Mid-American Gardener

Looking for garden inspiration? Visit the Idea Garden!


This week on Mid-American Gardener, we’re at the Idea Garden in Urbana, Illinois to look for garden inspiration. Jennifer Nelson and Tinisha walk us through the grounds, pointing out sustainable gardening practices, unique plants not yet available in stores, and maintenance techniques. 

Maintained by Illinois Extension Master Gardeners, this demonstration garden features a central gazebo and four sections, each with a different focus. With more than 18,000 square feet of planted space, Master Gardeners and interns volunteer more than 6,000 work hours each year to ensure the Idea Garden continues to educate and inspire visitors. Join us as we explore, and save some ideas to try in your garden!

The Idea Garden can be used as a model for visitors to see mature plants and get inspiration as they consider their own garden needs, including height and color variation. The Garden’s annuals are in full bloom, but to enjoy them all season, don’t forget to deadhead to encourage more flowers.

At first glance, the Idea Garden’s vegetable section looks like another flower bed. With decorative greens and ornamental flowers, it’s a beautiful display that shows visitors their vegetable garden doesn’t have to be relegated to the back corner of the yard. It’s important to avoid overcrowding your vegetable beds, as it can lead to disease and pests. We also admire the Idea Garden’s trellising system for raspberries and blackberries.

Produce from the Idea Garden is donated weekly to Courage Collection, a non-profit that provides housing and supportive services to individuals and families who face domestic violence.

Visit Illinois Extension's website to learn more about the Idea Garden and Master Gardener program.

Got questions?

If you’ve got any questions for our panelists, please send us an email at yourgarden@gmail.com com, or you can find us on Facebook and Instagram.

Air Dates and Times

Channel Day Time
WILL-TV, Urbana Thursday 7 pm (live)
  Saturday 11 am (repeat)
WTVP-TV, Peoria Saturday 11:30 am
WEIU-TV, Charleston Sunday 1:30 pm
WSEC-TV, Springfield Saturday 11 am
WQEC-TV, Quincy Saturday 11 am
WMEC-TV, Macomb Saturday 11 am
Lakeshore PBS, Chicago/Northwest Indiana Friday 1 pm

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