The 9 Best Gardening Shops In Chicago

By Gwendolyn Purdom in Food on Jul 21, 2016 4:00PM

Tucked between the towering steel and glass of Chicago's urban jungle, there's plenty of real greenery and foliage, if you know where to look. Whether you're seeking hardy potted plants for your condo balcony or seasonal veggies for your backyard garden, the city's blossoming with possibilities. Here are nine of our favorite gardening shops around the city. Did we miss one of your favorites? Comment below to let us know.

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Gethsemane Garden Center photo via Facebook

Gethsemane Garden Center

This is, hands down, our favorite garden store in the city. Yes, it's a tiny bit pricy, but they literally have something for everyone. From gigantic stone fountains and full sized trees to tiny vegetable seedlings, Gethsemane is a wonderland for anyone who loves plants. They've got a full gift shop with home and garden supplies, and a beautiful indoor greenhouse filled with house plants. Best of all, their staff actually knows what they're talking about and will work hard to cure your brown thumb.

Gethsemane Garden Center is located at 5739 N. Clark St. —By Anthony Todd

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Sprout Home photo via Facebook

Sprout Home

Some stores seem designed to make you feel inadequate, and Sprout is definitely on this list. If your dwelling was half as gorgeous as the inside of this store, you'd have a show on HGTV. Until then, you'll just have to show their giant selection of houseplants, terrariums, succulents and garden supplies. Sprout Home, as the name implies, is definitely more focused on the indoor gardener, but if the season is right, you can find a good selection of landscaping supplies as well. Also, if you're looking to learn, sign up for one of their terrarium classes!

Sprout Home is located at 745 N. Damen Ave. —By Anthony Todd

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Old Town Gardens photo via Facebook

Old Town Gardens

You can't miss this awesome garden store if you're anywhere close to Old Town, as green things will be perpetually spilling out onto the adjacent street. We go to Old Town Gardens for their awesome greenhouse, which helps us get our fill of fresh plants even when it's not the middle of summer. They're also the place to go for Christmas trees, pumpkins and all of that seasonal garden center goodness. It's a bit less twee than other stores on the list, and definitely more affordable, so if you're not going to trek out to the 'burbs, this might be your best choice.

Old Town Gardens is located at 1555 N. Wells St. —By Anthony Todd

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Brew& Grow photo via Facebook

Brew & Grow

Especially if you're a city-dweller without a ton of space, Brew & Grow is a great place to get started on your garden adventure. Don't be thrown off by the "Brew" part of the name; this is a store that's just as much for plant lovers as beer lovers. They've definitely got a huge selection of complicated, wonderful hydroponics systems, but if (like us) you find that a tad intimidating, they're also great at helping you start your container garden.

Brew & Grow is located at 3625 N. Kenzie Ave. —By Anthony Todd

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City Escape photo via Yelp

City Escape Garden Center & Design Studio

In addition to its colorful selection of potted plants, bird feeders and other garden accessories, this Garfield Park nursery lives up to its name. It also offers landscape design services (even if all you've got to landscape is a tiny high-rise balcony). This one's on the pricey side, too, but taking in its sprawling greenhouse filled with foliage and decor in an underserved neighborhood of the city may be worth the visit.

City Escape Garden Center & Design Studio is located at 3022 W. Lake St.

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Fleur photo via Facebook

Fleur
Truly beautiful flowers are the main attraction at this admittedly aspirational Logan Square shop, but we dig its Instagramable vibe and its selection of houseplants, potted succulents, seasonal decor and gifts. It's known for magazine-ready wedding arrangements but its plant-centric workshops like Centerpiece Design, Live Wall Hangings and Floral Holiday Gifts are another major plus (you know,if you can afford them).

Fleur is located at 2651 N. Milwaukee Ave.

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Roots Hydroponics photo via Facebook (Jesse Lirola Photography )

Chicago Roots Hydroponics and Organics

The whole hydroponic movement can seem pretty intimidating but if you're into that kind of thing, Roots carries products your run-of-the-mill gardening store doesn't. (Think Honey Bee Pollen Collection Trays, water filtration systems and specialty lighting.) Knowledgeable staffers are well-versed at breaking down hydroponic gardening how-tos without making customers feel like idiots, too. Not ready to dive into water-based gardening? The shop's selection of organic soil, fertilizer and composting supplies gives customers who'd prefer to keep their hobby on the drier side some options of their own.

Chicago Roots Hydroponics is located at 4020 W. Irving Park Rd.

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Fertile Ltd. photo via Facebook

Fertile

A few clicks on this Lincoln Park shop's website or Facebook page and you'll see the caliber of pretty planters, window boxes and community landscaping projects Fertile churns out. The shop also prides itself on giving back to the community: non-profits in need of gardening work or supplies are a particular specialty, so you can plant easy knowing some of the dollars you're forking over for seeds or soil could be paid forward. On top of that, the place is stocked with potted greenery, containers, fertilizers and seasonal garden elements for projects basic to big.

Fertile Ltd. is located at 1646-50 W. Diversey Pkwy.

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Adams & Son photo via Yelp

Adams& Son Gardens
Don't let its smaller size and bright painted facade fool you: There's a lot of gardening goodness packed into this family-owned Humboldt Park shop. Pricing here is more reasonable than some other downtown nurseries, and service is the friendly kind you'd expect from a neighborhood business. Hanging baskets, potted plants, heirloom veggies and fresh herbs line the surprisingly extensive garden center and though the customer service feels old fashioned, the floral offerings are right on-trend, i.e. succulents galore.

Adams & Son is located at 1057 N. California Ave.