The Independent Garden Center (IGC) show was held last week at Chicago’s Navy Pier. Vendors from all over the country came to show off their plants, garden décor and supplies, pots, tools and just about anything else you might find at your local garden center. Garden center buyers jostled for position at their favorite booths to place orders for next season. The show floor was huge! It was certainly easy to get in all my steps for the day (and several days after).
Here are the new plants and products I was most excited about and want to try in my garden.
First, I have to share this new company called Garden Freak. Check out these garden gloves. Notice the webbing between the fingers? It makes it easier to grab handfuls of potting soil from the bag and move them to a container without losing half of it on the deck (or patio or floor). They are available in several different colors.
And check out these super cool gardening pants with built-in knee pads.
They also created this great bag for harvesting fruits and vegetables, collecting garden debris and lots of other garden chores. We’ve all struggled with buckets or trugs that slip down as we carry them, right? This one has a curve in one side to fit on a hip. Genius!
Their products are aimed at making gardening fashionably sassy. Their company motto is, “Garden fearlessly – grow a pear.” Now that’s sassy! For more information, visit their website.
Another innovative idea I discovered is called InstantHedge, perfect for folks who don’t want to wait for plants to grow together into a hedge. Using GPS automated tractors for planting, trimming and root pruning, plants grow into 40-inch panels that are sold in heights of 18 to 24 inches (boxwood only), 3 to 4 feet and 5 to 6 feet. Besides boxwood, there are 8 other varieties of evergreen plants and 4 types of deciduous plants.
They come in two types of pots – a biodegradable cardboard box that is planted box and all or a planting bag with handles.
Planting directions are included on the side of the box. Click here for more information on InstantHedge.
Another new product, PittMoss, is touted as an alternative to peat moss. It is made from paper products that, instead of ending up in landfills, are broken down into organic fibers. These fibers are then used to create growing mediums that reduce watering by up to two-thirds and absorb and release nutrients back to plant roots. Sounds pretty great, right?
I saw three different types: PittMoss Organic Potting Mix, PittMoss Performance – potting mix with nutrients added – and PittMoss Prime to mix with garden soil when planting. I am planning to test out this product in my garden and will let you know how it works for me. If you want to learn more about PittMoss, visit their website.
The IGC show has many, many vendors offering pots of all kinds – plastic, glazed, lightweight, terra cotta, concrete, wooden, and on and on. This new raised planter by Crescent Garden caught my eye. In addition to being very attractive, the Nest Raised Planter has a self-watering reservoir large enough to hold enough water you don’t have to water for up to two weeks. They are available in three sizes – 18 x 36 inches, 22 x 44 inches and 30 x 48 inches – and in six different colors.
A greenhouse cover is available, great for gardeners anxious to plant early in spring when nights might still be frosty.
A metal trellis serves a couple purposes. It is the framework to hold the greenhouse cover in spring and can later serve as support for peppers, determinate tomatoes or spring peas.
The new plant I was most excited about was Hydrangea ‘Summer Crush’. It is the newest member of the Endless Summer family and its strawberry-colored blossoms took my breath away. Growing just 18 inches to 3 feet tall, plants stay very compact and stems don’t stretch in summer heat. I can’t wait to plant some in part shade containers next year.
These were just a few of the fun new things I saw. Do any of them sound as exciting to you and they do to me?
Garden with me!
Note: These opinions are my own. I did not receive any payment or gifts for this post. I did, however, receive some small starts of Hydrangea ‘Summer Crush’ at a different event during the Garden Writers Convention.