The Garden Center was established February 12, 2001 on 7 1/2 acres. The retail space encompasses 3 acres of nursery stock, 9 extensively planted display gardens, and 2 retail greenhouses.
Our mission is to provide the gardener with professional advice, friendly and knowledgeable service, and a unique selection of plant material. We currently carry over 30,000 unique perennials, unusual annuals, specialty trees & shrubs, exotic tropicals and succulents, and water plants.
The 9 Display Gardens are a plethora of ideas, inspiration, and beautiful scenery dedicated to our customers. We encourage you to visit our gardens throughout the season and bring family and friends. This past year we have had visitors from Indiana, Illinois, Belgium, Germany, England and more!
Below you will find brief descriptions of 8 of our display gardens and 1 future garden.
The Sustainability Garden (June 2009)
Inspired by Roy Diblik's work and book "Small Perennial Gardens, The Know Maintenance Approach". By definition, a sustainable garden has less impact on ecological systems. All the plants in this garden were chosen based on the following sustainable characteristics:
* Natives - good for the environment, create biodiversity,
support wildlife (seeds,
berries, nuts, sap & nectar offer food,
shelter and nesting places)
* Locally grown
* Right plant/right place
* Water conservation & drought tolerance
* Low maintenance
Cutting Garden (June 2007)
The garden has been designed to resemble a large flower arrangement. Created to provide flowers and foliage for cutting and arranging throughout all of the seasons. A gazebo with pillars filled with clay pottery and plants is the focal point of this garden.
The Potager Garden (June 2008)
Our 2500 square foot kitchen garden is an interpretation of a 15th century potager garden and is located southeast of the Ruins Garden. The word potager is derived from the French term potage, which means a soup or broth with vegetables. This garden is planted for harvest, medicinal, and ornamental purposes. The geometrically designed garden was also used for prayer and meditative purposes during the 15th century.
Ruins Garden (June 2006)
Originally displayed at the 2003 and 2005 Chicago Flower Shows, the ruins have been reconstructed at the garden center. The original display was modeled from the Glastonbury Abbey in England. The dissolution of the monasteries during the reign of Henry VIII saw the Abbey partially destroyed and left in ruin. The skeleton of a once great Abbey is all that remains today. This display garden is our interpretation of a ruins garden. It is a garden for peaceful reflection and nature's brilliance.
Garden Pavilion (April 2006)
This multi-purpose 3,000 square foot pavilion contains creative retail displays, an outdoor kitchen, and provides garden rooms for our numerous events. The events include educational seminars, grilling demonstrations, garden club meetings, special celebrations, and more!
Trial Garden (2003)
A stroll through the trial garden will take you on a journey of the newest annual, perennial and shrub varieties. The center of the garden is changed each year with a tropical/annual planting design. This year will be a beach theme complete with a Palm & Banana walk through the sand...a little taste of Florida!
Dwarf Conifer Garden (June 2010)
Made up of large outcroppings, the conifer garden contains numerous colorful & unusual varieties of dwarf conifers. This garden will paint a multi seasonal picture of form and beauty. Watch this garden as it matures during the coming seasons.
Entry Garden (Coming in 2012)
Located at the main entrance of the garden center, the Entry Garden will go through a redesign. Plans for this garden include mixed perennial borders and a water feature.
Water Harvesting Pondless Waterfall (August 2006/April 2010)
Originally installed in 2006, the pondless waterfall has undergone a 2010 eco-friendly makeover with the addition of a rainwater harvesting system. Enjoy the relaxing sounds of the waterfall while being inspired by the surrounding shade garden.
Overall, Gardens on the Prairie is a visual and educational horticultural experience. The gardens are a work in progress with continual change and maturing beauty. We invite everyone to join us for an enhanced retail experience and creative garden design ideas every time you visit our garden center.
Open Monday-Friday 8am-6pm
Sunday (May-September) 11am-4pm