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IGC 2012 Starts In...
2012 IGC Show Monday Tour
Sign up early – sells out every year!
Monday, August 20 7 am – 6:30 pm
Chicagoland Garden Center Tour
Get an inside look at three highly successful Chicagoland independent garden centers during the 2012 Chicagoland Garden Center Tour, a daylong opportunity to network with fellow garden center professionals and energize your business with fresh retail strategies. Sit back as the tour's on-board moderators reveal the best practices that put these IGC retailers on top in their market, then see for yourself what makes them so special with your own look. Get back to your hotel in plenty of time to enjoy dinner and nightlife in downtown Chicago. Transportation and lunch included. Conducted in conjunction with The Garden Center Group and IGC's Clint Albin. Sign up early, this tour is a favorite among IGC show-goers and has sold out in previous years!
7 am – Depart Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Chicago
8 – 8:45 am – The Growing Place, Naperville, IL
At The Growing Place, customers shop in a beautiful garden setting for an extensive selection of premium-quality trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, roses, water plants, groundcovers, herbs, vegetables and natives. Take a stroll through the garden center's 18 "Learning Gardens," landscaped inspirations featuring nearly 1,000 varieties of plants accompanied by educational signage. You'll discover themed garden ideas for sunny borders, dense shade and wet-tolerant areas. Other gardens attract hummingbirds and butterflies, and showcase long-blooming plants and cutting flowers. You'll even find an embellished prairie garden! Begin planning your own spectacular display gardens for next spring, starting here.
9:15 – 11:15 am – Ball Horticultural Company’s Trial Gardens,
West Chicago, IL
The Gardens at Ball stands strong as the industry’s premier trial garden, where big numbers reside - tens of thousands of plants representing thousands of varieties from hundreds of plant breeders, beautifully displayed over 8 acres of color. This special stop turns the spotlight on more than 3,500 varieties from 115 suppliers, planted in striking presentations that include a dedicated vegetable garden and a new courtyard featuring ornamental vegetables. Visit the newly renovated and naturalized landscape at the front of Ball's headquarters, and get inspired by striking displays of more than 100 trialed and tested mixed combination containers.
11:30 am – 1:30 pm – Lunch at Aquascape’s Aqualand
Enjoy lunch at Aquascape's hub Aqualand, a LEED-certified, 256,000-square-foot demonstration and research facility housing the latest cutting-edge water garden features. Aqualand's retail storefront showcases inspiration gardens inside and out, an underwater swim cave and an outdoor product demonstration area for hands-on classes, as well as examples of store-within-a-store concepts for garden centers. Get all your questions about adding a water garden department or expanding your existing offerings right on-site.
2:15 – 3 pm – Blumen Gardens, Sycamore, IL
You saw it first in the pages of Garden Chic magazine, now experience the one-of-a-kind shopping experience at Blumen Gardens that marries nostalgic vintage with new life in the garden. This "Store Style" garden center features more than 3,500 square feet of retail space filled with vintage-inspired garden art and classic garden urns, statuary, garden fountains, landscaping supplies and more. As part of an expansion in the mid-1990s, Blumen Gardens purchased an abandoned industrial lot with a brick factory warehouse and converted it to house retail space and the Tea Room, an event rental area that hosts weddings and receptions, fundraisers, business meetings and more. Learn how this business that started in the owners' back yard has grown from a modest upstart into a nostalgic gardening wonderland. Check out the Garden Chic coverage - click here.
3:45 – 4:45 pm – Schaefer Greenhouses Garden Center, Montgomery, IL
At Schaefer Greenhouses' garden center, see firsthand the difference growing 80 percent of its stock has in distinguishing this family owned IGC retailer’s green goods from the boxes. The garden center features a full selection of trees, shrubs, rose bushes, annuals, perennials and vegetables, as well as outdoor living accessories and garden decor. The gift shop is continuously updated with the arrival of fresh merchandise, including ceramics and glassware, as well as bath lotions, soaps, fragrances and candles. Find out what makes this garden center a local treasure for four generations.
6:30 pm – Return Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Chicago
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