Those of you who are regular readers are likely well aware by now of my ever increasing affinity for plants and gardening. I talked a little bit about the story that led to my new(ish) favorite hobby last week, and I've also shared some of my own garden and tips for container gardening in the past. My Instagram followers also know quite well that I usually visit a nursery/greenhouse weekly - it's become my spring/summer weekend treat. And last weekend, I visited my favorite nursery to date - an eclectic gem called Blumen Gardens in Sycamore, Illinois.
I have to preface this by saying that I had absolutely no intention of blogging about this until after I got home. I didn't have my camera with me; I just took a bunch of iPhone photos to show Robbie later because I knew he'd think it was rad and want to go back with me. The bright side of this was that I was able to just have fun and enjoy the experience instead of focusing on capturing all of the details or worrying about lighting and lenses. I had to share though, because it was just that cool. I hope the bits and pieces you see here will inspire those of you in the area to stop by.
Robbie and I actually first discovered Blumen Gardens while searching for venues for our wedding back in 2011. Unfortunately, it was either a little too small capacity-wise or booked (we can't remember), so we never went to check it out further. It's a gorgeous space though and I can only imagine how beautiful it would be set up for a wedding or party.
In addition to carrying a huge variety of flowers, veggies, herbs, houseplants, trees, seeds, and more, they have the coolest selection of unique gifts and fun, interesting decor. It has the vibes of a hip, urban antique store, but with lots of really amazing gardening stuff mixed in. Everything was styled so well too - both inside and out. The building itself appears to be some sort of old factory or warehouse (I couldn't find any info about it online), and is perfectly rustic. Everywhere you turn there is something to see - from vintage windows hung as decorations from the high ceilings to tiny figurines hanging out in moss covered, handmade villages. The outside is equally as visually intriguing, with winding paths and green-covered coves in between the different plant and flower sections.
I ended up getting a Zinnia plants and a Pocketbook plant (I'd never seen one before, but they're so cool looking), some organic green bean seeds and planting potatoes, and a couple of little gifts for a friend's birthday. Morgan found herself an equally creepy and stunning gargoyle statue for her patio. You could truly spend hours here and not get bored, and I can't wait to go back. They also offer classes, and although it's a bit of a drive, I'm definitely going to look into taking a day class there this summer. Their next class is on building miniature garden and terrariums. Sadly, I'm going to be out of the state that weekend, but seriously, how cool is that?
Blumen Gardens is located at 403 Edward Street in Sycamore, Illinois. Depending on traffic, it's an hour and a half to two hour drive from Chicago. If you live in northeastern Illinois or are ever in the area visiting, it's worth paying a visit. The town of Sycamore is really cute too, with lots of big, old houses, and a nice little downtown area. We grabbed lunch afterward from a corner deli and bakery called Shawn's that has the best hummus and veggie sandwiches. Next time I'd like to explore the town some more.
Whether I'm here in the Chicago area or traveling, visiting nurseries and greenhouses is one of my favorite things to do. I'd love to hear about your local favorites, in case I'm ever in your area and can swing by. (Indianapolis friends: I'll be back in your city next week, so I'd especially love to hear about great nurseries to visit there!)