Food, Friends and Flowers!


Food, friends and flowers!

Chicago -Tuesday, July 10

What a beautiful day to enjoy eating outdoors and catching up with friends at Park Grill (the food there is so much better than it has to be for a tourist destination!).  Others went to the Terzo Piano restaurant at the Art Institute.  Then it was on to a guided tour of the Lurie Gardens in Millenium Park.  We split the group of 21 garden buddies into three and off we went with the well-informed-master-gardener-guides.  Amazingly the garden had survived the interminable scorching heat of the last week or was it a year?  What a testament to native north american plants for drought resistance.  Our guide said that the weather was so extremely hot that the gardeners actually waterered the garden at about 3 a.m. last week.  As you probably know from your own gardens, the plants are about a month ahead of normal.  That means that many of the midseason plants have already bloomed.  The scarlet red “Chicago apache” daylily pictured above was blooming its heart out next to the red tipped switch grass.  This is my kind of perennial – a hearty bloomer that is drought resistant, can tolerate sun or partial shade, not fussy about soil and is good for attracting butterflies.  I will definitely be considering Chicago apache for a shot of color in my garden, maybe with the yellow lilies?   Lurie garden (chemical free) was literally “a buzz” with bees, birds, and butterflies.  I found out today that Lurie has bee hives located under the Nichols bridge and they harvest and sell the honey at their sales twice a year.  On the east side of the “seam” (an angled wooden walk over water that seperates the east and west gardens) I saw red winged blackbirds in the trees and felt a gentle, refreshing breeze from the lake.  I am telling you, this garden oasis in the midst of steel and concrete should be a “not to be missed” location on your bucket list.  Another plus, Lurie Gardens have four season interest, so you can return various times during the year and see something different and beautiful each season.  Pat and I were part of the initial planting of the 120,000+ spring bulbs, so the purple “river” in the spring is one of my favorite sites.  I imagine Marilyn will be a lot more informative in her article, she was taking notes.


“Inspiration!” 2012 Garden Walk Oak Park River Forest

Sometimes a mind needs a little inspiration to get started.  I understand.  Fortunately, the 19th annual Garden Walk, sponsored by The Garden Club of Oak Park and River Forest and the Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory (FOPCON) is scheduled for Sunday, July 1, 2012 from 10 a.m. until  4 p.m..

 Sorry, the paypal option of buying tickets is now closed.  Tickets will be available at the Oak Park Conservatory, Sunday, July 1 for $18

If tall buildings shadow your garden, see how to use them to create a private, enclosed space.  If you aren’t home during the day, try a midnight garden.   You’ll also see how to use garden design to update your bungalow, create more space for entertaining, and incorporate play areas for the kids.   We would love for you to join us.


The annual Garden Walk, which features public and private gardens, is a self-guided tour that begins at the Oak Park Conservatory, 615 Garfield Street, Oak Park, Illinois.

Bring  a copy of your pay pal receipt to Will Call at the Oak Park Conservatory on July 1, 2012 to obtain your Garden Guide needed for admission to the various gardens.

If you already purchased tickets, they must be exchanged at the curb at the Conservatory for the Garden Guides needed for admission to the gardens.



More info describing the garden walk:


Field Trip – Lurie Gardens

The Oak Park River Forest Garden Club will have a guided tour of the Lurie Garden in Millenium Park on July 10th at 1:30 pm. The cost is $5 per person. Payment is required in advance and is non-refundable.   Reservations and payments are due by June 29th, 2012.( extended the date)  The reservations are now closed.

Send your name or names (Guests are welcome, both male and female) and payment to Garden Club Oak Park River Forest , PO Box 5633, River Forest, Il 60305  Sorry, the reservations are now closed.

.Lunch (pay on your own) is optional and will be at noon at Terzo Piano (restaurant in the Art Institute with a no fee separate entrance ). A free rehearsal concert starting at 3 pm at the Jay Pritzker Pavillion is also optional. The concert is entitled “Perfectly Frank: From Broadway to Hollywood.

We will meet at the Harlem Avenue El stop at 11 am in order to be to lunch at noon. If you would care to car pool instead of taking the train or have any other questions please contact Elaine Allen at or Marilyn Brumund at This should be a fun event and Ihope you can make it.