Saturday I got lucky and nude. Well… metaphorically. As a member of the Garden Writers Association, I was allowed to go to the 2009 Chicago Flower & Garden Show as a preview reporter. This was a wonderful experience as I was able to scope out the main floor before the show opened.
Imagine my complete surprise when I saw a generous amount of green and sustainable solutions being demonstrated to the public at the garden show. More importantly, I saw ways that green solutions can and should be incorporated into our neighborhoods and daily life. Finally the world is starting to get it – greening is not just about recycling or about gardening; it is about a community taking care of each other.
My first view of the day featuring the Chicago Flower & Garden Show’s theme “Our World in Bloom” was from the catwalk high above the show floor and the above shot is what I saw: pergolas and structures built with “green” roofs. Many people have never seen a green roof in action and seeing how very beautiful the green roofs are as well as what important tools they are for reducing heat and therefore energy use in our homes and work environments is a fantastic resource.
Many displays were sustainable in nature, with strong showings from the Chicago Park District and City of Chicago on encouraging people to conserve water and resources which I find particularly important in these difficult economic times. My only desire for improvement would be that there would be even more demonstrations of rain barrels and other water-centric savings ideas. However, this was a fantastic start – I hope there will be lots more next year. Below is a great example of a home with a green roof which utilizes rain barrels and recycled materials to make water features and other sustainable gardening concepts.
THIS is the type of garden show the average homeowner needs to see to help define what water saving and sustainability can mean to the individual homeowner. It IS possible to strip away the excuses and get straight down to energy and money savings.
Going to see the show for the gardens as well as the sustainability is fantastic, however, it was the gorgeous displays of “greening” examples that will really educate the homeowner about better green lifestyle practices as well as better horticultural practices. Please go to the show and have a look for yourself this week!
To learn more about the show and how to get to Navy Pier for your advanced peek at spring, go to the website – www.chicagoflower.com. Be sure to get there before March 15th or you will miss the excitement.
Shawna Coronado says Get Healthy! Get Green! Get Community!