Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Chicago Flower and Garden Show

I took a boat load of photos at this year's Chicago Flower and Garden Show.  It was filled with ideas, especially if you are a patio gardener or container gardener.  This yearly show used the theme Hort Couture, this year for gardens as fashion.  I liked the theme, but the execution was a bit lacking in some places, while in others it was spot on perfect.

This was part of the fun and colorful entrance

There were many things to note and to my pleasure a great number of herb gardens and herb plants and edible flowers.  I have been to garden shows before where herbs were relegated to an afterthought and that was not the case here, in fact one whole garden focused on herbs and edibles with a French theme that I just adored.

I recommend you visit the Chicago Flower and Garden Show which is running through March 18 at Navy Pier, tickets on-line are cheaper and the parking in the desk is discounted this week.  And with the weather they are predicting this week, you need to get outside anyway!

Here are a smattering of images of things that caught my attention. The first thing I noticed as we rounded the entrance was the fragrance.  Tulips, lilacs and mixture of other floral scents wafted through the air, instantly lifting your spirits! 

This was part of the French Herb garden (# 11) "Front Yard Food a la Francais."   It was a nice use of a pallet for height and a base rather than wall planting it.  This would be perfect on a narrow patio!

There are also ideas that are not plants, like this clever design for patio lights made from Mason Jars!

There were beautiful tulips and a great rendition of the White House garden too!
White House Garden #5
There were water features galore and some were subtle and others were robust and filled with fish and bridges.  My favorites were this one you could put over a cistern in the path and another with a gentle cascade and Asian accents.

Notice the small Asian touch to the right?
There was much about urban gardening, including raising chickens and conservation of water and other resources and the teaching garden was very well done.  Our favorite garden was the Hope and Healing garden (#7) sponsored by Humana.  It was very pink but focused on a great theme of Surviving Cancer of a brave facade with a slicing path though the center that featured a thriving well rooted tree.  There were many aspects of this garden we enjoyed and I am sure my husband will speak of it as well when he guest writes later this week about the historical touches at the event.
Hope Garden Petunias struggling among the reeds
Overall the Chicago Flower and Garden show is worthy of attention and the little extras like culinary demonstrations, teaching garden lectures, the ability to plant a container garden, and enjoy a garden-centered market place are all worth the price of admission.

Here is the great staff member, Jeff  at Ted's Green House of Tinley Park that I played stump the staff with when I asked when the herb Unicorn Chives might bloom.  He was knowledgeable enough to recognize that it had a flat leaf like Garlic Chives so it would probably bloom at the same time of year, but he had to confirm that with someone else.  I did get the most amazing Rose-scented Thyme here.  What a great way to celebrate Rose the herb of the year!  I recommend checking out Ted's Greenhouse.  They even carry smallage and a number of other new and exotic herbs I have enver seen a nursery carry (check out the herb of the week on Lovage and Smallage if you want to know more about this herb.)

I leave you with the promise that there was a lot to see and do at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show which provided me with ideas for future blogs so stay posted to see more from this event.

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