Our Fairy Garden Festival celebrates miniature gardening!

Our Fairy Garden Festival begins Saturday, June 21 and continues through Sunday, June 29. The nine-day extravaganza begins with face painting and a fairy parade on Saturday morning.

Classes and workshops are available throughout the week to learn how to create your own fairy garden and butterfly-attracting container garden; attend our Mother Daughter Fairy Garden Tea Party; learn how to create hypertufa troughs whether you are a beginner or a veteran trough-maker; or grab a miniature garden crafts kit and have fun completing the project with your child. Check out our Calendar of Events for complete details.

Of course, you will want to tour the display gardens, dance around a fairy ring, and experience a fairy-sized carnival complete with a fairies wheel.

Experience the fairy frenzy!

Plant a salad in your backyard!

Now that spring has finally arrived in the Chicagoland area, it’s time to get planting. And what better way to start than by growing the ingredients for a delicious salad? Once you’ve tasted a salad made from vegetables just harvested from your garden, you will never be satisfied with the produce available at the grocery store.

If you are planting vegetables in the ground, begin by loosening the soil with a rototiller or a garden fork. It is difficult for new roots to push through heavy soil so make sure the top few inches of soil is fine-textured.

Planting in containers is another option. An earth box is a complete growing system that makes vegetable gardening very easy. Other pots, as long as they have good drainage, will also work. Just make sure they are large enough to grow the vegetables you’ve chosen. Tomatoes need larger pots than peppers; peppers need larger pots than radishes – you get the idea. It is important to use a soil-less potting mix or Dr. Earth Vegetable & Herb Planting Mix. Fertilize with a good organic fertilizer like Dr. Earth Vegetable & Herb fertilizer. Read the rest of this entry »

We are closed on Easter!

We are closed on Sunday, April 20 so our staff can celebrate Easter with their families. We hope you all have a blessed Easter.

Gardening is good for your health!

The evidence is piling up; there’s little doubt about it…gardening is good for you!

In his new book, A Short Guide to a Long Life, Dr. David Agus lists simple things anyone can do to improve their health. Among them are recommendations to grow a garden and to eat real food. While gardening in the vegetable garden, you burn calories while growing food of the highest nutritional value. The Institute for Weight Management reports that general gardening burns up to 200 calories per half hour (for a 185-pound person). Weeding burns between 172 and 205 calories, and digging can burn 150 and 222 calories. And unlike other exercise programs that folks give up almost as quickly as they start them, gardening is rewarding and fun. People are likely to garden often and continue gardening for many years.

It”s not surprising that gardeners eat more fruits and vegetables. Children who garden with parents or are involved in school gardens are also more likely to eat more fruits and vegetables than their non-gardening peers.

Gardening also reduces stress. According to studies reported in Outside magazine, exercising in nature results in less fatigue, reduced anxiety, a reduction in hostility, happier thoughts and an overall feeling of invigoration. It also reported exposure to sunlight increases the production of white blood cells. These help our bodies fight off disease.

Gardening makes us all smarter. Studies have found that gardeners in their 60”s and 70”s have a 36 to 47% lower risk of developing dementia. And just walking in a garden was therapeutic to people already suffering from mental decline.

Gardening makes kids smarter, too. When learning gardens were put into more than 90 low-income elementary schools in Texas, test scores went up 12 to 15%. Teachers also reported increased student success in science, math and language arts.

Those of us who garden don”t need scientific research to tell us gardening is good for our health. We know it when our muscles are sore after an afternoon of spring clean up. We know it when we”re munching on a fresh kohlrabi from the garden instead of a bag of potato chips while watching TV. We know it when we stroll through our landscapes after a hard day at the office. We just know it…gardening is good for your health!

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