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"Don't Tell The Boss You Saw Me Here"

Last weekend I stopped at a seasonal garden center in the parking lot of a strip mall in Berwyn, IL. The little garden center is located in a corner of the Cermak Plaza that has the strangest collection of public art I've ever seen and most of it has been there since I can remember. The exception being the sculpture that was made out of trash that was torn down a couple of years ago.

As I was walking in some ladies jokingly warning each other not to let the boss know they were shopping at the competition. When you drive past this place it may seem like the last place you'd go shopping for plants in the Chicago area because there are so many garden centers in Chicago but I really like this place. Don't let the fly-by-night look of the structures fool you. Behind the chain link fence is a really good selection of plants many from growers like Monrovia and Jackson & Perkins. They carry a large selection of herbs and vegetables along with hundreds of annuals, perennials and even roses.

I really had to fight the urge to buy a couple of clematis vines and some dwarf banana plants and a black colocasia. The past two years I've gone there when they were clearing out their merchandise I've picked up a number of things dirty cheap. I'm still kicking myself for not buying the variegated daylilies for five dollars I saw there last year and the tropical topiaries that were less than the price of a meal at McDonald's.

I think it is unfortunate that a garden center that has such a good selection of plants and has an even better sale every year doesn't have a permanent retail location. But if you're looking for a garden center or some really cool plants in the Chicagoland area check out their website and see if there is a location near you.

Clover's Garden Centers

Also, I just noticed the update below the Blogger Dashboard that we can test using polls. I've put up my first poll on my blog and if you have a moment take a second and vote or put a poll of some kind on your blog following these directions. Looks like Blogger is adding some cool new features to keep up with WordPress.


  1. Holy Cow, MBT! I was just at this very same Clovers yesterday! And the day before! I probably bought 10 plants or so from there. I'm kicking myself for passing on 2 red clematis for 10 bucks each. The lady who works there told me they will mark their stuff down again next week since they will only be there a few more weeks. I have to say that I do not care for that area though. I live in Oak Park/Forest Park area so its pretty close to me but at times I have feared I could be killed shopping around there. Thank goodness there are not that many gardening criminals.

  2. We have one of those temporary garden centers in our area. I do not know their name but the plants are just gorgeous. And they have a wide variety of plants.

  3. Those Clover's Garden Centers were sprouting in Chicago suburban parking lots a decade ago, Mr Brown Thumb, back when I lived there. They were fun to visit and you never knew what treasures would show up.

    It's interesting to know they're still open. I might not have resisted the black colocasia!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  4. Gina,

    It's funny you should mention it. For me shopping in that area is like a trip to the country compared to here in the city.

    Have you been to the little garden center a few streets south of there? It's a little greenhouse tucked away in side street. I've been past it twice and want to go but I can never remember the location of it. I always come across it by accident when lost.

    Also there is that nursery a couple of blocks west of Harlem near that cemetery that has really cool plants but it's so expensive. I saw some yellow Echinaceas there last year that I wanted but they were 25.00. But they have cool stuff.

    btw the Clover's website has a coupon for 50% off of regular priced plants in case you don't know.

    And I think the lady that you saw is he lady I always see when I go there and she's always marking stuff down to get them out. I didn't buy anything when I was there last week because she wasn't around.


    Glad to hear that. A while back I saw a school bus that was converted into a traveling greenhouse. It was pretty cool but they only carried indoor stuff. I'd be fun to sell plants that way.


    Glad to know you're familiar with the place. It was easy to resist because it was in a huge pot and the price said champagne but my budget said beer.


  5. CRAP! I JUST went back to clovers to buy potting soil and I picked up a Pentas while I was there. I'll need to go back with the coupon later this week.

    There is McAdam Landscaping on DesPlaines but I've never bought anything from there because they are so pricey. It's by a cemetary. My favorite place these days is Good Earth Greenhouse on Madison in Forest Park. They have a little cafe and I always fantasize about drinking a smoothie and reading their garden books, but never do. This place is really small and not cheap but they have good sales. It's also by a cemetary. There are lots of those around here. Creepy.

  6. Hey! I've been to that shopping center! I've got a picture of the stacked cars, too. I was visiting friends that live near Joliet (in Shorewood) and we were out doing some geocaching. That art thing is a virtual cache - Pretty cool!

  7. Kylee,

    That's pretty cool. I've wanted to get into geocaching for a while now.

    But the closest I've come to it is using the geotag feed flare from feed burner. :)



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