The Ornamental Grower’s Association recently held their summer meeting at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The OGA is an exclusive group of Northern Illinois growers who collaborates through the Chicagoland Grows program with the Morton Arboretum and Chicago Botanic Garden to select and grow plants well suited for our conditions in the Midwest. During the tour, we got to see their state of the art greenhouses, learn about the latest trials from their breeding program, and experience the beauty of the gardens. Our gracious host was Justin Lombardoni, Ornamental Plant Breeder. He is doing some amazing work, and it will be interesting to follow along with his projects in the years to come. What a spectacular place to spend the day!
Prior to the meeting, we were treated to a private behind the scenes tour from Curator Jess Goehler. Last year, Jess visited the nursery to select some Skinny Latte Kentucky Coffeetree for the new Welcome Plaza re-design. She tagged those in our field last summer, we harvested them in the fall, and they were planted on the project soon after. Those were the first Skinny Lattes we dug as it is relatively new introduction from the Chicagoland Grows Program. This season, Jess came out for a few more trees to finish up the project. She selected some specimen Streetspire Oaks to border garden entry and a State Street Maple (another great Chicagoland Grows intro) to match another one on the plaza. We were able to see how our SGN Trees are growing in their new home at the Garden. They all look amazing! It was exciting to see our name on the curator tags on each tree. Thanks to Jess for giving us such a great tour of her garden. The team at CBG is doing amazing work!
We also found the American Dream Oak recently planted to commemorate the Illinois Green Industry Association and the long history of dedication to the horticulture industry. A matching American Dream Oak was planted at the Morton Arboretum as well. Both of the trees were grown at our nursery and planted by iTrees.com. What an honor to be a part of recognizing the IGIA and the green legacy the association represents.
~ Becky Thomas
Here are a few pictures of our SGN Trees growing in the Garden!