IGC: what was cool


And there was plenty. Though a lot of what I saw in Chicago
was similar to what might be on the exhibit floors at a big public garden show
or, even more likely, the Garden Writers’ annual conference, there were a good
number of new or newish things that I’d love to style into my life.

For the last 9 years, we have been using the same Gardena
watering system—we have soakers, sprinklers, and standard hoses for watering 7
different areas coming from it, and it’s stood up to some pretty rough use. Their rep showed me an updated distribution system, a new spray nozzle I am
interested in trying, and some pretty blue pruners. You don’t see a lot of blue
garden tools. Keep the décor; give me tools.

Like Michele, I saw lots of gorgeous pots. But sadly, no
gorgeous lightweight pots. There are plenty of the huge ceramic ones available
around here, but I don’t believe for a second that any of them could stay safely
outside for the winter. The best I can do are the big black iron Victorian urns,
and you can’t fill your whole garden with those unless you’re going for a
certain funereal look.  There has
got to be a way to make lightweight more attractive.

I was also intrigued by some new LED technology for grow
lights from Sonnylight. Their kitchen garden and hanging systems were very
pretty—sleeker and more energy efficient than the ones most commonly seen on
the market now. But I was disappointed that they did not have some LED grow lights
that could be screwed into fixtures.
That’s best for people like me who are interested in providing optimal
conditions for overwintering needier plants in an ordinary room (rather than
starting vegetables or flower seedlings inside).

There were also some living wall systems for the home
gardener. I really do like this look—both indoors and out—and, if it could be
done with minimal fuss and the right plants, I have lots of wall space ready
for them.

My lifestyle seems better already, just thinking about it.

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at yahoo.com


  1. Sunshine Systems distibutes a screw in LED grow light. I was intrigued too by Son-Light which I see as a replacement for Aerogarden.

    Crescent Garden from South America (Argentina?)makes a line of lightweight very nice planters in sizes up to 43 inches across and bowls up to 37 inches across. I am in negotiations with them on bringing in some of their planters for spring 2011.
    There are not a lot of large pots being pushed right now due to the economy. Many manufacturers are allowing buyers to opt out of the largest size pots in a nest when oredring direct from overseas.

    The TROLL

  2. I thought the best key note of the show was Josh Viertel president of Slow Food USA. Talk about compassion!

    He was up against Jamie Durie of HGTV and P llan Smith. They were there to introduce their new product line.

    Viertel just to talk about gardening and growing your own food. Josh won hands down

    The TROLL

  3. Please tell us how your panel talk went over with the crowd. Did you speak just to the answers to your poll? Did you expand? Were they receptive?

  4. Clare, it went great. We each gave different talks and the polls were part of 3 of them. Someone shot a video, and when I get it I will post it.

    Thanks for asking!

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