Seasonal Decor featured for December 3 meeting

large snowflakeFour or five good reasons to come to Garden Club OPRF’S December 3, meeting at Cheney Mansion (220 N. Euclid, Oak Park):

1. ” FROZEN” in miniature:  Susan Milojevic lead the troops Tuesday in transforming Cheney Mansion’s entry hall and library into a vision of ice and snow in glistening blue, silver and white.  Very pretty.  You will want to see it.   Festivities  begin at noon with food and sales; 1:00 demonstration and raffle.

2.  FRESH GREENS for decorating your door, mantle, table or whatever your imagination can dream up.  Deb Cullen will again provide us with the favorite choices of the last two years such as:  magnolia tips; silver bell Eucalyptus; mixed green bunches; incense cedar; white pine tips; traditional deluxe swags with cones.  Prices will range from $7 to $10 a bunch.  Arrive at noon for best selection!

3.IMG_3279    AMARYLLIS:   Amaryllis pre-planted; Amaryllis bulb kits; Amy and the Amaryllis book with book signing by the author Roberta Raymond.   Purchase a book and a bulb and get  a young friend started on the gardening path or buy yourself a blooming plant.

4. SEASONAL DESIGNS:   Welcome the changing seasons indoors with elements cut from your landscape (or the greens from the Garden Club Ways and Means sale)  combined with decorative pieces to create long lasting floral arrangements for your home.  Garden Club welcomes landscape architect  and designer, Ward Wilson to instruct the audience in how to create fantastic seasonal décor.  Bring cash for raffle tickets ($5 for 6 chances).  Maybe you will be one of the lucky winners.

5.   FOOD AND UGLY SWEATERS!  There are  always good things to eat at our meetings but even more so for the December festivities.  Here is your opportunity to appear in an ugly holiday sweater to add to the good times.


November meeting: Fall Designs from the Market

Garden Club had a large and enthusiastic crowd for our November 5 program: “Fall Designs from the Market.”

Rapt audience Photo by Elaine Allen
Rapt audience
Photo by Elaine Allen

Gabriela Soltys of Mariano’s events department introduced our guest speaker: Joe, manager of the Western Springs floral department.

Joe impressed us with a variety of arrangements of gorgeous fall-colored flowers, including mums, roses, hypericum and sunflowers, all of which are available at Mariano’s. Joe demonstrated the techniques for hand-tying bouquets: a simple and effective method for smaller arrangements, easy to make at home with supplies on hand. Leafshine spray and baling wire from the craft store, and mercury glass containers from the dollar store are additional handy items for these arrangements.

Hand tied bouquet Photo by Elaine Allen
Hand tied bouquet
Photo by Elaine Allen

Joe also showed us how to bend flexible calla lilies into a graded, circular arrangement in a fish bowl: simple but elegant. His larger and more elaborate pieces: oasis-based flowers and vegetables, and a large “Wow factor” arrangement, arrived fully assembled.

For most of us, the best part of the program was Joe’s account of how he became involved in the floral business. The motherly ladies in the group entreated him to tell us the whole story.

Photo by Elaine Allen
Photo by Elaine Allen

In a nutshell, Joe worked part-time in various departments of the store while studying for his degree in civil engineering. As new Mariano’s stores opened, his opportunities and experience expanded so that he rotated through all the departments and at several locations. During his occasional floral department assignments he enjoyed learning about the flowers and experimenting. But his big life-changing moment occurred unexpectedly. While working at the Park Ridge store near O’Hare Airport, an important speaker arrived for a hotel convention, so the event planners required an impressively large display for the stage. Of course, this had to be done on a moment’s notice, for that evening, with just the flowers at hand. Joe was alone in the department, but devised an ingenious strategy for arranging layers of smaller bouquets into an elaborate display. The customers were very pleased, and Joe realized his true calling.

At the end of our November meeting, all of Joe’s arrangements were raffled off to smiling garden clubbers.

a "Wow" arrangement Photo by Elaine Allen
“Wow” flowers
Photo by Elaine Allen

The creative, resourceful and (mostly) frugal garden club ladies will enjoy the convenience of finding a wide variety flowers and supplies at Mariano’s while grocery shopping. All of our Thanksgiving table displays will be stunning!

Hope to see everyone at our December 3 meeting at 12:30 PM  at Cheney Mansion for Ward Wilson:  “Dynamic Seasonal Décor.”


Cheney Decorating Schedule

Garden Club will be helping to decorate Cheney Mansion for the holidays
This year we are assigned the foyer & staircase + the library.   Colors are white, silver & ice blue.
Think of the movie “Frozen”. We’ll be popular with the kids if we use lots of silvery, wintery images.
Our work dates are Tues 11/18 & Friday 11/21. There will be a signup sheet for ‘helping hands’ at the meeting. You do not need to be available both days.
Can’t come? We can still use your help collecting materials. We need:
A white or silver tree (look in those attics)
Pine cones sprayed white. We’ll glitter them in blue
Branchy twigs- spray white or silver please. If you have commercial ones with crystals, wonderful!
Snow flake ornaments
Hydrangea heads, sprayed blue
Birch boughs, maybe around 6 ft long
Battery operated tea light or pillar candles
Silver serving trays
Anything in the color scheme that your creative mind thinks might work.
Be sure to label items you would like back.
Sue Milojevic

Study Group : Thanksgiving Centerpiece 11/19/14

Study Group :  Thanksgiving Centerpiece
Wednesday, November 19, 1pm
The holidays are almost upon us—it’s time to get creative!
Delia will lead us in making a Thanksgiving table centerpiece, using fresh flowers, ribbons, dried items, and fruits.   To refresh the arrangement just before Thanksgiving, we can replace some of the fresh flowers and fruit at home.  This arrangement can even last into the early holiday season with the later addition of Christmas ornaments, pinecones, and/or ribbons.
Bring your own cornucopia or basket if possible.  Also bring gardening snips/clippers, and a bag for your arrangement.
Cost:   $25.  Cost reduced to $20 if you bring your own cornucopia/basket/container.
Participants are also invited to join in a potluck luncheon with board members just before the workshop, at noon.
Workshop will be limited to 15 participants.
For more information please contact