The Growing Place

Just one of the more than 40 Learning Gardens at both locations.



Watch our video about The Growing Place Learning Gardens.


With both new gardeners and veteran green thumbs in mind, The Growing Place has refined and revised our existing plantings to create Learning Gardens at each location. You'll find themed gardens for common situations such as sunny borders, dense shade, and wet tolerant areas. There are also gardens designed to attract hummingbirds and butterflies, showcase long-blooming plants, cutting flowers, and an embellished prairie. The miniature garden with tiny plants, cottages, and figures is one of the most popular, but make sure to look in each garden to find a tiny world!

We encourage you to visit often! The gardens change frequently as plants grow and bloom. They are great places to see birds, butterflies, hummingbirds, and more. The gardens cover approximately an acre at each location and contain more than 800 well-labeled plants. We know there is no better way to learn what a plant will do than to see it in a mature size.

Our Naperville Gardens Include:

Landscape Rose Garden
Shrub roses provide long bloom and easy care. The crisp white blooms of White Out roses stand out among Home Run and Peachy Crème roses among others.
A Cottage Garden
This garden is full of old-fashioned charm and heirloom plants to share. Find Indian Spring and Chater's Double hollyhocks, Magic Fountains larkspur, and yellow foxglove flanked by the felted leaves of lady's mantle.
A Shade Garden
This layered garden features some of our most beautiful and carefree shade plants. A huge Sum and Substance hosta lights up this space filled with a large assortment of hosta, Solomon's seal, and Siberian forget-me-nots.
A Cutting Garden
Enjoy a colorful garden and beautiful bouquets all summer long. Filled with long lasting annuals and perennials, this elegant space is framed with ornamental grasses.
A Miniature Garden
This small world of gardening fascinates all ages. Find a fairy castle set into a lush carpet of thyme and creeping sedum complete with tiny trees and shrubs.
A Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden
The right selection of plants in a sunny spot will attract these colorful visitors. Discover plants for caterpillars such as fennel, dill, and parsley as well as annual Sapphire Blue anise sage and the red flowered Maltese cross to attract hummingbirds.
A Sunny Garden
This most typical of garden situations allows for a wide choice of plants. Blue and gold contrast and complement each other in Goldmop Threadleaf falsecypress and Caradonna salvia.
A Dry Shade Garden
A difficult situation can be lovely when the right plants are chosen. The white tree peony lights up this corner in early May. Season-long interest is created with the white-splashed Jack Frost Siberian forget-me-nots and the deep green of a mature Green Mountain boxwood.
A Bog Garden
A man-made bog works well on the edge of a pond. The marsh marigold flowers bright gold in early spring then Desdemona ligularia takes the stage in summer with clusters of yellow daisy-like flowers atop purpled foliage.
The Pond
A pond is a joy to gardeners and other creatures. Enjoy the deep red cascading foliage of Bloodgood Japanese maple in contrast with the chartreuse foliage of Bowles Golden sedge.
An Eclectic Garden
A glorious mix of edible and decorative plants and accents that you love. This is YOUR garden. Heirloom Laddie Peony sets the stage in spring and the Polar Joy tree rose follows with clusters of non-stop pale pink flowers. Veggies and herbs are tucked in for color and flavor.
The Embellished Prairie
This garden mixed our native prairie plants with tough non-natives in a sunny spot. In April, the delicate red flowers of prairie smoke billow. By June, prairie dock's huge sandy textured leaves stand out with the delicate texture of blue star flower. In fall, stop by for the fresh popcorn fragrance of prairie dropseed's flowers.
A Long Blooming Garden
This garden features long blooming plants that stay neat and tidy. The bright purple clusters of Dakota verbena greet you in early spring followed by the large brilliant white Becky daisy.
A Moist Sunny Garden
These plants love a sunny, low and wet area. The fallopia with its bright white variegated flowers anchors this garden that features the deep purple foliage and yellow daisy-like flowers of Brit-Marie Crawford ligularia and huge white Blue River II perennial hibiscus blossoms.
The Rock Garden
A rock garden provides sharp drainage for low-growing plants that need little watering - the original xeriscape! Our prettiest garden for early small bulbs in spring. Blue Rug creeping juniper frames a large assortment of sedum, miniature iris, pasque flowers, and more.
A Succulent Garden
These interesting and popular beauties will thrive in the driest of gardens. Enjoy hens and chicks, annual Flapjack sedum with its large fleshy leaves, and the bright yellow flowers of several tiny sedums.
A Designer's Garden
This garden demonstrates basic design fundamentals such as balance, repetition, unity, contrast and scale. A river of Caesar's Brother purple iris runs through this garden. Also discover the subtle textured beauty of red-leaved rose with silvery wormwood and sturdy purple smokebush.
A Low Maintenance Garden
These plants, once established, will provide great beauty for very little effort. Against a backdrop of dwarf Korean lilac, goatsbeard shines with large white panicles of tall flowers in June. In late summer, discover an impressive patch of grape leaf anemone displaying delicate pink petalled flowers on tall stems.

Read about our Aurora Gardens


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