Design Inspiration From Independent Garden Center Show in Chicago

August 20, 2011 by

I’ve just returned very fired up from several days at the Independent Garden Center Show. I brought back with me so many new ideas and so much cool product information that it’s going to take me a while to sort through it all before I can share all my fabulous finds. For weeks to come I’ll be passing on to you all the trends, designs, innovative products, and much more that I’ve filtered from the more than one thousand exhibitors. But just to whet your design appetite, here are some inventive and beautiful vignettes from the Monrovia booth, designed by Aaron Shiver, Monrovia’s Boutique Designer and Visual Merchandiser:

A wall layered with corrugated metal, wood trellis, and valve handles.

I loved how Shriver spelled out “relax” (photo at top) on these chalkboard-painted pots. In the image above, he created a clever play on the shapes by turning two containers sideways to read as the “O”s in the word “roots.”

An old water tank took on new life as a succulent planter.

Against the contrasting textural backdrop of rusted metal, apple trees, grasses, and flowers, the designer created a simple corner with two metal chairs and drum topped with fabric chess set. Checkmate.

Edible fruits of their labors: Red Delicious Apple trees featured prominently in the Monrovia display.

Shear delight: How much do you love this trough planted with garden shears?

And let’s not forget the incredible display of plants themselves…

And for some–notably the women and I may as well include myself–the highlight of the Monrovia presentation: “celebrity” designer Jamie Durie signing copies of his fabulous new book, The Outdoor Room, a companion to his popular HGTV show.

The “garden guru,” whom it was a pleasure meeting, is the host of several other HGTV shows including HGTV Showdown and HGTV Dream Home.

You may also know Durie from his long-running PBS program, The Victory Garden. Author of seven books, a committed environmentalist, and furniture and garden products designer, Durie maintains a Los Angeles-based landscape architecture and designer consultancy, Durie Design.

All photos by Robin Plaskoff Horton.

  • Truly inspiring photos.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Cassy from Acoustic Guitar Lessons

  • Can’t wait to see your posts! Wish I could have been there.

  • WOOT Love the shares from the Navy Pier in Chicago can’t wait to see these wonderful garden plants and products in my local garden center

  • Inspiring photos! I have a real soft spot for rusty metal in my garden.

  • lucy schwartz

    From one dirt lover to another, I am so excited to try it myself. Loads of moss up here in the Pacific Northwest. Yeah

  • Thatlooks like it was a really fun trip! Looking forward to the rest of your posts. Gorgeous garden.(Designer not bad either!)

  • You met Jamie Durie!!! WOW!
    Love the photos — great ideas.

The freshest innovative and eco-friendly designs, trends, and ideas for urban gardens and stylish small places.

Visit Robin Horton @UrbanGardens's profile on Pinterest.