Posts in "Garden Center TV"

New Garden Products: Coverage of Independent Garden Center Show!

SnapNShapeTomato reviewed by Garden Center TV

I'm in Chicago for the Independent Garden Center Show (IGC Show) to cover and preview new garden products for my web series, "Garden Center TV."


Watch this short Garden Center TV highlight reel.


Don't tell me you never heard of my "Garden Center TV" series!

I think you may be interested in it after I tell what it's about.


Garden Center TV with Shirley & Garden Bloggers preview new garden products


I started the Garden Center TV web series three years ago and have released a few select videos to my  Youtube channel of the same name.


Recently, I've developed a partner website where gardening fanatics like you and me can upload and share photos and videos of garden products and plants that we have used and recommend..or don't recommend!


Garden Center TV website garden product previews

Screenshot of Garden Center TV community website.

I love it when people "tell it like it is!"


Back to the Independent Garden Center Show….

The "IGC Show," (as it is referred to by people who  shorten their phrases to save time), is among the top rated garden industry shows in the nation and is starting to enjoy more press coverage these days.

Once a year, local garden center owners trek to Chicago to attend this world class show to preview and purchase the latest gardening products and plants for their stores.



SnapNShapeTomato reviewed by Garden Center TV

A tomato shaper? Yes, I found this at the IGC Show last year.


With full video crew in tow, I tape segments of some of my favorite product finds, I interview garden product creators, ( usually a gardener with a great story to tell) and I get other garden bloggers and experts involved in the show!


The UCAN watering system on Garden Center TV

Have you heard of the UCAN watering can? It's beyond "normal."


On Garden Center TV, you will see Shawna Coronado of the Casual Gardener, Kylee Baumle of  Our Little Acre blog, Mary Ann Newcomer of "Gardens of the Wild West,"  Robin Horton of Urban Gardens Web, Jenny Peterson of J Peterson Garden Design plus garden guru, P Allen Smith and many others reviewing garden products!



Garden Center TV Product Review Experts and bloggers in Chicago for Independent Garden Center Show



We have a great time taping together and along with my other show, Garden World Report, it is one of the few times that you will see award winning garden bloggers and writers on screen together!


Look for upcoming articles about how to select plants & trees for purchase, gardening tools, fertilizers, soils and more.


If you are a Twitter user, please friend the show, @GardenCenterTV and follow my tweets this week from the IGC show.

There will be dozens of other garden media members Tweeting from the show for comprehensive IGC Show coverage!

I'll be using the hashtags #IGC11 and #GardenCenterTV and posting photos and videos.

You can also "Like" Garden Center TV on Facebook.


As a person interested in gardening, I'd love to have a conversation with about what you have used in your garden or would like to buy for your garden in the future.


Do you need some advice?

I'll answer your questions!

We will be adding giveaway and contests for garden products and plant soon!


I encourage Garden Center TV members (free) to create a personal profile, upload photos or videos of garden products they have used , and share details.

  • Name of product
  • Price they paid
  • Short description
  • Information website
  • Opinions- would they buy it/use it again?

Through the community, gardeners learn from each other about the "great waterfall skimmer" they purchased and other details like this that help us create our gardens!


Garden photos are labeled "Garden-Razzi" for the fun of it!

You get to rate the videos and photos and let your inner critic shine.


I'm having a great time browsing through the videos and photos and many more will be uploaded once I return from the IGC Show.


Will you join me at Garden Center TV?

I'm waiting to say "Hi" to you, so get over there now!

Just don't forget to come back to EdenMakers for garden design ideas and inspiration.








Portable Raised Garden Beds for the Urban Square Foot Gardener

Portable garden planter


"Portable raised garden beds for the urban square foot gardener."

I don't think I've ever written such a long blog title, but it works!


It's exciting to be able to present some space efficient options for those of you who are short on yard space but big on dreams of growing your own food.

One of the most important characteristics of all the raised container gardens presented here is that they are all portable!

When you live in an apartment or townhouse it's helpful to have portable gardens so that you can use your patio or balcony more efficiently.

If you are entertaining and need more space for furniture, roll your gardens out of the way!

Temporarily, of course.


Let's take a look at some  gardening options for apartment and small space gardeners.


1. The Home Allotment Planting Bags by Burgon & Ball


Don't let the beautiful willow basket fool you! Soil will not bleed through the wicker slots because there is a "grow bag" inside the basket.


The planting bags come in three sizes for different plants: Herb Planting Bag, Salad Planting Bag, Vegetable Planting Bag & Potato Planting Bag.

You guessed it, the potato planting bag is the deepest.


I recommend that these allotment planting bags be set on top of a 1 or 2" inch layer of pea gravel to lift the bottom of the baskets away from standing water.

A less expensive alternative to this stylish system is to grow your vegetable directly in an open bag of soil or even a potato chip bag!

Yes, you can even grow tomatoes with their deep root systems this way.

The roots will spread laterally.



2. Self-Watering Stacking Planters by Nancy Jane

stacking planters


These sturdy stacking containers can be stacked up to 10-tiers high.

That's a lot of planting space and the system is self watering for extra appeal.

Excess water from the top levels drain to lower levels where the water is caught in a removable tray.

I appreciate the rolling casters on these stacking planters so the garden can be moved around.

Vertical gardening is a smart approach when lateral space is at a minimum.





3. Eleanor's Garden ("Just Add Water") Raised Container Gardens

.eleanor's garden


What sets Eleanor's Garden apart from the other two is this container garden comes with the soil and seeds!

The "gardener," (and I use the term loosely), just has to water the instant vegetable garden.

Eleanor's Garden is a complete, compact and portable garden kitchen that is delivered to your door.


Anyone can assemble the garden bed in less than an hour and the proprietary drainage system lets you garden in a variety of locations.




If you are into  modern or contemporary design, the clean lines of Eleanor's Garden may appeal to you.


Here is some more information on this instant garden as presented on Eleanor's Garden website:

The beds are made of durable, lightweight plastic and can be moved depending on the amount of sun your fruits, vegetables, herbs or flowers need. Eleanor's Garden Basic Kit comes complete with:

  • 1 garden bed  24 x 24 x 8" that provides 4 square feet of gardening space
  • 1 Quick-Start Guide  Instructions for quick and easy assembly
  • Coconut Peat growing medium – No need to drag bags of soil home from the nursery
  • 2 square foot dividers  provide a total of 4 individual square feet of gardening space
  • 4 packets of vegetable seeds. Plant a different vegetable in each of the 4 square feet
  • 4 legs  Makes raised bed gardening easy
  • 1 drainage field mat Made from non-woven 100% recycled plastic, the lightweight mat creates even, thorough drainage and allows oxygen to reach the vegetable roots.No need for rocks!
  • 1 drain outlet.  Allows recycling of water. Collect the runoff and use it again for your next watering
  • 1 watering cup.  Makes it easy to water individual square foot sections as needed
  • 1 drainage connector. Allows you to connect the drainage systems of separate boxes
  • 3 drain plugs. Let you control which side of the box your water will drain. Great for balconies so you won't flood your neighbors below

Eleanor's Garden is available for purchase at independent garden centers across the USA.



This is a system that I like because of the planter design itself.


The square foot grid appeals to me!



Everyone should thank Mel Bartholomew, author of the "Square Foot Garden Book."


Mel invented the "square foot  gardening" system that allows one to plant in square foot grids to maximize crop yield.


Now the whole world is "square foot gardening!"




For those of you who like to recyle or repurpose materials, take a look at my "Recyled Wood Tree Box as Raised Vegetable Planter" post on my Foodie Gardener blog!

Landscape tree boxes can be found for free, (or cheap) at landscape projects.



Visit the Garden Center TV website and community to preview new garden products from around the world and share your opinion about them!

Lechuza “Self Watering” Plant Containers!

Lechuza Self Watering Containers


The Lechuza, "Self Watering" Plant containers were a hit at the Independent Garden Center Show, Chicago.


Garden Center TV: Post #5


The reason why I have failed with some of my container plants is because of improper watering.

Sometimes I over-watered my plants and "killed them with kindness" and other times I didn't give them enough water and they died a slow, thirsty death.

Sound familiar?


I was intrigued when I saw an ad in a garden trade magazine for "self-watering" plant containers by Lechuza.

I wasn't paying attention to the  self watering feature at first, I just liked the way they looked.


Once I noticed that the planters were designed with a sub-irrigation system, I was curious to see them  up close.

Take a look at this short video where I interview Anton Van Zevenbergen, of Lechuza.  

 Anton explains how the planter works.


When used correctly, the planter can maintain a plant for up to 12 weeks with no human intervention!


The Lechuza self watering containers come in different styles, sizes and shapes and are available at your independent garden centers throughout the country.


 The planters are lightweight and very convenient to use.


Watch the whole video series of  Garden Center TV posts!

Post #1: "Monrovia Growers: Would You Like Some Design Inspiration to go with that Plant?"

Post #2: "Hort Couture Plants for the Plantonista?"

Post #3: "An Indoor Plant Named "Tweed that Looks Like Weed!"

Come visit me again at Eden Makers Blog,


Visit the Garden Center TV website and community to preview new garden products from around the world and share your opinion about them!


Have You Tried the Back-Saving “Potlifter” in Your Garden?

Garden Center TV Post #4

Independent Garden Center Show 2008


Gardening can provide a great physical workout especially when you are involved in sustained gardening activity. I  even enjoy lifting heavy objects because I can skip my weight lifting routine at the gym and build muscle mass while outdoors! While these benefits are great, I’ve also been known to be a little over-zealous lifting the heavy stuff and have ended up with hernias and back aches.

While at the Independent Garden Center Show in Chicago recently, I came across a product that must have been made especially for me- the “Potlifter.” The Potlifter is a versatile lifting tool designed to help move heavy and awkward-to lift objects such as large flowerpots, landscaping stones, tree root balls, heavy soil, cement or mulch bags and much more. 

Designed to be used by two people, the Potlifter is an ergonomic lifting tool that uses a strap system that will help you lift up to 200 pounds and comes with a lifetime warranty. 

Check out my video interview with the inventor of the Potlifter, Dan and watch us lift a heavy boulder together with ease!

The Potlifter is available at Independent Garden Centers throughout the United States and is affordable with prices averaging about $30.- this  is a lot cheaper than back surgery!

Watch the whole video series of  Garden Center TV posts!

Post #1: “Monrovia Growers: Would You Like Some Design Inspiration to go with that Plant?”

Post #2:  “Hort Couture Plants for the Plantonista?“ 

Post #3:  “An Indoor Plant Named “Tweed that Looks Like Weed!”

Come visit me again at Eden Makers Blog,

Garden Center TV: An Indoor Plant Named “Tweed” That Looks Like “Weed!”

Garden Center TV


Post #3 Independent Garden Center Show 2008, Chicago

I saw a new indoor plant from Kraft Gardens with a tag that read, "Fool the Police with this Look-Alike!"

I had to take a closer look at the suspicious looking plant to understand the tag, so I made my inspection.

I couldn't believe the uncanny resemblance this vining Anthurium polyschitum (cleverly named "Tweed") had to Cannabis sativa– commonly known as "weed!"

This was not your ordinary, innocent-looking anthurium. 





Kraft Gardens, vining Anthurium, "Tweed" is a hybrid from the Netherlands



I'm not a fan of any kind of weed myself, but I really like the way this anthurium looks.

The Tweed anthurium is a tall, lush vining plant that can be placed in a bright spot indoors, though direct sunlight is discouraged.

Tweed is comfortable in 65-80-degree rooms, just as I am, so I think we will get along just fine!


Anthurium, is a large genus of about 600- 800 (possibly 1,000) species, belonging to the arum family and is native to Central and South America.

A tropical plant, the anthurium is equally at home in the sheltered greenhouses of Netherlands, where this special variety is grown.

Unlike other anthuriums, Tweed is grown for its foliage and not flowering habit and is very elegant.


At the very least, it makes for a great ice breaker!




Watch  my Garden Center TV  video coverage of this new indoor plant.




I also previewed a new line of Dracaena marginatas from Kraft that boast "beautiful legs" like this "Marginata Candelabra Colorama" with candelabra shaped limbs.



Many Indoor plant fans are familiar with the tall foliage plant, dracaena marginata,  often used as a specimen plant to soften corners, large walls and anchor plant groupings.

The dracaena makes a great focal point, but I'm not a fan of the way it grows, exposing it's lanky bare limbs.

I must not be the only person who feels this way, because  Kraft Gardens has introduced a new line of dracaenas that boast decorative, shapely legs that will help me overcome this objection. 


Kraft Gardens "Marginata Braid" dracaena





Kraft's "Marginata Candelabra Red Prince" dracaena


Dracaena marginatas do well in a shady spot in the room-areas that usually need a little oomph!

The dracaena is relatively easy to care for as long as you keep the soil moist at all times and can tolerate slightly cooler room temperatures- around 55*F or so. 

I envision some of these sculptural dracaenas against contrasting colored walls.

Kraft Gardens offers a variety of variegated leaf colors ranging from reds, greens and cream.

The dramatic foliage makes an art statement and is an alternative to nonliving art with the added benefit of helping to purify the air.

Have you seen "Tweed" at your independent garden center or the beautifully limbed dracaenas?

Have you bought any of them?

What's your opinion on these plants?



Watch the whole video series of  Garden Center TV posts!

Post #1: "Monrovia Growers: Would You Like Some Design Inspiration to go with that Plant?"

Post #2:  "Hort Couture Plants for the Plantonista?



Come visit me again at EdenMakers Blog and please subscribe to receive updates!

Garden Center TV: Hort Couture for the “Plantonista!”


Independent Garden Center Show, Chicago

''Hort Couture,'' is a plant brand  with an unconventional marketing plan.

The name is a play on the word "haute couture," or "high fashion" as it is referred to in the fashion design world.

Jim and Jennifer Monroe, founders of Hort Couture,  had a clever idea to create a "fashion-inspired" line of plants that would capture the attention of the non-gardening market by appealing to their "inner plantanista" and desire for stylish living.


Stylish living, after all, includes beautiful outdoor living "spaces," or as us dirty hand gardeners refer to, "gardens." 


Has the "House of Hort Couture" come to your area yet? I want to know!

They accomplished this with unique packaging and by offering the the most in-demand plant varieties of succulents, tropicals, edibles, phormiums, and specialty annuals and perennials.


"Fashion for the garden at an accessible price" is how Jennifer Monroe describes her Hort Couture plant collections.

Apparently, they must be on to something, because demand for the brand is growing fast, according to Jennifer.


The plants come in chic white pots that are decorated with black diamonds and gold Fleur de lis.

These pots look ready  "as is,"  for decorating a table or for special events.

They also offer an eco-pot made out of black rice hulls- their answer to the "little black dress." 


Check out my video interview with Jennifer Monroe of Hort Couture



Their vegetable and herb collections have names such as "Designer Basils," "Connoisseur Veggies," (tomatoes), "Salsa in the City," (cilantro, garlic, jalapenos and tomatoes), and other names borrowed from the fashion design vernacular.


Exciting gifts like this Box of Succulents is what I want to receive!


For approximately $30  dollars, this is sure to become a Hort Couture favorite!



Hort Couture brand plants may be targeted to the non gardener who wants to dress up their home, but I think the seasoned gardener will also appreciate the quality of their plants.


I know the difference between a fine specimen and a lesser quality plant, and the plants I previewed looked healthy, vibrant and seemed to be grown with care. 

If these plants are not much more expensive than non- brand plants, as I was told, then they are worth a look.


Hort Couture plants are available at independent garden centers throughout the country and can be found where ever you see the stylishly dressed model display that represents the brand. 


Missed Garden Center TV Post #1 on Monrovia Growers? Go here

Monrovia Growers: Would You Like Some Design Inspiration to Go With That Plant?  Video Post #1

Independent Garden Center Show, Chicago 2008:

Shoppers at independent garden centers will have an added value service provided by Monrovia Growers, in-store boutiques that offer outdoor living and garden design ideas! Monrovia Growers, one of the world’s leading producers of container grown plants is setting up a “boutique within a store” display area in garden centers throughout the country.

 Don’t expect to see this level of inspiration in your big box stores- Monrovia has a staff of visual merchandising experts and  talented designers whose sole responsibility will be to keep the garden design ideas coming season after season. Monrovia does not sell their high quality plants in big box stores anyway and their stock is highly distinquished from their “anemic cousins” offered at discount outlets.

Monrovia worked the “foliage and texture” power combination to bring color to the autumn garden. I’m sold!

I got a preview of Monrovia’s design prowess at the Independent Garden Center show I attended in Chicago a few weeks ago. Their autumn container garden display was “out of the box” with uncommon use of landscape plants like phormiums, carex, huecheras and cotoneasters anchoring vignettes for the porch along with their signature topiaries.

A sense of playfulness and humor was evident in the use of unconventional “pumpkin” planters and the use of contrasting texture and form combinations like yellow mums and toffee-colored carex.


 Check out my video interview with Monrovia visual merchandising guru, Aaron Shiver at the Independent Garden Center Show.

Monrovia plants have always been popular with design professionals and now the general consumer can enjoy the full benefit of their quality plants along with some great ideas for using them in the garden and other outdoor areas.

Monrovia’s whimsical holiday display opens our minds up to the different possibilities.


Next Up on Hort Couture for the “Plantonista!”