The tents, machinery, balloons, big screens and massive displays tend to draw the eye upward at the Farm Progress Show.
This year, take a moment to look down. You’ll find a colorful display of mulch, flowers, shrubs, boulders, landscape blocks and much more. It’s all trucked in by Xylem Ltd., which is headquartered in Cordova, Ill.
Xylem’s farm show manager, Barb Dornfield, says they began trucking in mulch and wood chips near the end of July. All told, there are two semitruck loads of plants on-site — which include about 1,000 mums.
Landscape fire sale
Here’s the best part. Once the show is over, Xylem leaves much of these items behind. Dornfield says it isn’t economical to truck everything back up to their Channahon, Ill., warehouse, which is southwest of Chicago near Joliet.
So, what do they do with all of the leftovers? They hold a massive landscaping material fire sale right there at Progress City in Decatur, Ill. Dornfield says area residents typically cash in on the savings, but the event is open to everyone.
The last show day is Aug. 29. Xylem’s landscape material sale begins at 8 a.m. Aug. 30. Dornfield says it may continue until Sept. 2 if material remains.
So, if you’re looking for a deal on landscape material, you might want to swing by Progress City between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. You can pay with cash, check or credit card. Xylem will have skid loaders on-site to load bulk mulch.
Dornfield says they should have plenty of dyed mulch in blue, gold and red. They’ll also have plenty of hardwood chips and some boulders available.
As for plants, you’ll have your pick of mums. They also have numerous perennial offerings, such as shrubs, bushes and trees.
While all the plants were on display for three consecutive show days, Dornfield says everything is watered nightly.
“We take really good care of all of the plants,” she adds. “They look tremendous after the show, perfect for residential landscaping.”