Chicago, the city of flowers and vegetables

Some cities just know how to put on a show. Chicago has plantings like this all over town. Each one seems unique, and all are kept looking great.

I attended a talk this morning at The IGC (Independent Garden Centers) Show here in Chicago by Rick Bayless, award-winning chef-restaurateur, cookbook author, and TV personality. What's really cool is he  harvests organic herbs, vegetables and other edibles from his home garden  and other city gardens for his restaurants, Topolobampo and Frontera Grill.  He mentions that just twenty years ago there were no farmers markets in Chicago, so he started growing his own! Now,

any top notch restaurant in the city MUST use fresh vegetables grown locally. Yes, they also grow them on the rooftops of the city.

The edible craze will certainly die down, but it will not go away. It's a great opportunity for those of us who sell gardening. We have waited for years for this kind of opportunity. Food and gardening just go together. Having a representative of the trend like Rick will only encourage people even more to "grow their own".

Will you be at The IGC Show in August?

In August the largest trade show for Independent Garden Centers takes place in Chicago. The Independent Garden Center Show website say's,  "...210,000 square feet of vendor exhibits stretch far out toward the stunning blue waters of Lake Michigan at Navy Pier, where more than 1,000 exhibitors meet face-to-face with thousands of IGC buyers – just like you – from all over the country and around the world. The flower-filled streets framing downtown Chicago’s stores, restaurants, attractions and sights, plus spectacular Navy Pier, lakeside Chicago’s No. 1 destination (and proud home to the IGC Show, its largest annual event), add to the excitement." Until last year I had not been to Chicago since the late 70's, passing through on the "old grey dog" (Greyhound). That was a epic trip! Last year I was quite taken with the beautiful shoreline, as well as downtown Chicago. I was pleasantly surprised to find out how much fun walking around downtown Chicago can be. I look forward to returning in August. Our Facebook group, Independent Garden Centers and Nurseries receives special pricing for the workshops, as well as a discounted rate for attending the garden center tour. When your a member of our group you also get to hang with us in "the VIP balcony lounge" upstairs – along with a open free beer & wine bar. We'll enjoy the performance of Dennis DeYoung of STYX.


If your a owner, or employee of a independent garden center or nursery go here to join our group.

Disclosure: I am a guest of the IGC show, and and as such receive compensation for my attendance.