One of our invaluable assets is our sister company, Montale Gardens. Located in Wauconda, Illinois, Montale is a wholesale nursery celebrating its 23rd birthday this year. With each year we increase our diversity of products. One of our most successful lines are our container shrubs. The quality cannot be rivaled, in our humble opinion…here are some highlights of what make them and our other products so special.
Montale is a container nursery. What does ‘container nursery’ mean, exactly?
It means that we grow our plants in POTS.
Our shrubs and ornamental trees are not field grown – meaning dug out of the field, then balled and burlapped (B & B). Our plants’ lives are started and nurtured in their containers, and that is the way you purchase them.
Benefits of container grown plants
- A substantial root system develops first – tops are important, but are second priority.
- It’s all about the root system when you are producing a plant. The container is its own mini-nursery for that plant to grow strong roots in, so that its foundation is sturdy when it’s time to plant it.
- Our pots are not smooth-sided, but have vertical grooves.
- The grooves on the sides of the pot direct the roots to grow down the sides and toward the drainage holes, encouraging rooting and root mass.
- You get all the roots the plant ever grew.
- No roots are lost in the process of digging the plant out of a field. Everything the plant had from the beginning is right there.
- Container plants receive and drain water more easily than B & B plants.
- They also benefit from a good dose of slow-release fertilizer, which is contained in the pot, and continues to keep the plant strong and healthy.
- Containers are easy to transport, handle and plant.
- Just grab the edges of the pots and go!
- Containers made of plastic are recyclable.
- It matters to respect the earth, so recycle them on your own, or return them to us.
- Transplant shock is reduced or eliminated.
- Less concern about returning to the site to solve problems later.
About 20 years ago we sold our facility in Prairie View, IL and relocated to two new facilities, one in Wauconda and one in Island Lake. Our facility in Island Lake is home to our production teams, mechanics and outside material storage. Our facility in Wauconda started as a corporate headquarters and evolved, thanks to our very entrepreneurial founder, into an impressive shrub, perennial and groundcover wholesale nursery…Montale Gardens.
To those in the industry, the evolution from landscape professional to nurseryman is a natural one. Most of the companies I know who have done it do so for a myriad of reasons…cutting cost, controlling quality, and revenue growth.
My father and I are very proud of our little sister nursery…she has the same culture and values as her big brother landscape company. Those of service, fun, integrity and quality.
This winter, under the new leadership of Melisa Bell, Montale got a brand facelift. When it comes to our image (we are Italian so the vanity runs quite deep) we are emotional and opinionated. So the process was argumentative yet fun, painful yet invigorating.
When all was said and done, we are all so proud of the end result. Here is a peak at the evolution, starting with my father’s original ILT logo, it’s next incarnation, Montale’s new logo, and their new look on display at the very popular industry trade show, ilandscape.