City Escape Garden Center and Design Studio fills 17,000 square feet of space with pottery and internationally sourced houseplants, trees, and shrubs. Take a topiary-centric trip to the Eastern Hemisphere with a japanese maple ($144.99 for 6 gallon), or adorn yards with an ornamental, evergreen, or conifer tree ($29.99+). Embed shrubs, 6-inch table ferns ($14.99), or stolen Betamax players in one of City Escape's indoor or outdoor pots made from cast stone, iron, or fiberglass ($8.99+). The ever-changing gardening gamut encompasses grasses, perennials, and annuals, as well as trellises, bird feeders, and other accessories. City Escape beckons motorists with plentiful free parking, keeping greenery gurus from crowding the rush hour "L" with yet another tree.
For the designer Marisa Gora of Kemora Landscape Designs, it's not enough for a garden or yard to be beautiful. It must also be functional, and it has to work with the natural environment it borders. It's no question that she holds her work to a high standard. But it's the way she surpasses even those standards that has earned her company awards from Angie's List, the Flower and Garden Show (which applauded Kemora's work on the American Girl Garden), and the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association.
Her business's mission to give beauty and function equal importance might have something to do with Marisa's background: she was pre-med at the University of Chicago when she decided to switch careers. Her love of drawing and previous work in landscape maintenance for the Wilmette Park District sparked the inspiration that eventually drew her to landscape design. After graduating and working in the industry, she founded Kemora, and today gives life to homeowners' design dreams.
The florists at City Enchanted Gardens partner with FTD to speedily deliver their fetchingly designed bouquets and artfully arranged centerpieces to locations and special events throughout the city. For in-store clientele, they stock their downtown shop with a broad spectrum of blooms, from exotic birds of paradise to cheerful sunflowers, as well as seasonal plants, such as winter's crimson poinsettia and spring's fire-breathing snap dragons.
For those clients who choose to have their flowers delivered, the hard-working florists ensure that last-minute sentiments for parties, weddings, and police lineups arrive promptly, with same-day delivery available every day. The welcoming shop also hosts classes that instruct in the art of arranging seasonal décor and professional bouquet wraps.
Arts & Artisans showcases work by more than 500 contemporary American artists, designers, and craftspeople. Each one-of-a-kind piece is handmade, and knowledgeable employees can expound on the history and techniques behind each functional and decorative item ranging from wood sculpture to women’s clothing. Artfully crafted jewelry helps accentuate patrons’ facial features, and a collection of jewelry boxes cradles wearable investments during casual dream sessions.
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Under the instruction of master floral designer Mike Hines, you'll undertake the craft of floral arrangement in your choice of a wide variety of classes (Epoch Floral should be adding more classes over the duration of the Groupon). Learn the art of hand-tied arrangements, a tradition of simplicity that stems from 1800s Germany, or create a vivid tropical flower tower just in time for the invading hoard of summer. If flowers aren't your favored source of chlorophyll, try your fingers at the non-floral design class, which uses succulants, foliage, rocks, moss, and more to create a design earthy enough for your favorite local Druid. All classes begin with a tour of a floral wholesaler, where you'll have the option of purchasing additional floral elements and supplies for later personal use. Light snacks and beverages are available to nosh during class as creativity fuel. After the schooling, you'll have a one-of-a-kind creation to take home and keep for the remainder of its little lifespan.