All this traveling just means that is is summer! And the one thing that I associate with summer is gardening. I grew up in Utah and my family always had a garden. Since I moved to Chicago almost 5 years ago, I have tried my hand at keeping a few plants but they all died. Last year, near the end of summer, I hit the Home Depot just in time to get the last minute sale on flowers. This year, however, I made it at the beginning of the summer and decked out my "yard." I live in a city which makes it hard to have a conventional garden or yard. For the first 4 years I lived in the city I lived in high rises which enabled me to grow plants outside of my apartment. Last year I moved to a basement apartment in a small building on a cute residential street. The building has a back yard but it is shared. Someone planted a few things back there this year. Since my apartment is in the front of the building and I have my own private entrance through the front, I just assume that the front is my domain.
Along time ago the street level in my neighborhood was a lot lower. All the homes along the street were actually at street level. (My apartment buiding was built in 1899) Since then, the street level has been raised leaving the entrances to homes and buildings below street level. You can walk along my street and in order to get to the main door you either have to go down stairs or go up stairs. Technically my apartment is on the first floor but after the street raising it is now a basement apartment. That is why when I look at my front window, I see a cement wall and the ankles of dog walkers. This is actually kind of cool It provides a little bit of privacy to my urban street facing apartment. It's even cooler because I get to make my "front yard" look like this: