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Calendar of Events

What to do in the garden now

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Garden events are listed by location and month, with exception to the featured centers below.
Featured Centers: The following centers have multiple events. To make it easier to locate their events they are listed separately.

The Growing Place

Cantigny Park

The Growing Place

The Growing Place, 25 W 471 Plank Road, Naperville (630-355-4000) and 2000 Montgomery Road, Aurora (630-820-8088) All classes held at the Aurora location.

March 1
“Backyards – From Boring to Beautiful”
A Landscaping 101 class. How to personalize your backyard and create spaces for multiple uses. Basic steps for privacy or enhancing a view. Aurora. 10 a.m.

March 8
“New and Noteworthy Plants for 2014”
Hear about introductions, up and coming trends and some unusual staff favorites. Aurora. 10 a.m.

March 15
“Vegetables: From Garden to Table”
How to get started and keep it simple. Plant a “salad bowl” of mixed lettuce seeds. Get a sneak peek at Growing Place’s 2014 vegetable and herb varieties. Reserve your vegetable plants now for pick up in early May. Vegetable seeds for purchase at a discount. Aurora. 10 a.m. $15. Registration required. Call 630-355-4000.

March 22
“Container Gardening: Indoors and Out”
A day of three classes devoted to container gardening. Meet garden designer Karen Chapman and author of the new book Fine Foliage. Special vignettes in the greenhouse illustrate some fresh ideas. Aurora.
10 a.m. – “Luscious Leaves” Learn about containers featuring foliage. Presented by Karen Chapman, whose book will be available for purchase and signing.
12 p.m. – “Make and Take: Magical Miniature Containers” Build a tiny garden in a container with a variety of houseplants, miniature accents, fairies, gnomes and more. Make your own or just watch. Cost of materials.
1 p.m. – “Ask the Experts: Designing with Containers” Growing Place designers will walk you through the process of creating a striking focal point with your front entry.

March 26
“Dinosaur Dish Garden.”
Take your inspiration from the movie Walking with Dinosaurs and build an exotic dish garden perfect for kids. Choose succulents, vessels, dinosaurs and many other accents. Both locations. 10 a.m. Cost of materials.

March 29 and 30
Opening Weekend: Celebrate Spring
Informative talks, tool sharpening services, sales and specials. Also: One-hour in-store landscape coaching appointments. Choose to target a small space or a container planting project. $30 special price through April 6. Call 630-355-4000 or email to sign up. Fee includes coupon towards a plant purchase. Both locations.

March 29 and 30
Tours & Talks at Aurora

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Tool sharpening of pruners and shears while you wait.
11 a.m. – Spring Gardening: What to Do Now. Get a spring “to do” list for garden tasks.
1 p.m. – Greenhouse Tours: See What’s Growing!
2 p.m. – Hands On Pruning. Bring in pruners and shears. Sharpening while you wait.

April 5
Bluebird Arrival
The Growing Place’s signature ceramic bluebirds are back! Adopt one or a flock and receive an adoption certificate. Both locations.

April 12 and 13
From Garden to Table: Cooking Sampler
Join the Growing Place chef for a cooking sampler with tastings. Recipes inspired by spring’s first fruits and flavors. Focus on strawberries, early salads and creative uses for early herbs. Saturday in Aurora. Sunday in Naperville. Noon to 3 p.m.

April 19
“Incorporating Natives”
A Landscaping 101 class. Hear about natives that politely intermingle with existing beds, offer flowers, reduce maintenance and attract pollinators. Aurora. 10 a.m.

April 26
“Shady Characters: Pretty Plants that Thrive in Shade.”
Plants that offer flowers, color and texture in the shade. Also: combinations, tips and techniques for success. Aurora. 10 a.m.

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Cantigny Park
1s151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. To register, call 630-260-8162 or email

March 4
Greenhouse Tour
See the park’s spring bedding plants and summer plants in their early development. Led by Bob Carr, Cantigny grower. 11 a.m. Tour free; parking ($5) at the Visitors Center with shuttle service to the greenhouse. Registration required.

March 12
Blossom Bits: A Floral Designer’s Nuggets and Gems Advice,
tips and answers to your questions. Featured topic: herbal pet care for common disorders and diet supplements. Led by Beth Libby, Cantigny floral designer. Noon. Free with paid parking ($5). Bring a sack lunch if you like.

April 1
Garden Tour
See spring-flowering trees, shrubs and wildflowers. Led by Todd Henderson, Cantigny forester. Depart from the Visitors Center at 11 a.m. Free with paid parking ($5). No registration.

April 3
What’s new for 2014?
A presentation highlighting the park’s plants and plans for the main gardens, golf course and Idea Garden. 9 a.m. Free with paid parking ($5). Advance registration requested.

April 27
Garden Photo Tips
Receive advice, share your knowledge and enjoy the company of fellow shutterbugs in the spring gardens. Led by Cantigny volunteer Jim Frazier. 2 p.m. Free with paid parking ($5). Advance registration required. Limit 10.

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