Fall Even More in Love With Fall

It’s hard to believe we’re already one month into the fall season. This time of year in the Chicago area is a special time of temperate weather, beautiful colors and tons of opportunities to Do Green. Do Good.

Though we will be sad to see the leaves and temperatures drop, we are so excited to be inching closer to the 2015 Chicago Flower & Garden Show, presented by Mariano’s, coming up in March. Just as our Show greets spring and all the exciting potential that comes with warm weather, fall is the time to say goodbye with a last call for outdoor activities as we cherish the food and fun that come with this fleeting season.

Here are some of our favorite ways to celebrate fall:

  1. Shop Seasonally
    Fall is an ideal time to stock up on delicious and hearty seasonal produce, which doubles as a great way to stay local and sustainable. Some of our favorites that are in their peak now include:Apples, arugula, Brussels sprouts, celery, eggplant, potatoes, squash and many more. Check out a full list before you make your grocery list.

    Often, the best place to find in-season items are farmers markets across the city and its surrounding suburbs. The outdoor markets typically run through October, but a number of them take it inside for winter. Fortunately, you can always find great seasonal produce and fun from our presenting sponsor, Mariano’s. Visit your local store for more information on the “All about Apples Cooking Seminar,” pumpkin bowling, cocktail classes and more.

    img_1160Food and fall fashion aren’t the only items in season! Now is the time to stock up on fall bulbs and plant them before the ground freezes. There are thousands of varieties of bulbs, from tulips to daffodils to garlic, and they each come with specific planting recommendations, but generally mid-October to Thanksgiving is a safe bet. Space them two inches apart, 5 to 8 inches deep. The best part about fall bulbs? They’re novice-friendly and require minimal work for a bountiful spring garden!

  2. Hit Up Eli’s Cheesecake Halloween Fest
    If you love cheesecake and Halloween, this is a don’t-miss opportunity. (And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love those things?) Our feature garden sponsor, Eli’s Cheesecake, is pulling out all the stops during their four-day festival, including free cheesecake buffets, a pumpkin patch & other produce, live music, a fall marketplace and more. Taking place October 23–26th at their Chicago headquarters, this delicious festival is sure to please visitors of all ages.

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  3. Get Outside!
    Bundle up, grab the family and head outside to pick your own pumpkins, pears and apples! While you’re at it, why not go for an old-fashioned wagon ride? The list of possible places to visit is endless, but here are some of our favorites:

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    Kuiper’s Family Farm in Maple Park, IL
    Apples, pumpkins, pig races and a corn maze

    Richardson Farm in Spring Grove, IL
    Wagon rides, zip line, pumpkin patch, corn maze and giant slides

    Goebbert’s Pumpkin Patch in Hampshire, IL
    Pumpkin patch, apple cider donuts and pony rides

    County Line Orchard, Hobart, IN
    Apples, pumpkins, wagon rides, animal farm, “Moo-Choo” barrel ride, mazes featuring Chicago sports teams

    Smith Pumpkin Farm, Kenosha, WI
    Hand-painted pumpkins, giant jumping pumpkin pillow, face painting, haunted forest

  4. Visit Navy Pier
    When in doubt, we always turn to Navy Pier. Beyond hosting our lovely Chicago Flower & Garden Show, their fall activities calendar is stacked with fun things to do. If you’re into zombies, boats or being scared, you have to check out their Zombie Containment Haunted House—located on a barge in Lake Michigan off the Pier.

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    If you’re more into green than ghouls, check out the Chicago Green Festival, October 24–26. Featuring tons of products and services that will help you live a more sustainable life; it’s a great way to learn how you can Do Green. Do Good.That’s not all, check out everything else Navy Pier is offering to celebrate the season, from trick-or-treating and costume contests to fireworks and haunted tours.

  5. Get Crafty!
    What is it about the fall that fuels the urge to craft? There’s nothing quite like hunkering down on a cool fall day and cranking out some seasonal crafts. Gourd-and-cornstalk fall displays, centerpieces, wreaths, Halloween costumes and decorations and seasonal menus—nothing is off-limits! We love browsing Pinterest for inspiration.

    Show partner, Peterson Garden Project, offers a bunch of cool seminars for all experience levels at their Fearless Food Kitchen, including “Pickling 101—Pickled Green Tomatoes,” “Seasonal Salads 101″ and “Canning 101—Pressure Canning and Boiling Water Bath Demo.” Visit their upcoming events page to learn more!

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So there you have it—just a quick list to get you in the seasonal spirit! What are some of your favorite fall activities? And for those of you interested in fast-forwarding to spring, get your tickets to the 2015 Chicago Flower & Garden Show online now and save $2 off the box office price!

 

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Spring Has Sprung!

After nine beautiful days, the 2014 Chicago Flower & Garden Show, presented by Mariano’s, has successfully drawn to a close. We helped Chicago ring in spring (despite some snow sprinkles!) and we had a blast doing it. It was a whirlwind of gardens, presentations and flowery fun at Navy Pier. Fortunately, we have these beautiful pictures to help us remember all the ways we Did Green and Did Good!

Speaking of which, did you hear the news? Next year’s theme is also Do Green. Do Good! Sustainability and environmental-friendly choices have never been more important, and we can’t wait to explore new ways to help make better decisions that can improve our earth.

For more beautiful pictures, check out last week’s post, Facebook and our Instagram!

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Thank you so much for joining us at this year’s show. What was your favorite part of the show? Let us know on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!

 

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A Glimpse of Green

The Chicago Flower & Garden Show, presented by Mariano’s, is in full swing at Navy Pier, now through this Sunday. Since opening day, we’ve already had hundreds of visitors enjoy the first glimpse of spring with our gardens, demonstrations and seminars. Haven’t made it yet? Here’s a look at what’s going on—and what you’re missing!

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This is just a glimpse of what’s happening at the 2014 Chicago Flower & Garden Show! There is plenty more to do and see—so don’t miss your chance to join the fun.

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The Chicago Flower & Garden Show, presented my Mariano’s, is open now until March 23rd at Navy Pier. Buy your tickets now. 

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10 Ways to Better Enjoy the Show

The 2014 Chicago Flower & Garden Show is almost here! With only 3 days left until the show opens to the public, we thought it would be helpful to share some tips on how to make the most of your trip.

1. Wear your walking shoes. (And maybe a sweater.)
The Festival Hall where the Chicago Flower & Garden Show is held is more than halfway down the 5/8-mile length of Navy Pier. And once you’re inside the Festival Hall, you’ll see 170,100-square-feet of space filled with gardens, activities and exhibitors. This means a lot of walking. (But don’t worry! The show has plenty of seating and lounge space available so you can easily take a breather.) Also note, the Festival Hall tends to be a bit cool…so grab a sweater, just in case.

2. Think of travel time and commute.
This year, the show falls during St. Patty’s Day, so take into account that the city will be booming with festive Chicagoans. Navy Pier is also undergoing construction, so parking and transit might not be as smooth as in years past.

However, there are many convenient and “greener” public transportation options to Navy Pier. The CTA provides seven bus lines with more than 200 buses serving Navy Pier daily. These include the #29 State St., #65 Grand Ave., #66 Chicago Ave. and the #124 Navy Pier Express, serving Metra lines, Millennium Park/Randolph St., Ogilvie and Union Stations.

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3. Look at the schedule ahead of time.
The Chicago Flower & Garden Show offers more than 100 educational seminars and workshops hosted by industry pros. From how-to classes to culinary demonstrations to horticulture presentations, our schedule is jammed pack full of inspiring, educational and motivational activities for attendees to participate in. Be sure to check our daily schedule ahead of time so you don’t miss your favorite chef, speaker or activity.

4. Give yourself time to enjoy and explore.
As we mentioned, the Festival Hall is huge—and it’s filled with larger-than-life gardens, engaging activities and great marketplace exhibitors. Give yourself plenty of time to walk through our 22+ garden spaces and 100+ marketplace exhibitors. Also give yourself time to attend seminars, workshops and presentations!

5. Bring your camera! (And be social.)
The Chicago Flower & Garden Show is a show that ignites all your senses. We can’t help but be inspired by the beautiful sights and innovative ideas, and we hope you are too. So take pictures of what you love and can’t wait to bring home! Be sure to share them and join the #ChicagoFlower conversation on our social media channels: Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Photography at the Show

6. Take notes.
We want you to leave the show feeling inspired, educated and motivated. Bring a notebook and take notes of what inspires you and what you learned during a seminar or workshop. This will help you to better bring the Chicago Flower & Garden Show home, and find greater success in your own green space.

7. Talk to the pros.
We have top industry pros at the show every day ready and willing to share their expertise. Whether it’s a seminar speaker, chef or garden builder—ask questions, seek advice and take home some great tips.

8. Buy your tickets ahead of time.
Have your tickets ready to go by ordering them online. You’ll also save $2 off box office ticket prices by purchasing your tickets online before March 15th.

9. Use and keep the Show Guide.
Our 68-page Show Guide is not only a great keepsake, it’s full of rich take-home information. From gardening tips to contact information of your favorite exhibitors, the guide is a helpful tool to have even after the show ends.

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10. Check out everything!
We all have our favorite must-see attractions, but don’t stop there. See everything! Visitors tend to skip around and end up missing some of the show’s hidden gems. You’ll be surprised at how many activities and sights there are to see, and you never know what will catch your eye and get you excited.

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We hope these tips help you to better enjoy the Chicago Flower & Garden Show. And we hope to see you soon! The Chicago Flower & Garden Show runs March 15-23rd at Navy Pier. 

 

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Eat Green. Feel Good.

This year’s theme at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show is Do Green. Do Good. and with our exciting lineup of 2014 Garden Gourmet chefs, show-goers will learn how eating green does the body good.

A Garden Gourmet demonstration at the 2013 Chicago Flower & Garden Show.

A Garden Gourmet demonstration at the 2013 Chicago Flower & Garden Show.

Eating green can mean using fruits and vegetables that are in season and preferably organic and locally sourced. It can also mean using greener methods in the kitchen and at the grocery store (BYO-produce bags, anyone?), growing your own ingredients, composting and more.

Delicious dishes sizzled on display at the 2013 Chicago Flower & Garden Show.

In our specially designed amphitheater, chefs will showcase sumptuous innovative dishes that capture the flavor, color, texture and beauty of fresh ingredients. They will also share tips for growing and using sustainable food, from growing on the rooftop or deck to community gardens. The free 45- to 60-minute Garden Gourmet demonstrations will give attendees a behind-the-scenes look at the methods that Chicago’s top chefs use, as well as delicious samples, meet and greets and recipes to try at home.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t boast about the top chef talent that will be featured at this year’s show—and the only reservation you need is your general admission ticket! Mariano’s, the presenting sponsor of the Chicago Flower & Garden Show, will feature a number of demonstrations by their chefs, and chefs who regularly shop at Mariano’s stores—”Chicago Tastemakers”—each morning of the Show at 11:30 a.m.

Chef Rick Ortiz of Antique Taco.

Chef Rick Ortiz of Antique Taco.

These Tastemakers include some of the biggest names around, including: Bill Kim of bellyQBelly Shack and urbanbelly; Lorin Adolph. private chef for businessman Sam Zell; Rick Ortiz of Antique Taco; Tony Priolo of Piccolo Sogno and Piccolo Sogno Due; Rodelio Aglibot of  e+o Food & Drink and Yum Cha; Meg Galus of NoMI Kitchen; and Joseph O’Connor, Mariano’s own executive chef.

Mariano's own Chef Joseph O'Connor.

Mariano’s own Chef Joseph O’Connor.

Is your mouth watering yet? What if we told you there are even more chefs who will hold demonstrations Sunday through Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday at 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.?

They include Richie Farina of moto; Tim Havidic of iNG; Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh of The Hearty Boys; Dean Lubbat of Dinotto Ristorante; Dirk and Terry Fucik of Dirk’s Fish; Ruben Izaguirre of The Palm Restaurant; Didier Durand of Cyrano’s Farm & Kitchen; and Sam Netter of Real Urban Barbecue and even more. Check out the Garden Gourmet schedule and start planning your trip—you may even want to come back for seconds.

Chef Bill Kim of bellyQ, Belly Shack and urbanbelly is one of the many Chicago Tastemakers appearing at this year's Garden Gourmet.

Chef Bill Kim of bellyQ, Belly Shack and urbanbelly is one of the many Chicago Tastemakers appearing at this year’s Garden Gourmet.

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We can’t wait to share the sights, sounds and tastes of this year’s Chicago Flower & Garden Show with you! Get your tickets online before March 15 and save $2 off general admission.

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Get Inspired, Educated and Motivated With Our Seminar Speakers

For decades, the Chicago Flower & Garden Show has been considered a welcome sign of spring after another arduous Midwestern winter. The show is a breath of fresh-smelling air, with gardens galore and great new ideas. Though the flowers and gardens are the eponymous stars of the show, we love participating in the exchange of ideas with our educational seminars, including speakers who inspire, educate and motivate our show-goers.

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This year, we are so pleased to have more than 40 top horticultural experts and professionals from academia, business and garden centers to share their tips, tricks and knowledge with our guests. This year’s show theme is Do Green. Do Good., and a number of the topics will be related to sustainability, as well as other topics like landscaping, annuals and perennials, planting techniques, organic gardening and more.

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We’ve featured a number of this year’s speakers on our blog, including Jan Riggenbach, Cheryl Munoz, Scott Mehaffey, Melinda Myers and LaManda Joy. Seminars run daily and are free with show admission. Visit our educational seminars page for topics and times, and start planning your day (or days!) at the show!

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HGTV’s John Gidding. Courtesy Photo.

We’ll also be welcoming John Gidding, host of HGTV’s popular DIY programs “Curb Appeal” and “Curb Appeal: The Block,” to share tips on how to make your home’s public appearance stand out from the rest with front doors, welcome mats and more.He will be presenting and answering audience questions at noon and 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 20 and again at noon on Friday, March 21.

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We’re three weeks away from Chicago’s official gateway to spring, get your tickets online now and save $2 of the cost of admission until March 14!

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Guest Blog Post: Hand to Hand—The Spirit of The Sugar Beet Co-op Edible Garden Tour

Cheryl Muñoz is the founder and director of The Sugar Beet Co-op and Schoolhouse, two projects that work in tandem to provide access to local, sustainably grown food through a community-owned grocery store and a nonprofit organization that offers programming and educational experiences that inspire people to connect with their local food system.

Catch Cheryl’s seminar, “Creating Community Through Edible Gardening,” Saturday, March 15 at 12:30 p.m. at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show.
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Hungry to grow healthy food for my family, I resorted to tearing out the lawn of our little bungalow in Oak Park in the spring of 2012. I loved the idea of planting a Victory Garden but had no idea how to do it. The backyard was already home to tomato plants and pots for lettuces but it was also home to the Slip ‘n Slide and kiddie pool. I wanted a safer place for my little farm away from the kids’ play area and closer to the morning sun…and my community.

Sugar Beet Edible Garden Tour 2012
I am lucky to live on a sweet little block in Oak Park with a community center, athletic field and playground across the street from my house. In all weather, people are walking dogs, jogging, walking kids to preschool or the park and many of them pass by my house. My mini farm out front became a stopping point as I began the incredible task of planning paths and planting starts into the rich compost. As I worked in my garden, people would pause on their morning run to give advice or just shout, “looks good” as they jogged by. Other parents in the neighborhood brought their kids over to see what I was up to and they helped shape paths with bricks and stones while I weeded and watered.

Sugar Beet Edible Garden Tour 2012
Bringing food production back to our gardens and kitchens is such a simple yet vital step towards creating sustainable communities. Not just sustainable in ways that are tangible, like improved soil quality and conserved energy, but sustainable in ways that improve our quality of life and our relationships. Like so many things worth learning, growing food is best learned from a friend. Only from hand-to-hand can growers pass on the most intimate details and observations of the natural world. Growing requires a community of teachers and students willing to kneel in the soil together, side by side, sharing a collective narrative and knowledge.

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That spring, as I worked to gain an understanding of the very basics of food production, I sought out other food growers in my community. They were pretty easy to find. Biking around town, I looked for trellises ready to support vining beans, tomatoes and grapes and raised beds sprouting young lettuces and greens. By stopping and saying hello, I was often welcomed to “take a peek” and was given a tour. My children were welcomed, too, and as they played I would learn valuable lessons and tips that I would take back to my garden to try. As if the gifts of knowledge and time were not enough, I always left with greens to taste, a young plant to transfer or a packet of seeds. Gardeners are a generous bunch.

Sugar Beet Edible Garden Tour 2012
It was their generosity that inspired me to create The Sugar Beet Co-op Edible Garden Tour that year. I asked the gardeners that I had met if they would be willing to welcome people into their yards for tours and they were all so enthusiastic to participate and help build the event. Over the summer, I identified 15 gardens for the tour and on a beautiful day in late July, over 120 tour participants visited the various gardens to learn everything from biodynamic gardening techniques to chicken keeping. There were peaches to eat and tastings of melons and other garden fresh produce along the route and some gardeners made signs and handed out information about their growing methods. It was intended to be a casual, self-guided day of discovery and skill-sharing and we all considered it a huge success to see families exploring garden beds and chicken coops together.

Sugar Beet Edible Garden Tour 2012
The public’s response was so positive that we formed a formal committee led by some of the gardeners and in 2013 The Edible Garden Tour was even better with over 300 people attending. As we plan for the 2014 tour, we are inspired to link with neighboring communities and offer workshops and garden material exchanges to further grow our capacity to skill-share and connect with each other. It’s an all-volunteer effort that requires months of planning and research but we enjoy the work and the results and relationships we are building are rich and rewarding.

There is no doubt in my mind that gardening is one of the most accessible and effective ways of creating a vibrant and strong sense of community identity—regardless of whether you live in the middle of the city or a small rural town. The act of coming together to grow food and transform a piece of land into a vibrant and useful place that feeds us in many ways is possible and a powerful step towards building a sustainable community.

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Save the date for the 2014 Sugar Beet Co-op Edible Tour Saturday July 26 to learn more about The Sugar Beet Co-op visit www.sugarbeetcoop.com.

Photographs provided by the author and the Sugar Beet Co-op Edible Tour.
(Photographer: Susanne Fairfax Media) 

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Guest Blog Post: Sustainable Gardens Start Small

Gardening expert Melinda Myers is a TV/radio host, author and columnist with more than 30 years of horticulture experience. She’s published more than 20 gardening books and hosts the nationally syndicated radio segment “Melinda’s Garden Moment,” which airs on more than 130 TV and radio stations. She was the 2013 recipient of the national American Horticultural Society’s B.Y. Morrison Communication Award and sits on the board of directors for the International Society of Arboriculture.
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Winter is the time gardeners dream and plan for the season ahead. We’ve certainly had plenty, perhaps too much, planning time this winter.

And after a long winter, our must-have plants, garden expansions and new project lists tend to be longer than usual. Take some time during the spring thaw to evaluate how realistic your plans are given your time, budget and energy level.

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That goes for green initiatives, as well. I believe we all want to do the right thing for our gardens, family, community and the environment. But work, busy schedules and life can sometimes get in the way.

Instead, try phasing in some of your green initiatives gradually. For some of you, it may take just a bit of fine-tuning your garden style and maintenance. For others, it may require a bit more effort and a few seasons to accomplish all your goals. But don’t give up—every change creates a positive gain for you and the environment.

Rain barrels are a great example. Start with just one or two—disconnecting all your downspouts and filling your landscape with rain barrels can be overwhelming and lead to frustration and failure. Starting small allows you to gradually introduce this functional feature in an aesthetically pleasing and convenient way. You’ll have time to master the way you utilize the water, manage excess water and drought and overwinter them.

Chicago09 015I started with a rain barrel off the corner of my garage in my small city lot where I hid it behind my containers. There, it was easy to access the water to use on the nearby containers and the overflow was directed into nearby gardens. I could easily move the overflow hose during heavy rains, which helped me avoid flooding my gardens by sending the overflow down the storm sewer.

I now have more space to include not only rain barrels but also a cistern or two. Unlike my wiser friends of equal age, I decided to upsize instead of scale down my landscape but I’m taking advantage of this long winter to develop a master plan because I don’t want to waste any time redoing large projects due to poor planning on my part.

So grab a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine!) and start planning for a fun, successful growing season ahead—spring really is on the way.
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Be sure to catch Melinda as she presents “Green and Easy Gardening” at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 18 at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show. Get your tickets online and save $2!

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A Spring Flashback

As the cold winter chill gets the best of us and the snow loses its magic, we can’t help but pine for the colors, sights and warmth of spring. Although we can’t speed up Mother Nature, we can help inspire new ideas, fuel excitement and get you back in the gardening groove with a beautiful flashback to last spring.

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Spring

Whether you’re listening in on an educational seminar, jotting down your favorite recipe at the Garden Gourmet stage or playing with the creepy crawlers in the Kids’ Activities garden, there is something for everyone at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show.

Don’t believe us? Take a look at what’s to come when spring awakens at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show this March 15–23.

How-to Workshops

Create your own take-home masterpiece at our How-to Garden

Garden Experience

Enjoy picturesque views as you walk through 20+ beautiful gardens.

How-to with Home Depot

Roll up your sleeves for hands-on workshops and demonstrations in our How-to Garden.

Visit our lively marketplace  to find fresh produce, gardening supplies, plants and more!

Visit our lively marketplace to find fresh produce, gardening supplies, plants and more!

Bring your kids and let them explore and experience our Kids' Activities Garden.

Bring your kids and let them explore and experience our Kids’ Activities Garden.

Talk with seasoned professionals and learn from the best.

Talk with seasoned professionals and learn from the best.

If you missed “The Art of Gardening” at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show last year, don’t worry! It’s all happening again this March 15–23 at Navy Pier!

Join the fun. Enjoy the experience. And, most importantly, help us welcome back spring!

 

P.S. Purchase your tickets online now and save $2 off the box office price! 

 

 

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Guest Blog Post: How to Design a Romantic, Sustainable ‘Tablescape’ for Valentine’s Day

Derrick Taylor, president and founder of TAYLOR & CO., is a friend and exhibitor of the Chicago Flower & Garden Show, presented by Mariano’s. With Valentine’s Day approaching, Derrick shares some fun, floral and sustainable ways to create a beautiful, romantic “tablescape” that will help make your night special and memorable for the one you love. Catch him live on NBC5 Sunday Morning News at 8 a.m. this Sunday, February 2!
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Ever wonder why we give flowers, candies and cards on Valentine’s Day? Contrary to popular belief, it is not a fabricated holiday. The real meaning may surprise you and touch your heart.

The tale of Saint Valentine originated during the 3rd century in Rome. During this time, Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers, so he outlawed marriage for young warriors. A priest named Valentine was furious with this injustice and defied Claudius by continuing to secretly perform marriages for young lovers. Claudius eventually discovered Valentine’s actions and sentenced him to death. (Not quite the fate of those who fail to buy their significant others flowers on Valentine’s Day, but clearly a lesson to be learned from history!)

During his time in jail, Valentine fell in love with his jailer’s daughter, who visited him in prison. Before he was put to death, Valentine sent a letter to the young girl and signed it, “From Your Valentine”—an expression we still use today. Valentine was executed on February 14, 270 AD. Later, around 496 AD, Pope Gelasius declared February 14th a day to honor Valentine, who by that time had become a saint.

Today, we continue to honor St. Valentine and recall the history of Valentine’s Day each February 14th, by celebrating our love for significant others, friends and family. For thousands of years, the middle of February has been a time for fertility festivals, so it is no wonder Valentine’s Day flowers are often the Valentine’s Day gift of choice. For centuries, flowers have symbolized fertility, love, marriage and romance.

When combined creatively, flowers and common, inexpensive, sustainable household items can create dramatic, romantic “tablescape” centerpieces that provide as much of a feast for your senses as the delicious food you serve. Here are five simple elements to consider when creating your “tablescape”:

Derrick Taylor’s elegant “tablescape” was one of the hits of the 2013 Chicago Flower & Garden Show.

Derrick Taylor’s elegant “tablescape” was one of the hits of the 2013 Chicago Flower & Garden Show.

  1. Fabric
    The linens used on a table can really make a statement and create a mood, like a floor-length, pink silk linen.
     
  2. Candles
    This is an easy one. But, remember, you don’t want to use just one type of candle. There are pillars, votives, tapers and floaters. You can never have enough candles for a romantic dinner…ever! 
  3. Flowers
    This is a given and you don’t have to go to a professional to make a romantic statement. Your local Mariano’s has a wonderful selection from which to choose. First, choose your flowers wisely because carnations and pompons (daisy) will only get you so far. Stepping it up to roses is good, but when you start to use bridal flowers such as lily, freesia, gardenia and English roses, your special someone will know you mean business. I like to use floral consisting of South American roses (called Esperance), which we hand open to look whimsical. 
  4. Props
    This is how you take it to the next level. Candelabras and large cast statues used with a floral touch make this the “Bentley” of design and create a dining experience that’s very difficult for a restaurant to outdo. A polished-nickel candelabra, for example, can make your table look dramatic and adds interest vertically. 
  5. Romance
    Having the right music and a few well-rehearsed things to say is the last thing that you can do to make this epic! Your music can set the mood in seconds and should mean something to both of you.

Following these tips can help anyone make a memorable, beautiful, sustainable and romantic Valentine’s Day dinner that you’ll always remember!

For more helpful tips, please visit us online, contact us by email or give our office a call to visit our showroom in the West Loop at 312.771.8198.

 

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Posted in Flower & Garden Show | Comments Off