Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chi-Town Chickens (and Backyard Gardens)

Christina and Matt's Downtown Chicago Backyard Garden                             Photo Courtesy of Christina
Having lived once upon a time on the north shore of Chicago, I can tell you there's nothing more wonderful than the cool breeze coming off Lake Michigan during a hot, muggy summer.

I can also tell you that there's nothing more awful than hot, muggy weather without the lake's breeze--and, that's what you get in downtown Chicago. Sticky, humid, buggy summers.

Most people while away their summers cooped up like chickens, listening to the endless drone of the air conditioner.

Not so for one artistic couple, Christina and Matt. They were determined to turn Chicago summers into a time of year their family could actually enjoy. How so? By transforming their once-dreary urban backyard into a living garden.

Mosaic-tiled stepping stones create a path filled with artistic story. Planter boxes overflow with summer veggies and treats. A refurbished bathtub serves as a small wading pool and vine covered fences add some much-needed privacy. An accommodating bench and Adirondack chair provide nesting places to curl up with the latest thriller and a tasty microbrew. It's the perfect garden for entertaining friends, family, and neighbors.

Christina and Matt are the kind of people who see possibility in nearly everything and, more importantly, make it happen. Personally, I think they should win some sort of garden/urban living award for the transformation of their backyard.

In the not-so-distant past, Christina and Matt also raised chickens in their urban backyard. Their son played the role of chicken farmer to their amusing variety of feathered friends.

Christina said having chickens in the inner city was "Pretty cool. Whenever they got out of the coop, we always found them in the house. One hen ended up being a rooster. She was turned into chicken tacos."

She and Matt hope to get some hens again, soon. "Having chickens was good times," said Christina.

The coop sits ready and waiting.

So, do their family and friends, who are anticipating yet another invitation. Spending a summer evening at  Christina and Matt's is as welcoming and soothing as a Lake Michigan breeze.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice. Sweet coop. In Ca. we have lots of space for lots of chickies and they all have names. Chickens are positively endearing creatures. I remember when Maspeth, N.Y. was much about country-like living. Long ago when many back yards were mini farms. Glad to see the resurgence and glad for your charming site.
    Best Wishes for happy summering. C.W. in Ca.