Novice Gardener Teaches Us About Challenges of Urban Growing

Meet a Gardener: Jerry Dewberry

Jerry waters his Chicago garden

Jerry tending his elevated patio garden.

Jerry Dewberry is a software engineer who works remotely, alternating between Florida and Chicago depending on the season. We visited him in his Windy City condo to learn more about the challenges of urban gardening. As a first-year gardener, Jerry was just as excited to pick our brains as we were to pick his.

Jerry had two problems to conquer when he began. Although he has a sizable balcony, his view of the building’s parking garage is not ideal. Softening its harsh lines with plants in elevated garden boxes has dramatically changed the feeling of his space. But while he has plenty of room for a 2’x8’ elevated planter box, two standing gardens, several window boxes, a Honeycomb tomato planter, seating for four, and a grill setup, he has no outdoor water source.

Jerry dividing chives in his Chicago garden

Betsy, a Gardener’s Supply employee-owner, showing Jerry how to divide his chives.

Jerry created a workaround for the water problem by hooking a flexible hose up to his guest bath shower faucet, snaking it through the several rooms and out to his planters. His hack works well — the garden is thriving. One of our employee-owners visited Jerry to learn how he gardens, and while there she helped him deadhead his annuals, harvest his herbs, divide his chives, and prune his tomato plants. In return, we now have a much better understanding of the trials and tribulations of urban gardening that we’re taking to our product development and testing lab!

Last updated: 11/22/2022