Welcome to Garden Exotics of Chicago
Although this section is titled 'about us', there really is no us, just me and this new business which began from a growing conviction that there must be others out there like me; people looking for the perfect plant for that certain spot, something beautiful, interesting, even unique. It seems half of my gardening life here in Chicago has been this search, for the beautiful beyond the typical annuals of the local garden center: beauty in flower; beauty in foliage, color and shape; beauty in structure and season. It is my hope that at least one of the plants I have collected over the years will strike a common chord within my visitors, something that says to you as it did to me, that here is something beautiful and exotic, something that is perfect for my garden.
How It All Started
The idea of this business, like most things gardening, began as a small seedling; in essence me, as a fairly young child, helping my mother tend a very large vegetable garden intended to keep us full of home grown food for the winter. Needless to say, this was far from desirable to my young mind and I tried to flee at any given moment. Regardless, something was born there, a feeling or knowing of plants and their needs, something that never really left me. When I bought my own house in Chicago, some small impulse urged me to start my own growing place in my rather sterile backyard plot of manicured two inch grass. Little did I know when I began that first small garden that this kind of obsession could happen. The dual pleasures, the relaxation of tending my garden and the creative process of combining color, texture and timing, quickly became an addiction and I was completely hooked. Friends and family began to laugh at my inability to stop acquiring 'just this one more plant.' I joined the American Horticulture Society and the Chicago Botanical Garden, through which I have taken classes on basic garden design and plant propagation. These also increased my exposure to even more fantastic and interesting plants (perhaps to my own misfortune).
Years later, plus one house with a much bigger back yard, an idea began. Here in my garden was the source of some of the most unusual and beautiful plants. Perhaps I could offer others some of these plants collected from out of the way places; perhaps I could begin a business to sell the plants I had collected over the years, to specialize in plants difficult to find and tested to thrive in the extremes of our Chicago environment.
A Chance to Grow
Like my garden hobby, I hope this small beginning has a chance to grow, that I learn in the process, and that perhaps others will get something out of it also. Because of the fact that I have no idea of the demand there will be for my plants, the amount of stock I will have on hand for sale at any given time may be variable. Initial transactions may be less a simple catalog order and more a matter of conversation between myself and clients. It may be necessary to pre-order in fall for spring shipment, so that I may propagate the required plants. Please feel free to contact/write and I will respond as soon as possible to let you know the availability and timing of your order.