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Have you noticed that almost every magazine photo of a garden has a piece of garden art in them? That is no accident. Every garden needs a focal point, something to draw the eye, something that adds interest. Focal points can be many different things. Containers, benches, found objects, large flowering and/or leafed plants are just a few ideas. Garden sculptures, trellises, arbors, mirrors, fountains, and wall art are some of the many options for garden art. You get the idea, once you get the concept of using focal points, the choices are endless!

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Garden art (focal points) do not have to be one of a kind. They can be small groupings of coordinated pieces. The groupings should be viewed as one unit. Be careful not to overload your garden with too many items or to scatter them.

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Craving a fresh and flavorful summer dinner right from the grill? Start with easy to grow herbs! They give your favorite grilling recipes and classic cocktails rich and delicious flavors. Nothing says summertime like a watermelon mojito and mango bruschetta! Or compound butter and herb-infused marinades! Check out our tips and recipes below for a fun, garden-fresh approach to cooking with herbs and veggies.

Handhelds

Bruschetta is an easy crowd-pleaser, and with a dash of mango salsa and lime, you can take this classic Italian favorite and infuse a bit of multi-cultural flavor for a delicious, fresh bite.

Mango & Sweet Basil Bruschetta

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Makes 18-20 pieces

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Have you ever noticed that the smell of a blooming rose, or a breeze carrying the scent of lilac, takes you back to a distant memory? Or, perhaps, the scent of lavender or night blooming jasmine makes you feel calm or peaceful? Well, according to scientists, smell, or olfaction, is our strongest sense and it plays an important role in memory, mood and emotion.

Fragrant gardens are a wonderful way to celebrate the smell of every season and relish in the aromatic scents of spring, summer and fall. Below, we’ve created a digest to get you started.

SPRING SCENTS

Winter has quieted down and the scent of evergreens, cedar, and chestnuts roasting on an open fire has become a distant memory. It’s time to get those shovels ready and take to the ga...

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Container planting is a fun, simple way to decorate your patio, balcony, front porch or yard. Not to mention, containers are the perfect accent for that backyard barbecue and a great way to explore your creative side. Whether you’re new to gardening and want to stretch that green thumb of yours, or a seasoned gardener looking for a vibrant focal piece, the options are endless. When deciding on what container to create, there are a few things to consider before diving in head first:

Container Specs (Material, Size)

There’s an array of materials to consider, glazed/ceramic, cast iron, wrought iron, terracotta, concrete, wood, tin, composite/faux and plastic. Remember, it's important that your container has drainage. Too much water building up in the container...

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When we think of pollinators, striking hummingbirds and colorful butterflies may take the lead. However, while bees, wasps, flies and bats might not be our favorites of the bunch, the truth of the matter is, they need us too and we need them.

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It’s been estimated that more than 1,300 plants are grown worldwide for food, beverages, medicine and even textiles. Of those 1,300 plants, 75% are directly related to pollination by animals. That’s a pretty impressive feat!

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The weather outside this week has been frightful and we are (not so patiently waiting) to plant our tomatoes and other warm season vegetables. One of our veggie experts, Donna, has put together some simple tips for vegetable success. Donna grows so many vegetables she’s basically a one woman produce department!

Pick the perfect site

Most warm season veggies, like tomatoes and peppers, need lots of sun. Make sure you plant them in a place where they will get 6-8 hours of sun. Plants also need good air circulation and well-drained soil. Don’t plant them too close together.

Give them the perfect soil

The ideal pH for a vegetable garden is 6.5-6.8. Mix in TGP Garden Mix and Espoma® Garden-tone to give your plants a healthy start. For tomatoes, you can use Espoma® Toma...

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Flowers hold fascination from childhood. Remember picking a handful of dandelions to give to mom? We always try to bring a bit of the beauty of nature into our homes in any way we can and gathering flowers for a bouquet is just one of the simple pleasures of planting a garden.

Tip 1

If you want to have a steady stream of flowers to cut, create a production style bed with rows, similar to how you would plant a vegetable garden. If you have space, you could even designate an area of your vegetable garden but we like to keep it simple by mixing plants into your established gardens. In fact, you probably already have some cutting flowers in your garden!

Tip 2

Combine blooms for every season and plants with an array of textures like shiny, rough, frill...

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When you think of trees, what state jumps to mind? California, with its redwoods? Vermont and its sugar maples? How about Nebraska? A naturally treeless prairie landscape, Nebraska is the birthplace of Arbor Day!

The holiday began with journalist Julius Sterling Morton, who moved from Detroit to Nebraska in 1854. At the time, the wide open spaces of the west weren't working out so well for pioneers — the shadeless prairie was hot in the summer, with few windbreaks to keep tilled soil from blowing right into Kansas. The solution? Plant a tree.

Morton rose to become the state secretary and helped establish the first Arbor Day on April 10, 1872. More than 1 million trees were planted across the state that day. Arbor Day became a natio...

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At The Growing Place, we like to help out the environment in any way we can. Each year, people from all around the world celebrate Earth Day on April 22. Festivals, demonstrations, and other activities are planned in cities everywhere to bring awareness to the earth’s rapidly depleting resources. The first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970. Senator Gaylord Nelson founded the holiday. Turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth you can save 4 gallons of water every day. Here are other ways to help every day, not just on Earth Day!

  1. Slow the Flow: A faucet leaking just one drop per second wastes over 1,300 gallons per year! If you have an irrigation system for your lawn or garden make sure to shut it off on rainy days. Save gallons of water each summer by adding a rain barrel (or two) to your downspouts to collect rain to water your garden or containers. You can order a rain barrel directly from The Conservation Foundation.
  2. Choose Both Sides: Using the other side of the paper can cut that pollution almost in half! And choose recycled paper—especially processed-chlorine-free recycled paper.
  3. 'Greener' Lawn: You’ll save money and reduce emissions by mowing your lawn less or with an electric mower. Keep your grass at least 3” tall to save on water consumption. The shorter the grass the more water needed. Don't over fertilize! Ideally, your lawn only needs fertilization in spring and fall.
  4. Meatless Dinner Once a Week: Plan a meat alternative for dinner. Think about planting a herb or vegetable garden and adding it a salad or pasta. Reducing meat consumption conserves fresh water, topsoil and reduces air pollution. Shop local or grow local. The closer your food is to you, fewer resoures are expended getting it to you.
  5. Walk, Hike, Ride a Bike: If people in the U.S. would occasionally ride a bike for a short errand instead of driving a car, over 70 million gallons of fuel could be saved each year! And there’s the added benefit of enjoying the fresh air and exercise! For short errands, take a hike!
  6. Plant a Tree Every Earth Day! Over a 50-year lifetime, a tree generates $31,250 worth of oxygen, provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles$37,500 worth of water, and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion. It also provides shade that keeps homes and cities cooler!
  7. Give Weeds a 'Hand': Herbicides aren’t the only way to control weeds, and they’re certainly not the most environment-friendly way! Invest in a good pair of gloves and garden tools, and remove weeds by hand. Also, choose natural alternatives to pesticides for getting rid of pests!
  8. Lighten Your Energy Bill: There’s a brighter way to light your home: new Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs). Compared to regular bulbs, CFLs last 10 times longer, use only 1/4 the energy and produce 90% less heat—yet they produce more light per watt! Brighten the future: go CFL!
  9. "Conscious" Laundry: Instead of saving those piles of laundry for Saturday or Sunday afternoon, do it at night when energy costs are lower. If you have to do laundry during the day try hanging your clothes outside in nature's dryer
  10. Save the Plastic: Recycle those planter pots purchased from your garden center. Tip: Use them to fill large pots to save on soil usage and help with drainage.
  11. Green Mother's Day: For the mom who loves to garden, buy her native plant!
  12. Reduce, Reuse Recycle: It’s not just a slogan. You can start making the world a ‘greener’ place today: return hangers to the cleaners, donate clothing and computers to charities, pack lunches in reusable containers instead of bags, there are hundreds of easy things to do! It’s up to you!

Whether you are just starting out growing edibles or you grow so many you can start your own CSA Farm (community supported agriculture) early spring edibles are a wonderful way to get some home-grown veggies while you wait for your tomatoes and peppers.

You’re probably familiar with popular favorites like lettuce, cabbage, and kale but what about adding some edible spring perennials? Some of our favorites include Chives, French Sorrel, Rhubarb, Asparagus, Egyptian Walking Onion, and even Strawberries!

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Chives are a great low maintenance kitchen garden herb that loves the sun. Grow them near your kitchen door in a garden bed or container so they are easy to reach from early spring all the way through the growing season. They have a mild onion or garlic flavor and their edible lavender flowers are considered a delicacy.

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Aurora Location

2000 Montgomery Road,

Aurora, IL 60504

Phone. 630-820-8088

Naperville Location

25w471 Plank Road,

Naperville, IL 60563

Phone. 630-355-4000

Summer Hours

 Monday-Friday: 9:00am-6:00pm

 Saturday: 9:00am-5:00pm

 Sunday: 11:00am-5:00pm

 

Closed Fourth of July  

 

Growing for the future with
right plants in right places.