Annual Events – end 2015-2016 Garden Club Calendar

 68th Annual Spring Luncheon – May 4, 2016   11:00 am – 2:00 pm features beautiful floral/plant raffle items, delicious food and an outstanding floral designer demonstration. Advance reservations required for members and their guests.

Members Tea:  June 1, 2016 1:00-3:00  Maximum 40 members only due to space limitation.  Reservations instructions will be sent via evite on Tuesday, May 17.

Garden Walk – June 26, 2016   10 am – 4 pm  An annual garden walk in the villages of Oak Park and River Forest is co-sponsored by the Garden Club of Oak Park River Forest and the Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory (FOPCON) Further information and on-line ticket purchase here: Garden Walk 2016 Tickets  Open to the public.

Regular meetings of the Garden Club of Oak Park River Forest will resume in September.

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.

Garden Club Tea was Elegant

“Pinkies Up” would have been a fitting call to the Garden Club ladies to begin the elegant tea held Wednesday afternoon at Cheney Mansion.  The 100 year old Cheney looked beautiful inside and outside.  The much younger attendees looked splendid and cheerfully chatted with friends, admired the garden’s latest additions, and enjoyed a tea on par with the Drake Hotel, in my humble opinion.

On behalf of the tea participants, thank you Barbara Graham and Sue Milojevic for the beautiful tea and flower arrangements.  Thank you Poppy and Charlie for the gorgeous surroundings at Cheney Mansion.

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Afternoon Tea

Nancy, Donna, ElaineAfternoon tea is a time honored tradition credited to Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, who in 1830 asked to be served tea and light refreshments in the afternoon; perhaps to ward off a growling stomach before dinner at 9:00 p.m.  Anna so enjoyed this break in her day that she began to invite her friends for tea and refreshments and served them in the garden or the library on inclement days.

High tea, which sounds more refiined, was actually a meal that usually included meat or fish and was served around 6 p.m. for working class people.  Some say high tea also refers to the high tables in the pubs where the patrons would stand to eat and drink.

The tradition continues at the historic Cheney Mansion with the Garden Club’s fifth annual afternoon tea on Wednesday, June 5 at 1:30 p.m.  The RSVP’S have been tallied, the savories and tea ordered, the table settings and flowers planned.  We look forward to pouring tea for our friends and enjoying a stroll around the gardens.   Barbara and her committee have done all they can to prepare for this event, now we can only hope mother nature cooperates with nice weather.