Monday- Friday:
8:00AM - 8:00PM

8:00AM - 6:00PM

Sunday :
10:00AM - 4:00PM

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Memorial Day Weekend Hours

We will be open all weekend long, including shortened hours on Monday.  Have a great weekend and enjoy the time honoring those who have sacrificed so much for our country.

Friday: 8:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m.

Saturday: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Sunday: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Monday: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Tricks for a Great Garden

To new gardeners, the task of maintaining a garden can seem overwhelming.  Between watering, weeding, pruning and feeding, there is a lot to keep up with.  What veteran gardeners aren’t telling you, however, is that there are some simple tricks to help make gardening a little bit easier on you and your back.

The first trick that everyone should use, is mulch.  It seems really simple, but a lot of people do not take advantage of using mulch to help prevent weeds and keep the soil from drying out.  By spreading a layer of mulch around your perennial garden, vegetable garden and around trees, you are helping block the sun from reaching any weeds that may be growing, as well as keeping the the sun from drying out the soil quickly.  This will help you in the long run from having to constantly pull weeds and water plants in the heat of the summer.

Another trick to use is fertilizer.  It seems like a no brainer, but regularly feeding your plants can make a world of difference.  When it comes to what to use in your garden, there are a wide variety of fertilizers to choose from and depend on your type of garden.  From organic fertilizers, manure and mushroom compost in edible gardens to high-phosphorous fertilizers to help with blooms to high-nitrogen fertilizers for your lawn, you will most likely need more than one type of fertilizer in your toolbox. Every fertilizer has three numbers listed on it, for example 10-10-10.  These numbers are nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium, and the numbers represent the percentage of each of these elements in the fertilizer. Different plants need more or less of these elements, but the labels on the fertilizers should say which plants benefit most from its combination of elements.  Having a regular “feeding” schedule will keep your plants happy, healthy and thriving all season long.

When it comes to plants in your garden, a great trick for selecting your plants is to choose low maintenance annuals.  Planting drought tolerant plants or flowers that do not need to be deadheaded throughout the season take a load of work off your plate when it comes to your garden.  We’re not saying to avoid plants that need to be staked or clipped back, but mix them in with other low maintenance plants rather than planting a whole bed of higher maintenance flowers.

A great way to add interest to your garden is with vertical interest.  Using taller grasses or flowers in your perennial gardens is one way to do so, but there is another way to get pops of color sitting higher in the garden.  Placing taller pots throughout your garden and planting them up with colorful annuals will help add the colorful interest throughout the garden.

When starting a new garden, the task can seem daunting. But keeping in mind some of these tricks, getting those beautiful blooms  can be a lot easier than it appears.


Where Have the Impatiens Gone?


As the planting season is getting underway, many of our customers have noticed a big change--no impatiens. That's right, we have chosen not to grow the traditional impatiens this year, as the disease impatiens downey mildew has invaded our area the past few years.  

This disease spreads through the air and remains in the soil for up to five years.  By continuing to carry the traditional impatiens, we are only encouraging the disease to stick around in our gardens.  Instead, we have grown the new variety of Bounce Impatiens to use as a substitute.  These impatiens' blooms look similar to New Guinea impatiens but their growing habit is more like the traditional impatiens, growing in more of a mounding and spreading habit versus upright.

It's a tough adjustment to make for this year, but hopefully our efforts will help eliminate the diesase in the soil in our area, so that we can once again plant impatiens.

For more information on both impatiens downey mildew and Bounce impatiens, read previously written blogs that we have linked to.


Pot with the Experts 



Tropical Gardens in the Midwest

Living in the Midwest gives you an appreciation for the seasons. From the beautiful fresh snowfall at the holidays, the first green buds of spring, the warmth of the sun in summer and the painted colors on the trees in the fall, these variations make us savor the beauty of each season.  And with the seasons comes change, and temperature change in particular.  With the winter cold ending our growing season, creating a tropical garden in the Midwest can be difficult, but not impossible.

The main thing to remember with creating a tropical garden is the characteristics of the plants.  To create the tropical look, use plants that have large, shiny leaves, bright blooms and a mix of textures.  From thick leaves to fern-like foliage, mixing the textures will help give the garden depth.

There are three main ways to create a tropical garden in the Midwest. The first way is to choose plants that grow best in containers.  Annuals like mandevilla vine, hibiscus, canna lily, durantia, elephant ear, castor bean, angels trumpet, begonias, New Guinea impatiens and coleus.  All of these plants vary in height and textures, so combining them in different ways will fill your planters and keep your containers looking beautiful even in the summer heat.

For gardeners who prefer to use perennials and plant in the ground, there are a few tropical-looking perennials that will come back year after year, even in Chicagoland. Some of the best perennials include hardy hibiscus, red hot pokers, cardinal flowers, ferns, bamboo, cushion spurge, Japanese iris, sea holly, hostas and Solomon’s seal.  An important thing to remember with some of these perennials is that they will not start growing until after the ground warms up.  For example, hardy hibiscus do not typically start sprouting until late May or early June.  So while you see your daylilies and coneflowers are sprouting up in the garden, do not worry if you don’t see your hibiscus.  They will arrive, but in their own time.

A third way to create a tropical look, especially in shadier yards, is to use houseplants. Some houseplants that you can use include rubber plants, crotons, pothos, diffenbachias, ferns, bromeliads and palms.  What’s great about using houseplants is that you can repot them at the end of the season and bring them back indoors during the winter. One of the most important things to remember with tropical gardens, is that these plants do not tolerate cooler temperatures.  If you are planting houseplants outside, be sure to bring them in as the temperatures dip into the forties at night.