Nasturtium News, August 2020

Greetings! We have a lot of news this month….

• Programs: We are pleased to announce that Garden Club monthly meetings will resume, although we will be “virtual” for now on Zoom.

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. Cindy Crosby/ We will send an email reminder to the membership a week before, and will send a Zoom link the day of the program for you to join us.

For those members unfamiliar with Zoom, many resources are available online. If you would like to chat with a board member about how to use Zoom, please contact us at We are not experts but will try to answer questions to the best of our ability so that every member can participate.

• LOGO: Our beautiful new Garden Club logo and letterhead are debuted in this newsletter! The nasturtium has long been the official symbol of our club. The original design was created around 1998 by a long-time member, the late artist and author Bobbie Raymond. Her nasturtium designs were used on our Club Directory for many years, with another of Bobbie’s nasturtium designs used for our 2016-17 Centennial Book. (An iris was used 2007-2016.) Reportedly, in 1942 the children of Oak Park chose the nasturtium as their favorite flower. It was adopted by Oak Park as its official flower. This summer, board member Gina Sennello, joined by committee members Kathy English and Cheri Fedota, commissioned local graphic designer Mary O’Kiersey to enliven and modernize Bobbie’s nasturtium for use in social media and our website. We hope you enjoy the designs, which are the product of much collaborative work and great attention to detail.

• Speaking of social media, Dori Bernstein, our director of website and social media, has been updating our website and is developing our Club’s first Facebook profile page. While it is currently under construction, you can take a sneak preview at: Garden Club of Oak Park and River Forest Facebook Page.

• Many of our members also enjoy the unrelated “Oak Park Area Garden Club,” a Facebook public group, which is not part of the official Garden Club of Oak Park and River Forest, but which has many members in common and features interesting topics and discussions.

• The Garden Club has recently received five awards from the Garden Clubs of Illinois. We won a 3rd place Myrtle R. Walgreen Memorial Award for a Civic Project, and an Honorable Mention in “Planting for Pollinators.” Both awards stem from the Civic Beautification Project at the Oak Park Art League.

We also tied for 2nd place for our Garden Therapy program conducted by Sue Milojevic and Gina Sennello, and an award for greatest number of new members among clubs with 100-299 members. We received a Special Award rosette because the first two projects were eligible to compete nationally.

• As reported last month, the newly completed Oak Park Art League garden suffered some damage during a July storm, but is open for viewing. Elaine Allen is working on a magazine documenting the project, and this will soon be made available for purchase by the membership.

• Fun reads:
o Visit the Garden Clubs of Illinois website and view the November 1939 Garden Glories.

o Board member Joan Meister recommends The Illustrated Garden Book by Vita Sackville-West. See her book review at

o If you have any reading suggestions for books on gardening, botany, environment, or related topics, please contact us at

• Group field trips are off for now, but there are many options for independent visits. Always call ahead! Thank you to Kathy English and Elaine Allen, our field trip chairs, for most of these suggestions.

o There are still a few days left to view the trial gardens of Ball seed during customer days in West Chicago, open daily until August 14. Register at

o Another garden club has found VonBergen’sfarm i nHebron,ILto be an enjoyable way to spend the day and view some sunflower fields. 2020/

o Gethsemane Gardens Nursery-always a lot to see.

o The Gardens of the Baha’iTemple in Winnetka are open but the temple is closed at this point.

o Proksa Park in Berwyn. 3001 Wisconsin, Berwyn. The park is unusual with water features, native plantings and wildlife. Best to park on Wisconsin.

• PLANTCEDES: If you are interested in being notified when a neighbor has extra plants to share, or if you occasionally have extra plants yourself, please directly contact Gloria Backman at to join her email list.

• Our new 2020-21 Club Directory will be available for distribution after September 9. See the September Newsletter for details on how to pick up yours. If any of your information for the directory has changed since last year, please notify Joan Figatner ASAP:

Stay safe and keep gardening!
Lisa Cederoth & Mary Ellen Warner, co-presidents