This was the second time that I have been able to attend the IGC show in Chicago, and once again I thought it was well worth the journey. The show was much larger this time, and seemed to have more of a cross section of "everything gardening" than the first time. There was a lot more green goods (ie: trees etc) than the first time, and I was quite surprised how many Oregon growers were there, especially with the Far West Show show in Portland coming up the following week.
I had the opportunity to take part in a focal group one of the days we were there, another of the highlights of my trip. When you put 12 nursery owners together in a small room, give them nice refreshments and a chance to rest their weary feet from walking the trade show all day, the ideas start flying. The group was put together by eight of the major nursery industry magazines. They wanted our opinions on which articles stand out, which columnists we read every month and how often do they go straight to the garbage? (yes, they actually asked this - I honestly could tell them that for me the answer was - never, as they make great early morning reading out in the garden). I came away with some good ideas for organizing all of the information that we get every month. Not only that, they PAID the four of us each $50.00 for participating!!! Gage Chicago here we come.
The rest of the trade show gave us some really "green" ideas. We found some sturdy metal 4' x 4' raised beds on one aisle, and then hot house covers for them a few aisles over. We hope to have both in stock soon, just in time for fall gardening...think lettuce, spinach, herbs and such. The city chicken coops were another practical idea for our country living, but the cost was very high we thought. Michelle took some ideas and measurements, who knows, maybe we can find someone to custom build them for you.
The David Austin Roses booth was a huge hit with me. Anyone that wanders through our nursery knows how much I love roses. They really do well in our heat, and year after year provide so much beauty in our desert "brownness". We placed our order for anew benching system and signage, and got the lists for our growers to start our crop for next spring.
All in all, it was an amazing trip. Renting the bikes for six days was the absolute best way to see everything in the city that was on our lists. I highly recommend Bike and Roll if you are in the area.
I returned to the desert to a thrilling surpise, Bob had bought me a brand new shiny RED bike for my birthday, and as he wheeled it out of the garage that first night I was home, I realized, you can plant me down in the city, and I will definelty love it and have a wonderful time, but there's nothing like home.
View of the front of the Chicago Tribune building, where a fascinating rock collection is embedded all around the outside. Including from the moon!
|spent part of my birthday with my toes in the sand of Lake Michigan.....ahhhhhhhh|