Words to live by

“It’s all about the food” is usually said at least once at a Garden Club Board meeting.  And true to our nature, the GCOPRF June tea was certainly about the food.  Lisa Cederoth’s dining room table was covered with plates of beautiful homemade sweets and savories.  The staff at Downton Abbey would have been impressed.


Lisa, who had already hosted a graduation party the week before our event, was a gracious hostess. Lisa, her lovely daughter Annie, Pat Allabastro, Elaine Allen, Irene Williams, Joyce Vitullo, Mary Ellen Warner, and Barbara Graham (I hope I didn’t leave anyone out) prepared an almost overwhelming amount of scones, clotted cream, fruit, sandwiches, and cookies to accompany the tea and mimosas. Marilyn Moore helped Lisa set up and kept the serving platters full. I can’t even tell you accurately what was on the table as I was trying to avoid gluten and sugar!  Bad place to be. I confess that although I tried, I did not succeed in avoiding all the temptations before me.


Due to weather conditions, the tea was held in doors, but the bad weather didn’t prevent the guests from enjoying a garden atmosphere either.  Fragrant peonies and roses were resplendent in silver hollow wear on every table. The terra cotta girls’ table had a bouquet of pea shoots. Bobbi Raymond showed up with a car full of basil seedlings from her garden, which she gave away to nearly the entire crowd.


Pat Allabastro, the grand dame of gardening, was crowned Garden Queen for a day and acknowledged for her ten plus years of service to the Garden Club. Pat has served as VP in charge of programs and membership, as Co-Chair of the Garden Walk, and as Co-President of the Club. Her many civic beautifications include the design and installation of the Euclid Avenue garden in front of the Oak Park Firehouse.  Those are just some of her accomplishments in Garden Club OPRF.  As a forty-year resident of Oak Park, she has beautified St. Edmunds, Cheney Mansion, and numerous private gardens in Oak Park and River Forest.  We wish we could clone her before she moves to Portland in July!  You may say your good-byes and wish our good friend good luck and happy trails at her last official function, the Garden Walk, on June 22, 2014.