Monday, August 30, 2010

Chicago ....continued

My take of the IGC Show Chicago 2010 continued.........
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


work is never done....................but it sure is nice working in the weekly e-news with a 20' wall of water playing its tune behind me.....

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Desert Welcome

Driving back into Fallon on Saturday evening, we were greeted by this beautiful double rainbow.
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Greetings from Chicago!


Michelle and I wandering through the wildflower preserve
The last few days have flown by in such a blur; I am not real sure where to start. We arrived in Chicago late Saturday and hit the ground running, or riding I should say, because our first order of business was to head down to the Navy Pier and rent bikes for the entire week first thing Sunday morning. Chicago has the most amazing bike system of paths and marked roadways, that it is truly the best way to see the downtown city area. Bike paths line the entire shore of Lake Michigan from North to South, and most of the major thoroughfares have designated bike lanes as well. The Navy Air and Water show happened to also be this last weekend down on the shores of Lake Michigan, and we quickly realized that riding through the crowds estimated at over a million was not the way we wanted to spend our first full day in downtown Chicago. We got the map out and headed North towards Lincoln Park and the Liberty Square area, taking time to stop in front of Wrigley Field for a quick pic. Of course we found some amazing little eclectic shops, to start our “Retail Finds Tour” and a quaint little cafe for lunch. The first day we put over 25 miles on the bikes, and I think we could have gone another 20 or so if it hadn’t gotten dark. And yes, we are wearing our helmets at all times!!!
Monday afternoon our friends from Every Bloomin’ Thing in Susanville, Melissa and Susan, arrived, and we spent the day on bikes acquainting them with some of our already favorite areas. The Independent Garden Center Show has been all we could have hoped for. With keynote speakers like Jaime Drurie, from HGTV, and P Allen Smith, a free concert by America last night, and specials to found on every aisle, this has been the best show I have been to in many years. A few views of our adventures in Chicago...........

Nighttime on the river, hard to see - but there were over 100 kayakers in the water.....breathtaking with the city lights.
The girls, enjoying lunch at "Gage" http://www.thegagechicago.com/ WOW!!!!!
Of course we had to ride the bikes to see Wrigley Field. On the way we found Half Acre Brewery. Small batch, only available in Chicago. Wish we could bring some back to Bob. They gave us a tour and a taste.
Found at the IGC Show - Creative Chicken Coops for small town/ city living. Michelle was putting her order in when I walked past. That and a copy of "City Chics" and she's all set!
Ordering the new David Austin roses for next season......ahhhhhhhhhhh
New cold frames we ordered to fit over the Square Foot gardens.....

Michelle, Mr. Square Foot Gardening himself, Mel Bartholmew, and me
Half Acre Chicago
Half Acre - Sorry Bob, can't bring it back on the plane......

Thursday, August 12, 2010

2010 Blues, Brews and BBQ

Wow, what a great evening!! Can't wait for the next concert on the river.....perhaps an Oktoberfest is needed...................hmm

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Camp Garden closes with a wild ride!

Another year of Camp Garden came to a close yesterday when the campers met at Lattin Farms http://www.lattinfarms.com/ to enjoy the morning on a country farm. After a wonderful reading by Miss Donna, the kids enjoyed snacks and craft time....and then the big treat of the day, a ride on the Cow Train.

This summer we had our largest group of campers yet, with the number of kids ranging anywhere from 30 to 55!!! each week. Mom's and Dad's got a chance to make new friends, and I think that you can tell by these smiles, that the Camp Leaders enjoyed the weeks just as much as the kids. See you next summer, when Camp Garden will return for it's fourth season. (A huge thank you from me, to Miss Vicki, Miss Kat, and Miss Donna for all the time and smiles you put into this summers Camp!)











Sooz Sunflower

Many of you might remember Sooz's beautiful garden from the Fallon Garden Tour last year. This is a shot of her magnificently glorious sunflower garden this year. Sooz will be helping Rose cover the nursery next week, while Michelle and I are attending the Independent Garden Center convention in Chicago. Stop in and ask her how she grew these beauties.................

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

J & The Beanstalk

One of our fellow gardeners sent this pic over of the first "big haul" from the bean garden this year. Love the colors!!!! and I am sure they tasted just as sweet. (Send over your garden bounty photos, I'll post up as many as I can)

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