Suffering from Zone Envy

Since envy is one of the seven deadly sins, is zone envy a particularly egregious offense for gardeners? If so, I am guilty after a trip to Chicago this weekend. I went to help my daughter, a student at Loyola University, move home for the summer. Early Friday morning, I left Minnesota amid wind, cold, and threats of snow showers. Traveling across Wisconsin, I was pelted by heavy rain. But on Loyola’s pleasant urban campus, there were azaleas in bloom, tulips filling the planters, flowering crabapples, and near the shore of Lake Michigan, a planter filled with blooming (blooming!!!) roses. Chicago is in zone 5, according to the USDA map, only one zone lower than Minnesota, but the lake may moderate temperatures even more on the campus. Fortunately, I was able to ease my suffering with a bit of retail therapy at Ferraro’s Garden Spot, a small garden store near the hotel we stayed in. Ferraro’s had a good selection of Jackson and Perkins roses, so I bought two: ‘Purple Passion’ and, not surprisingly, ‘Iceberg.’

UPDATE and ADDITION: After I wrote this post, we were back on campus, and what should appear but this fox. My daughter had a startling late-night encounter with a fox several weeks ago. Apparently, the fox is a regular on campus. (Keep in mind, these photos were taken near a building overlooking Lake Michigan and less than a block from North Sheridan Road, a very busy intersection.)

2 Replies to “Suffering from Zone Envy”

  1. Splendid fox photos! I asked my son (who went to Northwestern a few miles to the north) about campus fauna and he was only able to offer a report of black squirrels but no pictures.

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