Chuck and Mary Ellen Heidgen started Shady Hill Gardens in 1974 at the original greenhouses in Batavia. Those greenhouses were built in the early 1900’s, as a cut flower growing facility, and in 1974, they had been vacant for a number of years. All of the greenhouses had ground beds and there were no cement aisles and very few benches inside. Those houses were modified to grow different crops, in addition to being used for retail shopping.
Shady Hill Gardens has gained a national reputation as geranium specialists, after more than 30 years of breeding, propagating and growing geraniums of every color, shape, size and scent imaginable. Although geraniums are our calling card, Shady Hill also produces a wide range of bedding plants, herbs, hanging baskets, vegetables, perennials and finished planters each spring. You can also find poinsettias at Christmas, as well as mums and other autumn offerings in the fall. As with the geraniums, we looking for different, unique and uncommon plants in all of the different crops that we grow. Sometimes those are new varieties and sometimes they are older plants that have been forgotten.
After the spring of 2007, Chuck’s two oldest sons, Matt and Joe, took over ownership of Shady Hill Gardens and the entire operation moved to the greenhouse in Elburn. The Elburn facility is a state of the art Dutch, glass greenhouse that has many efficiency features that make it enjoyable for our customers, as well as our staff. Shady Hill has had greenhouses on this property since 1993 and has been open for retail sales here since 1999.
2014 was our 40th season of growing and selling plants. Growing the plants that we sell differentiates us from some of our competitors. The plants you purchase are grown locally and you choose them fresh, out of the greenhouses. They are not handled, shipped, stored or grown in an environment other than here in Northern Illinois. We can give you insight and knowledge about how the plant grows, because we are the ones who have done it! Our family continues the proud tradition of growing quality plants and helping you select what will work best for you.
As we see it, we are first and foremost, plantsmen. Yes, we will stock some gardening accessories for our customers, but we always want the star of the show to be the plant varieties that we choose and grow. We also pride ourselves on having a knowledgeable and attentive staff that will be able to point you in the right direction for success with whatever type of gardening fits your particular lifestyle. We hope you will stop out sometime soon and see what we are growing.