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.

Coffee Klatch And Much More September 5, 2012

Garden Club OPRF will be gathering at Cheney Mansion on September 5 at 9:30 a..m.  for their traditional “Friendship Breakfast” to start off the 2012-2013 season.  I love traditions, but between you and me, I would call this gathering more of a coffee klatch than a breakfast.  I associate the term breakfast with a hardy meal, the way my mother started us off for a day of school.  I think of  my garden club friends as gathering on this occasion for conversation, coffee and maybe some fruit or a little pastry.  The real meat in our “breakfast” will be the program to follow at 10:30 a.m.!

For most of us that weren’t watering steadily this summer, our containers hold drooping or dead plants.  Our guest, Laura Christensen has accepted the challenge of stimulating our imaginations to create beautiful new container combinations for fall and winter.  Laura is a woman with qualifications a mile long.  She can equal or surpass the experience of most of our group!  Her discussion and demonstration will cover the gamut from color palette and design to shopping for materials (my personal favorite).

Laura is an experienced landscape architect and has her bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the university of Wisconsin-Madison, her Masters degree in City Planning from Northwestern University and is a 30 year member of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Please join us in welcoming Laura and bring along a guest who might like to be inspired to join our gardening group.  MEN ARE WELCOME TOO!
Linda Zwierz

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.