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Chicago Flower & Garden Show 2009

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Yesterday I spent my day happily wandering the 2009 Chicago Flower & Garden Show. When I showed up to park at Navy Pier I was surprised by large frozen ice flows floating next to the pier in Lake Michigan. Fisherman were bundled up against the rain and were fishing in huddles along the wharf area.

That’s why it was even more surprising that from the parking lot, before I even walked onto the show floor, I was hit with the most powerful and amazing smell of flowers and fresh green. My first thought as soon as I opened my car door: Spring!

Chicago Flower & Garden Show

Chicago Flower & Garden Show

CF&G Water Feature

While there were generous greenery displays, I appreciated the mix of dancing water features, hardscaping ideas, and sustainability displays. My favorite creative gardening idea was the above “garden bed” – can’t wait to see if I can build a garden bed myself!

CF&G Chicken

Featuring a theme of “Our World in Bloom,” there are over 100 free educational seminars provided during the 9 day show, which lasts from March 7th through March 15th at Navy Pier Chicago and is sponsored by Belgard Hardscapes. Also included are garden gourmet culinary demonstrations and flower potting parties where you can give a $20 donation to a local charity and, in turn,  take home a cool potted creation.

Truly awesome and interesting displays included the Aquascape Designs “Sustainable Gardens for a Changing World” which featured water conservation in the garden, and I also enjoyed the Victorian Vogue display put on by District 8 Garden Clubs of Illinois.

Shawna and Joe Lamp'l 03-09-2

My favorite part of the day? Listening to my good friend and favorite sustainable gardening writer, Joe Lamp’l, talk about today’s coolest garden gear & gadgets. I even got the privilege of demonstrating a pair of “GreenJeans,” Muscle and Arm Farm’s cool garden chap invention – sorry, no photos of the modeling routine.

I do, however, have a wonderful photo of Joe and me in the gardens. Note the giant smiles – spending some time with a friend chatting about gardening – totally wonderful. In fact, it’s easy to smile when you are surrounded by the incredible smell of spring. Happily, it is right around the corner.

To learn more about the show and how to get to Navy Pier for your advanced peek at spring, please go to the website – Be sure to get there before March 15th or you will miss the excitement.

Shawna Coronado says Get Healthy! Get Green! Get Community!

Is The Future of Gardening Dead or Alive? A Question Posed By Guest Blogger and TV Personality, Joe Lamp’l

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  1. In those gardening chaps, you’d looked mahvelous! I was also struck by the scent when I went into the show. I hadn’t been to one for several years, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  2. “Walk around the room with your pants on.”

    Hysterical, right?

    “Uh… okay… excuse me mister, wanna feel my pants?”

    Too funny!

  3. Thanks Shawna for the nice recap of the show. Unfortunately I didn’t have much time to see all the displays as I would have liked.
    And a special thank you for your on the spot willingness to model those garden chaps for me. “You looked marvelous!”
    Love the picture too. It’s hard to believe you were under the weather judging from your happy smile. It was great to spend time with you on Saturday and keep up the great work you are doing!

  4. Hi Shawna, this year was the first time I’d been to the show, but I’m sure it won’t be the last. I really enjoyed it.

    I was impressed with how much of it was devoted to environmental and sustainability issues.

    We ran into so many high-profile people in the gardening world, and that was a big thrill for me!

    I’m surprised you got into the parking lot! I was glad I took the train, as the lots were already full by the time I got there around 11:30 on Friday.

    Didn’t you just love that little flower pot doggie in the Victorian Vogue display! I loved the twig headboard. I can’t imagine women ever actually dressed like that. Chaps are much more practical!

  5. ::laughing::

    Chaps are definitely more practical. I could never keep beautiful nails or a good pair of jeans being a gardener – and I’m completely embarrassed to show you my gardening “socks” – stained permanently with mud.


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