Feel free to comment or suggest; if I know someone's watching, I'm more likely to keep the garden, and the blog, well-maintained!


Sweet Home and Garden Carolina said...

We're watching, Diane :-) Thanks for joining the garden bloggers world and good luck with your blog.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I love basswoods!
~ Monica

Town Mouse said...

Very exciting! I'm trying to find more bloggers who grow Natives. After reading Bringing Nature Home, I'm just convinced it really matters. Even in the suburbs or the city...

Cathy S. said...

It's nice to see a Chicago Gardener,
Like my mother Carolyn Gail From
Sweet Home and Garden Chicago!

Commonweeder said...

I have 3 Tilia cordata here in Massachusetts. I was so busy with the roses I missed the blooming. I was hoping to harvest the flowers for Lime flower tea. Do you know how to do that?