Author: Bernstein

The Tallgrass Prairie, virtual meeting on September 9,2020

On September 9, from 1:00-2:00, Cindy Crosby will present “The Tallgrass Prairie: Grocery Store, Apothecary and Love Charm Shop.” Throughout Illinois’ history, people have used the prairie as grocery store, pharmacy, art supply shop and even a place to find love potions! Discover the charming stories behind these rugged native tallgrass plants and their beauty and utility in the garden today. Cindy is an author, master gardener and instructor in natural history subjects.

An Evite will be sent to the membership. Please RSVP to the Evite. The meeting will be conducted on-line. If the Zoom application is used the number of participants will be limited to 100. An email reminder will be sent to the registered members a week before the event; a sign-in link will be sent on the day of the program.

New members are always welcome. To attend the upcoming Garden Club virtual meetings, please click Membership and join.

Meeting Recap
Our first Zoom meeting was quite a success! On September 9, Cindy Crosby presented The Tallgrass Prairie: Grocery Store, Apothecary and Love Charm Shop. Members were able to see one another and chat on Zoom for a few minutes before the program, just like old times, but without the hospitality table! Cindy took us through nature’s shop and listed the various prairie plants and their place in nature’s general store, whether as toys, dyes, food, or love potions. Cindy is a Prairie Steward at Morton Arboretum’s Schulenberg Prairie and at Nachusa Grasslands in Franklin Grove, IL. She recommends a visit to either of these prairies to see native plants and wildflowers firsthand, and also recommends Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Wilmington, IL. The more local Wolf Road Prairie is also of interest, as well as Kankakee Sands in Indiana.

Books describing native plants and their uses, recommended by Cindy:
o Native American Ethnobotany, Daniel E. Moerman
o Medicinal WildPlants of the Prairie, Kelly Kindscher
o Edible Wild Plants of the Prairie, Kelly Kindscher
o Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie: The Upper Midwest, Sylvan T. Runkel & Dean M. Roosa

BOOK REVIEW: The Illustrated Garden Book by Vita Sackville-West

The Illustrated Garden Book by Vita Sackville-West

The author of this book was not trained as a horticulturist or designer. Neither was her diplomat husband, Harold Nicolson. Nevertheless, the two of them created one of the most visited gardens in England, at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, an Elizabethan ruin which they acquired in 1930. The creation of the gardens was a labor of love that lasted decades; their marriage, not so much! The garden was open to the public in 1938 and now run by the National Trust.

West wrote gardening articles for 15 years to help pay the bills. This 1989 book version uses many of her columns, beautifully written, filled with humor and lovely photographs. It is just the perfect book for all gardeners to curl up with during this unusual summer.

Their son, Nigel Nicolson, tells the story of his parents’ unconventional marriage and social connections in Portrait of a Marriage. This book sounds intriguing as well and I have it on my future read list.

Joan Meister

The Illustrated Garden Book