Mum’s the Word: 4 Tips for Growing a Fall Fav


Hardy, vibrant and bursting with color, mums are a favorite of fall gardeners and pollinators alike. They’re also the gift that keeps on giving; mums bloom for weeks at a time, so you can plant them in the late summer or early fall and enjoy them all season long.

Of course, picking the right mum matters, so let’s run through some of the basics you should know before exploring Wannemaker’s huge selection …

#1. Go green. While mums pair well with many fall plants, positioning them in a bed of grasses, kale or ornamental cabbage will really make them pop.

#2. Keep things light. Mums generally grow best in full or partial sun. For best results, try to keep yours away from the shade.

#3. Color-coordinate. When choosing your mums, think about the trees and other dominant plants in your yard. If the majority will turn bright colors in the fall, complement them with mums in shades of red, orange or yellow. If you have lots of evergreens, we recommend pink, lavender or pure white mums.

#4. Try downsizing. Running out of room? No problem. While most mums can stand up to three feet tall, dwarf forms grow just eight to 10 inches—the perfect plant for tighter spaces.

Upcoming Grill Classes

Backyard Hero BBQ MasterClass Series – TAILGATING!

Presented By: Risky Brisket Championship BBQ Team

Saturday, October 1 | 11:00AM | $125 

Location: Wannemaker’s

Join us for a day filled with BBQ and learn how to cook our perfected tailgate recipes!!

Immerse yourself in 5 hours of live BBQ instruction from championship BBQ experts!

Get a front row seat to a BBQ experience that will accelerate your BBQ to a new level.

Whether you want to become a backyard hero, elevate your current game, or learn competition tricks, this class covers it all.

Our instructors provide in depth real world experience into the craft of producing award winning BBQ, in a fraction of the time!

During this class you’ll learn to smoke, and get to sample, gametime recipes! We’ve loaded this class up with some of our favorites we’ve perfected over decades of BBQing.

In this class we’ll teach you to cook:

  • Smoked Jalapeno Poppers
  • Smoked Pork Belly Asian Sliders
  • BBQ Spicy Sticky Wings
  • Pulled Pork Bombs
  • Smoked Brisket Queso
  • Budget Burnt Ends

In this class we’ll cover:

  • Meat Selection
  • Trimming
  • Seasoning/Flavor Profiles
  • Cooking Timelines
  • Smoker Management
  • Fuel Selection – Charcoal & Woods
  • Food Safety
  • Storing & Reheating
  • Techniques
  • Tips & Tricks
  • Competition Secrets

Class size is limited to 30 students.

Smoked Holiday Meats MasterClass

Presented By: Risky Brisket Championship BBQ Team

Saturday, October 29 | 11:00AM | $165 

Location: Wannemaker’s Home & Garden

Immerse yourself in 5 hours of live BBQ instruction from award winning BBQ experts! Get a front row seat to a BBQ experience that will accelerate your BBQ to a new level. Wether you want to become a backyard hero, or elevate your current game, this class covers it all.

Our instructors provide in depth real world experience into the craft of producing award winning BBQ, in a fraction of the time!

Our small class size guarantees a personalized experience for attendees and allows everyone the opportunity to sample all the meats being cooked.

In this class we’ll teach you to cook:

  • Whole Smoked Prime Rib
  • Smoked Homemade Porchetta (Traditional Italian Pork Roast – smoke roasted)
  • Smoked Holiday Bombs – SECRET RECIPE!
  • Cajun Smoked Turkey Breast
  • Thanksgiving Day Secret Recipe Fatty
  • Tischler’s Smoked Sausages

In this class we’ll cover:

  • Meat Selection
  • Trimming
  • Injection
  • Seasoning
  • Cooking Timelines
  • Smoker Management
  • Fuel Selection – Charcoal & Woods
  • Food Safety
  • Storing & Reheating
  • Techniques
  • Tips & Tricks
  • Competition Secrets


Gardening Tips & Perennial Picks


For Illinois gardeners, June is the perfect time to plant perennials. Wannemaker’s has you covered with a HUGE SELECTION of top perennial picks, from HOSTAS and DAYLILIES to CONEFLOWERS and SO MUCH MORE. We have all your summertime favorites, too: annuals, roses, trees, and shrubs, plus tasty vegetables and herbs.

Keep scrolling to check out our featured flower, along with some gardening tips and perennial picks!



A perennial favorite, gardeners love hostas for their lush foliage and easy care.

Another reason to love hostas? Their endless variety! Native to Northeast Asia, hostas come in more than 2,500 varieties, with a huge range of leaf shapes, sizes, and textures. Come in to Wannemaker’s today and find a host that matches your one-of-a-kind style!


While some nurseries ship the majority of their plants from other locations, we like to grow most of ours locally. Why? Because, when you ship plants from other locations, you risk exposing them to big changes in temperature and climate, which can damage the plants.

Local plants are healthy plants—that’s why we grow 90% of ours right here in the Midwest. Find a plant by clicking here.


How can you bring an eye-catching pop of personality to your garden? What do your plants need to grow, besides soil, sun and water? And how should you arrange the plants in your garden to make the most of your space?

Whether you’re a certified green thumb or are just digging in, here are a handful of helpful tips from Wannemaker’s knowledgeable staff! Click here to read the article.

4 Tips for a Better Birdbath

Dive into birdbaths and other summertime favs at Wannemaker’s!

Looking to bring a pop of character to your lawn or garden? Head to Chicagoland’s outdoor living headquarters for high-quality birdbaths, fountains, garden statues and décor—plus so much more.

In the meantime, keep scrolling for birdbath tips and top picks!

Fresh Thinking

4 Tips for a Better Birdbath

Birdbaths are a win-win. For us humans, they help our gardens stay beautiful and healthy by attracting pollinators and providing some whimsical character. Meanwhile, they offer our feathery friends a dependable supply of clean water.

If you’re thinking about bringing a birdbath to your garden, try these 4 things for the best results!

#1: Go for the shade. Placing your birdbath in the shade will help the water stay cool and fresh.

#2: Create stone “seating.” Arrange a few stones along the base of your birdbath, and the birds will be able to stand on them and drink without getting too wet.

#3: Keep it shallow. The water in your bath should be no more than 2 inches deep. This will keep the birds safe, while replicating the natural environments where they typically bathe and drink water.

#4: Make it move! Birds love the sight and sound of running water. To add some movement, try using one of the pumps or fountains we offer at Wannemaker’s.


Top Picks

The Best Birdbath Brands

At Wannemaker’s, we offer a huge selection of high-quality birdbaths from premium brands. Here are a few of our favorites!


Whimsical, upscale and timeless, Massarelli’s has been crafting some of the world’s best birdbaths since the 1970s.

Henri Studio

Extraordinarily detailed and made with the finest materials, Henri creates birdbaths that reflect and complement the natural world around them.

Burley Clay

A family business with nearly 100 years of history, Burley offers everything from simple, elegant birdbaths to intricate, hand-painted varieties.

Grill Classes with World Food Steak Champion, Sunny Moody

Join Wannemaker’s Home & Garden and the 2021 World Food Steak Champion, Sunny Moody for upcoming grill classes.

The cost to participate is $150 per class. Classes take place at Wannemaker’s, 1940 Ogden Avenue in Downers Grove.

Competition Steak Class

Saturday, August 20, 2022 | 11:00am-3:00pm

In this tell-all SCA class, you’ll learn about different muscle groups, how to pick the perfect steak, flavor profile, fire management, and more.


Full Menu Backyard BBQ Class

Sunday, August 21, 2022 | 11:00am-3:00pm

Prosciutto & Arugula Grilled Flatbread
Lamb Chops with Chimichurri
Crispy Chicken Wings
Smoked Triple Mac n’ Cheese
Bourbon Bread Pudding


6 Pro-Gardening Tips

#1: Plan your plants! Perennials usually bloom for 1-2 months; so, with careful planning, you can have something blooming in spring, summer, and fall.

#2: Shake things up. When selecting your plants, choose a variety of heights and textures to create a layered feel, with the tallest plants in the back and the shortest up front. More variety also means more pollinators!

#3: Always plant in odd numbers! When you have a relatively small group of plants, try to arrange them in odd-numbered groups: 3, 5, 7, or 9. Odd groupings are more appealing to the human eye.

#4: Give your plants room to grow (literally). People like having their own space, right? Well, so do plants! By giving your plants adequate room, their roots can spread, and they can get the nutrients, water, and sunlight they need.

#5: Add a pop of personality! When it comes to your garden, your plants are the stars of the show. But you can add some visual interest and create a sense of unified design with fountains, pottery, trellises, obelisks, and statues.

#6: Head to Wannemaker’s ASAP! Whether you’re a certified green thumb or are just digging in, Wannemaker’s fully stocked greenhouse and nursery has everything you need to get gardening. Take your pick from hundreds of traditional and unique annuals, perennials and nursery plants.

What’s Your Grill Style: Charcoal, Gas or Pellets?

It’s the age-old question for grillers everywhere: Do you get a charcoal, gas, or pellet grill? Fortunately, there’s no wrong answer. It all depends on who you are and how you grill.

If you’re the patient type, and you’re willing to spend hours grilling ribs at low heat in pursuit of that fall-off-the-bone tenderness, go with charcoal. Sure, the setup takes a little longer, but it’s worth it for that smoky flavor.

If you plan to mostly grill quick-cooking foods – burgers, veggie kabobs, steaks, etc. – and don’t want to deal with a long setup, we recommend gas grills. With a gas grill, you can get home from work, light up the grill, and cook dinner in minutes.

Looking for a compromise? Pellet grills just might offer the best of both worlds. These grills run on electricity while burning hardwood pellets. You get the steady temperature and ease of a gas grill, plus the smoky flavor of charcoal.

…Then again, who said you can only have one grill?

3 Things to Do Before Shopping for Patio Furniture

Patio season is in full swing, and Wannemaker’s is stocked with Chicagoland’s best selection of furniture and décor! Try these 3 things before you shop for patio furniture.

#1: DECIDE HOW YOU PLAN TO USE YOUR PATIO. A patio is an open canvas! It can be used in so many different ways, from an outdoor sports bar and BBQ pit to a lounge, game room, dining room, party space, and more. Before you head to Wannemaker’s, make a list of the primary way(s) you plan to use your patio space. We’ll help you plan accordingly!

#2: MEASURE UP. Snap some pics of your outdoor space and take some quick measurements. These will come in handy when you’re looking at furniture in-store. Also, take a few photos of your indoor space, in case you want to coordinate your indoor and outdoor décor.

#3: LIST YOUR MUST-HAVES. Before you shop, put together a list of patio must-haves. Wannemaker’s features a huge selection of beautiful products and immersive displays; with your list on-hand, you won’t forget the essentials!

We’re Hiring!

We’re hiring! Wannemaker’s has been growing family traditions for over 50 years, thanks to the dedication and performance of our seasoned staff. In that time, we have built a successful brand rooted in service and creating the best experience for our customers.

Click here to view our openings and apply.

A Beginner’s Guide to Finding the Perfect Vanity

Wannemaker’s has an amazing in-store selection of bathroom vanities, with premium brands like Bertch and others to choose from! Check out our guide to picking out the perfect vanity below.

1. MEASURE BEFORE YOU SHOP: Vanities come in a variety of sizes, and bathrooms come in a wide range of layouts. Measure your bathroom dimensions to see what you have room for and be sure to take pictures of the space. This will make your in-store shopping experience much easier!

2. EXPLORE VANITY BASE DESIGNS: Vanity bases come in a few different varieties: wall-mounted, free-standing, and corner. Use your bathroom measurements (and your imagination) to sort through what options would look best in your space! If you need some inspiration or guidance, be sure to ask a Wannemaker’s team member for assistance.

3. GATHER A WISH LIST OF FEATURES: No two vanities are alike—there are a lot of different features and aspects that you’ll want to keep in mind. Here are a few to consider:

– Base: design, color, material, etc.
– Sink: design, color, material, etc.
– Countertop: design, color, material, etc.
– Drawers: What size drawers do you want? How many?
– Electrical: Do you want built-in electrical outlets for your bathroom appliances?
– Other: Be sure to jot down any other wants and needs that come to mind.

4. HAVE QUESTIONS? ASK WANNEMAKER’S FOR HELP! We understand that sorting through all your measurements, design options, and must-have features can be overwhelming if you’ve never done it before. Stop by in-store and let’s walk through the process together!