Pat Ward grabbed our attention when he exclaimed that he saw hundreds of birds in all varieties on his property as he drove away from his home last Friday. He and his wife, Barb, have transformed their property, which was once a 50 acre alfalfa field, into a haven for the Nuthatches, Wood Thrush, Goldfinches, Wrens, Woodpeckers, Baltimore Orioles, Eastern Kingbirds, Common Redpoll, Bohemian Wax Wings, etc., etc., etc. Pat Ward teacher, nurseryman, scientist, published author, birder, husband, father and good friend to The Growing Place shared with us how to attract birds to our yards, at last Saturday’s class. He explained that birds come in closer when they can find shelter, food and water throughout the year.

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You've probably seen our upcoming Make & Take: Peace Pole workshop and wondered, "What the heck is a Peace Pole?" The Peace Pole movement started in Japan in 1955 after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Masahisa Goi, the originator, dedicated his life to spreading the message, "May Peace Prevail on Earth". Each pole bears the message in different languages on each of the side of the pole.

The first Peace Poles outside Japan began to appear in towns and cities around the world in the 1980’s. The Peace Pole Project was established in the United States in 1986. Today Peace Poles can be found at more than 220,000 sites around the world; including the Egyptian pyramids, the South African jail where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, t...

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As the holiday season starts, we wanted to share some of the styles we're loving this season. Traditional, natural, whimsical, or sophisticated, there's really no way to go wrong. We're always here to help you pick out the perfect greens and embellishments. Of course, we know the holidays are a busy time so if you want us to do all the work, we're happy to do it. Pick out one of our pre-made containers and wreaths or we can create one especially for you! Stop in to either location to place your order.

Here is a sampling of some of the embellishments you can find in our holiday shop.

Nature with Sparkle

This simple look uses moss covered lotus pods, pepperberry, artificial tallow berries. You can use plain pinecones for a strictly natural...

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Cool temperatures at night means it’s time to look in your yard and bring in those glazed items that can’t handle our winters. Our bluebirds and mushrooms all need to be tucked safely inside until next spring. Glazed bird baths should be emptied and stored until spring.

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Today the landscape is ablaze with vibrant fall color from the leaves of our trees. Of course we then fast forwarded through winter and started thinking about next year’s blooms and how it’s a perfect time to plant trees that will welcome spring with their beautiful flowers.

A new offering this year is the Signature Japanese Tree Lilac (latin name: Syringa reticulata ‘Signature’). It will grow to about 20-25 feet tall with a spread of 15-20 feet. It’s large creamy-white flowers bloom about a week later than the Ivory Silk Japanese Tree Lilac and the the reddish-brown, cherry-like color of their bark adds winter interest too!

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Gardens are always evolving and growing. And it’s no different at The Growing Place. This fall we took a critical look at the Learning Gardens in Naperville and started to dig in. Its been great fun! In this week’s blog we’ll talk about what we’re doing and how you can incorporate what we do into your gardens.

Most of the plants in our Learning Gardens in Naperville have been labeled with names and whether they are perennial or annual. We maintain these gardens to educate and inspire as well as provide a soothing place for you to enjoy.

Amending Soil

We realized that our garden soils had not had any organic material added to them for many years. So we decided to add our composted garden compost, leaf mulch, garden...

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Amaryllis are perfect for the winter (or, dare we say, the holidays) when we are craving bright, colorful flowers. Be sure to have your Amaryllis potted up by the end of October to get those bright colored flowers by Christmas time. You can pre-order your amaryllis bulbs now and they will be ready for pick up in the next week or so. Just e-mail: with your name, phone number, which varieties and quantity and we will contact you for payment information. Pre-orders are available on a first come, first serve basis while supplies last.

A No Mess Way to Grow Amaryllis

These red amaryllis bulbs are coated in wax so you don't have to put them in water or soil. They even have a small metal stand to help them stay u...

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Bulbs can seem a bit intimidating but they are actually a simple, minimal fuss option for great early and mid-spring color. This week we have a few surefire tips to help you have success. First and foremost, pick out your bulbs now, while you have the best selection and then plant them in October once temperatures have cooled off.

Bulb Planting Tips

  1. Bulbs do best in a sunny to part shade location with well-drained soil. When you are planting, add in Espoma® Bulb-tone and mix in some compost or our TGP Choice Garden Mix. Dig the hole about 2 inches deeper than the actual depth needed. This will give them some nice soft soil under the bulb also. For example, daffodils like to be about 6 inches below the surface so dig down about 8 inches to mix in the amendments and then plant.

  2. Bulbs like to be planted pointy side up. A general rule of thumb is to plant the bulb about 3 times deeper than the height of the bulb and about 3 inches apart. If you are not sure which side is up, don’t fear. Just plant them on their side and Mother Nature will sort itself out. Your bulbs will still find their way to the surface next spring. The only exception to the 3 times deeper rule is tulips. Plant these 10 inches below the surface to help give them a longer life.

  3. If your garden tends to be on the damp side, try planting these naturalizing bulbs: Galanthus, Puschkinia and Camassia.

  4. Water your bulbs once right after planting and then forget about them.

  5. After the blooms fade in the spring, clip the flower heads to channel energy back into the bulb and not seed production. Letting the foliage die back naturally also helps to recharge the bulb for next year.

temp-post-imageAvoiding Critters
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Last Saturday we talked to two customers about a problem area and had a 'light bulb' moment--we need a blog series to address some common landscape problems many people face in their yards. Enter Landscape Solutions. This series will tackle some tricky situations you might be facing in your yard. First up, the 'deadzone'.

As we say here, at The Growing Place, it’s all about right plant in the right place. The customers came in and described the area off their front porch. It's about 5 feet wide by 11 feet long, bordered by the garage on the west side and a sidewalk on the east. Joannie Rocchi, Retail Perennial Manager replied, “We are dealing with the ‘deadzone’.” There is nothing natural about the ‘de...

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As the summer growing season slows, your containers may need a bit of sprucing up for the fall. There are so many wonderful plants to add color, texture and new life for fall. Of course, mums are at the top of our list but there are so many other great plants that love these cooler temperatures.

Add Texture
Cabbage and kale give your containers color and texture. This year we have cabbages and kale in small, large, and extra extra large! Pigeon White and Pigeon Purple Cabbage are great for smaller containers. Osaka White and Osaka Red Cabbage and Chidori Red Kale will give your containers an interesting focal point. Extra extra large Ruby Perfection and Peacock Cabbages and Red Bor Kale are so big they can fill your container and will al...

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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

Opening Day April 2nd!

We are closed for the winter. If you would like to purchase a gift card please call before stopping in. 

We kick off our 80th year April 2, 2016!

  Growing for the future with right plants in right places.