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Gardens of the Chicago Flower & Garden Show

From the moment you enter this year’s Chicago Flower & Garden show, you know you are in for a treat. Paying homage to Navy Pier’s 100th birthday, the entrance garden features Chicago landmarks, pink and white roses, lush ferns and purple Senetti pericallis.

I love the exhibits of tulips, hyacinths and roses. I am more than happy to part with some money on plants and garden décor. I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to attend a seminar and learn something new. But the gardens are my favorite part of the flower show.

I love discovering new plants, unique ways to combine them in containers or in the garden, and innovative ideas to try in my own landscape. This year, the gardens offer plenty of all three.

Lurvey Landscape Supply & Garden Center presents Upcycle Your Outdoor Rooms. In one of three distinct spaces, a farmhouse theme shows galvanized containers turned into a fountain and fire pit.

Ideas abound in this garden like using piece of burlap in place of a coco liner in a metal basket.

In the tropical-themed garden room, re-purposed old boat furniture nestles in lush foliage.

On a patio in the third area, an old fountain is turned into a grand planter overflowing and surrounded with spring color.

Celebrating Chicago as one of the urban farming capitols of the world, the students of the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences outdid themselves this year with It’s Not a Garden, It’s a (R)Evolution.

They designed a garden showing inventive ways to grow food without large properties like gardening vertically and hydroponically.

Watch urban and country vegetable growing collide in the garden by Ted’s Greenhouse. In Rural, Urban Neighbors, a tractor in a field of sweet corn demands attention.

On closer inspection, an assortment of vegetables grows in raised beds. The beans, nearly ready to pick, and the flowers on tomato plants promise a bountiful harvest.

Kids’ jeans and garden boots, planted with flowers and vegetables and positioned on pallets, add a touch of whimsy to the garden.

Every year I am amazed at the drama in the gardens done by Aquascape Inc. and this year’s Linking You to the Outdoors through Water is another amazing creation by their talented staff.

Water features are the main attractions – fountains, ponds and waterfalls – all surrounded by brilliant blooms.

The theatrical surprise in Aquascape’s garden this year is a wall of rain chains. Water crashes down with thunderous sound.

Christy Webber & Nicor Gas team up in Below the 811 Bungalow Garden to remind gardeners there are natural gas, electric, communication and water utilities lines beneath the soil.

Cub fans will want to snap a selfie with the Cubs logo made with 10,000 chrysanthemums.

The Chicago Flower & Garden show continues through Sunday. Garden with me!

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