Introducing the new "Giving Garden"

Categories // People , Events, Community

Introducing the new


A new "Pay It Forward" Community Project





New for 2015

The Giving Garden Project!

There's something about the kindness of strangers that makes magic happen. "Pay it Forward," means something special in this day and age.  It's a little gesture toward your fellow person that lifts spirit.  And it makes you feel good when you do it.


About a month ago, I stumbled across a video about a project a small independent $1 pizza joint did at their place in Philadelphia. When customers came in for their slice, they could, for a buck, buy a slice for someone else. They had a system to keep track.  For each free slice, a sticky note went up on the wall with a message from the giver.  If someone came in and needed a slice but didn't have money, all they had to do was pull a sticky off the wall. People, some homeless came in and got fed. Amazing. I just love the idea!


It got me to thinking. How could we do something similar with plants, especially vegetables?


Way back before Distinctive Gardens, Bud had a big garden at the house.  During harvest, he would pick boxes of beautiful tomatoes.  Each week, he and Quin, who was 4 and 5 years old at the time, would deliver a box or more to people at the Sterling high rise.  Many of these folks had gardens in their younger days.  Delivery day was the kind of day that makes your heart sore. These people loved being able to eat a 'real' tomato, just like they did way back before they had to leave their gardening days behind.  It's a time he cherishes and still talks about to this day. 


At Distinctive Gardens, Bud puts in a big veggie garden out back each spring.  Customers come in throughout the harvest and pick up fresh vegetables. It's a fun time of year. There's a lot of good cheer going on during those weeks in late August through early October. So why not spread that goodness? Why not create a way for all of us, together, to brighten up someone's life in the Sauk Valley? How about a garden that gives?  I say, yes! Let's give it a go.







When you come into the shop, you'll see a big chalkboard on the back wall.  That's the Giving Garden board.  Starting April 1 through harvest end, if you want, pick up a Giving Garden Sticky for a buck and leave a little note up on the board. 






Come harvest, we'll start weekly deliveries of vegetables and your sticky notes to three locations, one each in Dixon, Sterling and Rock Falls. Bud's working out the details and we're looking at delivering to Sterling Towers, Rock Falls Civic Plaza and Heritage Square in Dixon.

If you're into social media, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest snap a pic of your note and use the hash tags, #givinggarden, #payitforward, and #sharetheharvest.  That will help spread the good news.






Deliveries continue until the stickies are gone.  A buck here, a buck there, maybe jot down a kind note or two. Together we can brighten someone's day. Give the gift of goodness with fresh, homegrown vegetables during harvest.  Sound good?  

We hope you'll consider, when you visit, being a part of our own little 'pay it forward' goodness right here in the Sauk Valley.  


Happy Easter and good health to you this year!












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2020 Lowell Park Road

Dixon, IL


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By Appointment

Curbside Pick Up
Apr 1- May 31
Nov 15 to Dec 17 
Wed, Fri & Sat 10:00 - 5:00

Delivery Year Round



  • Curbside Pick Up

    There are 8 tables that are assigned after your order is placed. We send out an appointment that details your time and table for pick up. Confirm this appointment.

    Look for two emails:

    1. Order Confirmation
    2. Appointment Email

    Appointments offered in 30 minutes appointment blocks. 1:00p, 1:30p etc.

    We try to get as close to your preferred Pick Up time as possible. Please confirm by clicking "Confirm Booking" link in your Appointment Email.

    If you need to change your appointment please call or message us on Facebook. Thanks!

  • Delivery
    Order Online. During checkout select "Delivery". Select your preferred date/time. Bud calls everyone to confirm. If you need a special date/time he'll take care of that request during the telephone call. Hope this helps!
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    During online checkout fill in the 16 digit number on the back of your gift card in the field that says, "Enter Gift Card Number"
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    Loyalty points show up during check out. If you have any to use you will see, "Pay Through Loyalty Point. Current Point Balance Is..."

  • Ordering Online

    We offer online shopping for curbside pick up or delivery depending on time of year.

    Check out Instructions

    1. Select Pick Up or Delivery.
    2. Select preferred date/time.
    Look for two emails:
    • Order Confirmation
    • Appointment Email
    Confirm your appointment.

    ----------- TIPS --------------

    Limited quantities. If you put multiples of an item you want and we only have one in stock an alert will pop up on the desktop site telling you it is out of stock. That means the quantity you selected is higher than the available inventory. For example, Tufa Troughs are all unique. There is only one of each. Each week we take an inventory and add back products that might show as sold out. We’re doing this so we don’t oversell by mistake. So our product availability will change weekly.

    iPad shopping. We learned that the pop-up screen where you enter your credit card info was a problem for some. At times the credit card fields were way at the top of the screen and some could not see where to enter their information when shopping on an iPad. This happened especially when they had big orders. If you have problems please message our Facebook Page. We’re learning right along with you and want to help.

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  • VIP Pricing

    Special Pricing. Every now and then we run thank you specials for our loyal customers. When we do, special pricing will show only for you once you log in to your account. This special is unique to you.


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    If you didn’t create an account when you shopped,

    • Click “Forgot Password”
    • That will allow you to set up a password and create your account. Then log in. This will gain you access to special pricing.

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