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Garden show to showcase Mokena man’s skills

Casey Canady shows planters window boxes shutters thhe makes Thursday February 21 2013.  | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media

Casey Canady shows the planters, window boxes and shutters that he makes Thursday, February 21, 2013. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media

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The Chicago Flower and Garden Show will be from March 9 to 17 at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall. It will feature “Chicago style” gardening — raised beds and vertical gardens — a kids activity garden, how-to demonstrations, celebrity chefs, interpretive arrangements and a marketplace of lawncare products, plants, tools and reference books.

Weekday admission is $15 when tickets are bought online, $17 at the box office. Weekend rates are $17 and $19, respectively. Tickets for children ages 4 to 12 are $5, and group rates are available.

For more information, visit www.chicagoflower.com.

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Updated: March 27, 2013 6:13AM



When the Chicago Flower and Garden Show opens March 9 at Navy Pier, the work of a budding Mokena craftsman will be featured among the artistic gardens and landscape displays.

The theme of this year’s show — The Art of Gardening — makes it an appropriate venue for Casey Canady, who has crafted creative plant containers that are functional works of art.

Before gardeners even step inside the show, Canady’s creations, which landscape architects will fill with flowers, will be set up at the entrance and in the lobby to get people excited about the show, he said. More will be on display at his booth inside.

Canady, founder of Custom Architectural Design, also is excited about his second appearance at Chicago’s show.

“It’s really a big deal to be part of this,” he said. His first show last year was “unbelievable,” he said, and he got lots of positive feedback on his work.

This year he is taking it to another level.

“I had no idea what to expect, but people loved it. They were refreshed by the new ideas,” he said.

Canady’s new ideas feature a handmade armoire as a planter, antique trunks he turned into gardening vessels with cedar inserts, and burlap containers trimmed in reclaimed maple large enough to house a conifer.

Perhaps the most unique piece is a champagne/wine rack, on wheels for portability.

Crafted from reclaimed cedar, glass tile and bubinga — a dense hardwood from South Africa — it holds a champagne bucket, four glasses and 10 bottles of wine.

It stands as an example of what his business can do.

He tries to design planters and window boxes that are “different than anything I have seen,” he said.

Canady said he always “dabbled” in woodworking and “loves designing.” Before launching Custom Architectural Design in September 2011, he designed rooms in Chicago nightclubs.

“That’s where I came up with idea for the champagne rack,” he said.

His business, which focuses on custom shutters and planters, began as a home improvement project. Canady needed shutters on his own home and decided to do it himself, then realized there was a niche for it. All of his shutters and window boxes are customized to fit the client’s windows, so they are “architecturally correct,” he said.

Canady claims to be “self-taught” and is learning more about gardening as he grows.

He uses the “best of the best” products, hardware and finishes, with an emphasis on detail, and embellishes the window boxes with unique decorations to add character, so they are equally functional and visually appealing.

Canady also likes to use reclaimed wood and spends a lot of time searching for it.

His planters now adorn the exterior of the Brookside Marketplace shopping center at 191st Street and Harlem Avenue in Tinley Park, and the Palomar Hotel at 505 N. State St., in downtown Chicago.

With his business blooming, the young designer is looking to move it out of his home’s garage and into a bigger location.



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