Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Gardens at Ball Horticultural Company

One of the US's largest sellers of commercial seed for flowers and ornamentals, Ball Horticultural Company develops, produces, and distributes seeds, plants, and cuttings to growers, landscapers, wholesalers, and retailers. Founded in 1905 by George J. Ball, over a century later Ball Horticultural remains family owned.

Last month Mr.Brown Thumb, Monica, and I were invited for a tour of the gardens at Ball in West Chicago, a suburb about an hour northwest of here. It was very impressive, and looked more like a botanic garden than a corporate facility. The hospitality during our visit was exceptional - warm and friendly, like being invited into the home of a good friend. We received a guided tour, followed by free time to wander the gardens. Later we were invited to enjoy lunch in the glass-walled employee cafeteria, where the food was delicious and the view through the floor-to-ceiling glass walls was extraordinary.

Enjoy the slideshow from our visit to Ball, and if you ever have an opportunity to visit in person, by all means do!


  1. Hi Linda, that was such a fun day! My internet connection is slow as all get out today, so I'm having trouble seeing the slide show, but I'll come back to that. I hope to publish my post yet this week!! :) P.S. Our master gardener banquet is usually on/near my bday, but this year it's on your bday, and I get my 500-hour pin! :)

  2. Your pictures came out really nice! Now that the temp is cooler I have a desire to go back and see what they do in the fall in those gardens.

  3. Yes, so enjoyed the 'free' show, Linda! How fun for you all to be together and enjoy. Knowing Monica and the joy she is to be with, I feel I am only one step away ...

  4. You're so lucky!! A nice guided tour and lunch too! The gardens are gorgeous. I always thought Ball was only involved with canning. Shows how little I know. Too cool!

  5. What an awesome treat! Thanks so much for sharing the wonderful video. Wow, what a tour...

  6. Wow - 500 hours! Congratulations Monica!

    It was a fun day - so glad you came! I'm looking forward to your post.

    Thanks MBT! It would be cool ;)to see it in the fall.

    Glad you enjoyed it Joey. Monica is a sweetheart, (so is MBT, but shhh - don't tell . . . don't want to spoil his reputation, ;) and we all had a really nice time together.

    It was fantastic Tina!

    Ball canning jars are actually made by a completely different company. It's interesting that both companies are named after different founders who share the same last name.

    I wonder if they ever met, or if they were somehow related. They are a good match - tomatoes grown with Ball seeds can be preserved in Ball jars. (I love those old Ball jars, especially the blue ones.)

    It was a wonderful treat Skeeter! Glad you enjoyed the video!

  7. I didn't realize Ball's headquarters were near Chicago--what a fun tour this must have been, especially with Monica and Mr. Brownthumb along, too!

    My computer has been acting up, so I only got to see about 1/2 the video, but the grounds looked lovely. How nice to see a family-owned business still thriving.

  8. I have been wanting to visit Ball for years but I never make the time! Thanks for sharing your tour!

  9. It was great fun Rose! Ball does seem to be thriving, and the West Chicago office definitely had a family feeling to it - so nice to experience!

    Definitely worth the time Rose. I'm confident you'd love it there!


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