Field Trip to Volo Bog -- Oct 15, 2014


Our Visit to Volo Bog

One mid-October morning last fall, twelve of us arrived at Volo Bog to tour one of Illinois’ most historic and interesting natural areas. Designated an Illinois Nature Preserve in 1970 and a National Natural Landmark 3 years later, Volo Bog was formed by glaciers that deposited a variety of debris and huge chunks of ice many thousands of year ago. As the climate warmed, the ice melted, forming depressions that developed into lakes, bogs and marshes. The 50-acre lake that was originally Volo Bog began filling with vegetation about 6,000 years ago. A floating mat of sphagnum moss together with decomposing plants around the edges formed a thick peat mat where plants were able to root. Poor drainage and increasingly acidic water produced the unique plant community found in the bog today. 

The only open water bog left in Illinois, Volo is now a State Natural Area that includes some 1,100 acres of marshes, prairie restoration areas, woodlands and 2 additional bogs. Each season has its own special beauty. For us in the fall, the gold tamarack needles, red poison sumac and greens of sphagnum moss presented a beautiful combination of colors. 

Our group, led by volunteers Judy Downey and Barb Gosh (both retired teachers), walked the ½ mile Interpretive Trail. We cautiously wobbled our way along the floating boardwalk, traversing a number of habitat zones – a marsh/sedge meadow, tall shrub community, tamarack forest, a low shrub zone dominated by poison sumac and leatherleaf, and finally an herb mat of sphagnum moss, cattails and sedges surrounding open water in the middle of the bog. Our guides pointed out Winterberry Holly, various grasses, sedges and ferns, larch, horsetail, pitcher plants, mushrooms, wild cucumber, stink horn, milkweed and much more. They mentioned the many birds that pass through and nest there, including 3 pairs of Sandhill Cranes.

Since the bog has never been excavated, tales of strange creatures lurking there are part of Volo’s “history”. One interesting piece of trivia surfaced – the legendary and scary “bog man”, over the years, morphed into the proverbial “boogeyman” adults warned us to watch out for when we were kids. 

After our tour, we returned to the Visitor Center, a renovated dairy barn built in the early 1900s. We wandered around displays, the library, watched a video about the site, and, of course, stopped in the gift/book shop. We ended the morning with lunch at The Whistle Stop Café in Fox Lake – another great outing planned by Linda Ilk.

If you haven’t been to the Volo Bog, it’s definitely worth the trip.
Find out more at (815) 344-1294 or visit http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/PARKS/R2/Volobog.htm 

Written by Marj Lundy



Field Trip to Ball Horticultural Gardens -- July 16, 2014



An Outing at Reed-Turner Woodlands -- May 20, 2014


Thirteen of us set out on a very warm and humid but beautiful May 20th for a guided walk in Reed-Turner Woodlands, a 36-acre Illinois Nature Preserve, owned by the Long Grove Park District. Home to a variety of diverse habitats, flora and fauna, Reed-Turner is part of the original ”long grove” of oak and hickory trees for which the town of Long Grove is named. Barbara Reed Turner, in researching the property formerly belonging to her father, found it was unique, containing trees and other plants dating back to the 1800s and pre-settlement days. The site was designated an Illinois Nature preserve, and Barbara gave it to The Nature Conservancy which later passed it on to the Long Grove Park District in the early 1970s. 

Our nature walk, led by volunteer Gail Rudisill, took us through woodlands, past prairies and Reed Pond, along streams and ravines. The Preserve contains 3 kinds of oaks, sugar maples and a wide variety of plants including shooting star, both red and white trillium, wild ginger, bellwort, jack-in-the-pulpit, solomon’s seal, choke cherry and black raspberry to name just a few. We wound up the tour back at the Woodland Nature Center which held a special attraction – a plant sale of which a number of us took advantage. 

Then, of course, we were off to lunch, this time at Oregano’s Corner Café in Hawthorn Woods. The Café’s Eggplant Parmesan was very tasty, as were the wraps, salads, and other menu choices. 

Many thanks to our Field Trip Coordinators for arranging this outing! We look forward to the trips they will be planning for us this summer.

report by Marj Lundy
 

Lake Forest Garden Walk - - June 27, 2013


Morton Arboretum Field Trip - - October 10, 2012

report by Eve Jacobs                   ( * * * Press F5 to restart the pictures * * * )

The day greeted us with the sun shining, fresh air and cooler weather.  The trees and landscape were just bursting with vibrant color as we arrived at the Morton Arboretum.  Seventeen garden club members were chatting away, drinking coffee and were dressed as warm as we thought possible as we began our day.  We started out with Bruce, our Docent Guide and took a walk out to the Conifer garden.  Bruce walked us around and gave us a history of the garden and talked about various different species here.  He was a wealth of knowledge and gave us a mini-class on how to tell the differences between various spruces and pines, the types of needles they have and how they are held on the branches.  We learned that Hemlocks will grow in full shade and a Ginkgo is both a tree and conifer! Who knew!  The Arboretum has a wonderful collection of dwarf conifers as well and everyone was interested in picking their favorite and learning more about them.

Next we dined in the Ginkgo Restaurant, with its’ wall of windows overlooking beautiful Meadow Lake.  We warmed up with hot soups, sandwiches and the like.  After lunch, we boarded the tram for a narrated ride throughout the 1700 acres.  We passed through many different tree collections, open meadows, prairie and lakes.  The colors were just about at peak.  “Faster, Colder,- Colder, Faster”, our Webmaster  shouted as we rode through the wind.  We were all snuggled close, cold, but really enjoying the views and the vistas.  Nature was giving us her final show of the season and we could not refuse her.

After the tram ride, we grabbed some hot coffee’s and headed over to the Plant Clinic to meet Sharon Yiesla who gave us a tour ; we also helped ourselves to all the free literature on trees and shrubs the Arboretum provides.  Sharon took us on a short garden walk over to the private building where the Herbarium is housed.  There we met with Marlene who gave us a very thorough and informative tour.  We learned over 170,000 plant specimens of the 24 Chicago county areas are kept here.  We saw how they are stored in large vault-like closets.  We were able to look at various plant mountings, including some that dated as far back at the 1800’s.   We learned how the plants are processed, mounted, and then dried before being cataloged and stored.  One can go on their website and check out the data base of plants, many with pictures.  So this is a great resource to identify plants.  Go to www.mortonarb.org  then go to Research, Plant Systematics, Herbarium and then click the link to Herbarium Data Access.  This will then take you to Search More where the data base is located.

We ended our day in the Arboretum Store shopping - where just about everyone purchased a unique item or two.   A fun day and good time was had by all, learning, talking and just being together.  The Morton Arboretum is truly a gem, a living collection of trees from all over the world.  If you’ve not been there it is definitely worth going.  You can drive through and see everything without leaving your car, or take a hike on one of the many trails.


Fond Farewell to Linda Berryman - - August 15, 2012

A Fond Farewell to Linda Berryman by: Eve Jacobs

The evening was clear, warm and just right for gathering. And gathering we did at the home of Jan Stefan’s…. her brick patio surrounded by large majestic trees and flowering gardens. We were there to thank and honor our most very recent-past President, Linda Berryman and send her off in Shire style to her new home in Midland Michigan.

The mood was lively and the conversations flowing along with several very nice wines. A table chock full of various delicious treats included Merle’s Famous Meatballs, several scrumptious dips, an exceptional one having pine nuts. Having already eaten dinner I could not resist and indulged yet again!

My conversation with Linda included hearing about her upcoming move, life plans and new living area and how much she will miss living here and everyone in our Club. But more importantly than me wishing her well was letting her know how much we all have admired her leadership and how much we all will miss her. She has made friendships here that I am sure will continue. And Midland is not that far away! So I see visits to the Shire in her future. Or perhaps a road trip there to see new gardens.

Later into the evening after Linda spoke to the group, we indulged yet again into a fresh whipped cream dessert laden with fresh fruit. More pictures taken…. Many goodbye hugs were given along with warm wishes. We will all fondly remember our friend and leader, Linda as she begins a new chapter in her life. There is always new dirt to bring life to flowers wherever one goes. Happy gardening!

A Private Tour of Craig Bergmann’s “The Gatehouse Gardens” in Lake Forest June 13, 2012

by Eve Jacobs             ( * * * Press F5 to restart the pictures * * * )

It was a beautiful summer day, the sky was blue, the air a bit cool…..a wonderful day to explore the Gatehouse Gardens of Craig Bergmann’s.  Twenty Five members and five guests were treated to an hour and ½ tour with guides Chris Rink and Erin Herrera and Russ Buvala and the adorable “Pepper”. 

Once through the magnificent old gate, we began with the history of the property, 2.5 acres which was once part of the Elawa Farm.  Elawa which was named for Elsa and A. Watson Armour, the original owners of the land.  The buildings on the property were designed by David Adler around 1917.  In January of 2010 Craig Bergmann and Paul Klug purchased the property and began plans for the restoration of the Coachhouse, West House and East House.  Their offices and design studios are now located in these beautifully, old restored building. During this time there was simultaneous creation of the various gardens.  

We wandered the various garden rooms beginning with the West Gardens where the plants start out to be light and airy and then proceed to be heavier, fuller and of brighter color.  A beautiful color pallet abounds.  The shades and textures combined with the various use of color is rather like a Monet painting.  We meandered through the Green Room with its various large trees pruned in a box-like manner.  

A wonderful, old wrought iron gate invited us into a shade garden where we learned that old yews on the property had been relocated here and pruned to look as trees. Old sculptures abound the property but I think our favorite was Poseidon at the outdoor pool garden which was installed in 2011.  Yes, there is a swimming pool!  There is also a large, beautiful Agave plant dominating one end of the pool.  We saw several inviting outdoor seating areas and many fantastic container plantings and my favorite was the collection of various succulents on display outside the Design Studio.  

The old Coachhouse is now the design studio and we were able to view the designers working on their projects. The front of the property boasts a wide lawn space with trees and evergreens, roses and an orchard with fruit trees.  It was most delightful to see the Old Kennel Building intact and complete with white doves.  An unusual garden behind it contained a “crazy” floor of various patterned tiles, steppers and the like.  

We ended at the bluestone chip paved Motor Court I believe coming away with ideas, inspiration and love.  This was truly an extraordinary event, walking the grounds on a perfect day, learning and seeing beautiful gardens with our fellow club members.  I am sure all who attended had a great time and came away with a wonderful feeling, I know I did.  

If you missed this private opportunity you might be interested in going to the garden on “Open Days” which this year is on July 22 from 10-4.  Cost of admission is $5.00.  Go early in day as it promises to be very busy.  For more information go to www.gardenconservancy.org.


Chicago Botanic Garden Field Trip - - April 3, 2012

                                         ( * * * Press F5 to restart the pictures * * * )
The Club was indeed fortunate to be invited for a behind the scenes tour of the production greenhouses of the Chicago Botanic Garden. Not many people are ever treated to these views - - especially not with experienced staff explaining everything to us. It was a Spring day that almost seemed like Summer, but for the greenhouses, it was a mad dash to get everything ready for accelerated display needs.

We first toured the production greenhouses, then returned by tram to visit the Tropical, Sub-Tropical, and Arid display greenhouse in the main pavilion.

                  

Milwaukee Domes Field Trip - - January 31, 2013

report by Eve Jacobs                   ( * * * Press F5 to restart the pictures * * * )

Our Day at The Domes, Miss Katie’s Diner & The Milwaukee Public Market   

A rather cold morning greeted us as we headed up north to Milwaukee.  But we warmed up quickly as we excitedly began our tour of the Mitchell Park Conservatory known as the “Domes.”  
Paula, the Educational Coordinator, began our day telling us about the history of the three large Domes, noting they are a total of 1 acre under glass, and each dome is 140 ft. across by 85 feet high!  It is the world’s only conoidal  [shaped like a cone] glass house.  Each Dome has approximately 2,200 panes of ¼” thick wire-glass originally imported from Germany.

We began in the Show Dome which changes themes 5 times a year.  The current theme is
“The Circus is in Town”.  A paved walkway took us around the center of the dome which showcases several trains, a miniature circus, carnival and street scenes, and animals.  The center featured a pond complete with waterfall.   Thousands of small scale plants prevailed along with many miniature Azalea bushes trimmed to look like trees, all in brightly colored full blooms of pink, white and red. Surrounding the outside of the walkway are large tropical trees, shrubs, and plants.  It was fun to see the Oscar Meyer Weiner train, bringing back memories of youth!  Paula gave us some samples of fruit from the Jaboticaba Shrub which we all tried at lunch.  A tasty sweet/sour fruit!

Our next stop was a behind the scenes tour of the greenhouses and staging areas.  We even got to check out the area that holds all the plants which get confiscated through U.S. Customs!  We then went through The Desert Dome, which houses plants from the American Southwest, as well as Africa, Madagascar, South America and Mexico.  To our delight we found many plants and trees we’ve not seen before.  Excellent examples of cacti , succulents and agaves abound in this Dome.  Onward to the Tropical Dome where we learned about “the top 10 plants that have changed the world.”  Many beautiful orchids are in bloom as well as various other tropical plants.  There is even a “sausage fruit tree” which has long dangling fruits that look just like a sausage.  How fitting for Milwaukee!  There are several species of birds, fish and even a world of insects living here.

After our stop in the gift shop we headed to Miss Katie’s Diner, a real hoot of a place!  We feasted on blue plate specials of meatloaf and turkey along with omelets, soups, salads, sandwiches and homemade milkshakes.  Rick had the heartiest plate of pulled pork nacho’s I’ve ever seen!  Afterwards we headed to the historic 3rd ward to the Milwaukee Public Market.  All kinds of specialty gourmet offerings are here from candies, cookies, spices, flowers, liquor, seafood and ready made food items. I purchased a bottle of Black Cherry Balsamic vinegar from Italy which is to die for!  Everyone had a great time . . . another fun adventure with the gals who love to garden! Thanks to all who came and enjoyed!


Weed and Wine - - October 5, 2012

Our only Weed and Wine event of the year (due to the extreme heat and drought) was met with an early taste of deep fall. The day was cloudy, the temperature had dropped into the 50's, but it was still a great day to work outside.

On arriving at our host's home, Jan Stefans, we were greeted by our familiar Lincolnshire Garden Club at Work sign. It's always nice to advertise our hard work. But when you look around Jan's yard, it's hard to see much to do because she stays on top of her garden all the time.

We soon found out that Jan will be traveling in Europe during prime "put the garden to bed" time. So, our tasks for the day focused on removing Morning Glory vines, picking the last of the tomatoes, and then cutting down all the hosta, lilly, and fern gardens. Well, we not only filled up all Jan's yard waste containers, but also four more containers temporarily donated by Rick.

Finally, the call came from the kitchen, "Come and get it," and there was a mad rush inside. We were immediately greeted by the smell and taste of spiced cider and a wide array of treats - - including Merle's famous meatballs.

Our group, Jan Stefans, Joan Keyes, Eve Jacobs, Pat Hovany, Jeanne Top, Merle Lynch, and Rick Sanders, gathered around the festive fall decorated dining table and proceeded to make short work of the wine, cinder, chili, vegies, and most importantly, the cookies and brownies. There wasn't a sweet left at the end of the evening.

So, once again, LGC members had a wonderful and fulfilling (tummy wise that is) time helping out one of our members with our Weed and Wine events. Join us next time, you'll love it.

Our Day at Posy Krehbiel's beloved "Camp Rosemary" - - July 12, 2012

by Eve Jacobs             ( * * * Press F5 to restart the pictures * * * )

Wow! Wow! Wow!  Some may say this Lake Forest property holds the finest flower gardens in the Midwest but I would say the country!  It was a beautiful, warm sunshine filled summer day as we approached Camp Rosemary.  The homeowner Posy Krehbiel was waiting for us at the entrance to her home built in 1904.  Very relaxed and casual she chatted with us about the day, her grandchildren visiting, the dog and a coyote hanging out in her ravine!  The water trucks had come and gone yesterday to ensure the bent grass stays green.  And green it was….no signs of drought here!

We started out our tour in the Main House with its grand double-door entrance and wide staircase. Posy gave us a brief history of the house and property and we learned the original gardens were designed by Rose Standish Nichols in the 1920’s.  To this day, Posy has kept the original design. This very private property enclosed by large trees, shrubs and evergreens boasts around 8-9 acres surrounded by ravine.  We then proceeded through the living room where the main view is out to the Thyme garden, purples being the dominant color and further back a rose garden dominated in pinks with an enormous urn of roses directly centered from the window view.  A melting, relaxing feeling comes over you as you are encapsulated by the view here.  On to the library where a wall of doors are opened up beckoning one to comfortable outdoor seating area on the west terrace underneath a bluestone patio.  We walked down the bluestone path through a garden dominated in purples; lilac’s and white flowers around to the Thyme garden.  Posy explained her color pallet which is evident through-out the various gardens consists of purples, blues, a wide-range of pinks and of course, white.   The layering of color is so phenomenal it is difficult to describe.
At the greenhouse, Head Gardener Betty who is in charge of all containers meets us and discussed the various plants including a massive succulent display, an non-stop flowering Abutilon maple tree and a large Tree fern that captured many hearts!

Adjacent to the greenhouse is the original perennial garden, the backdrop wall of tall shrubs are pruned to resemble a “wave”.  Marya the gardener in charge of the perennials, annuals and bulbs now joins the group.  Everyone begins soaking in the scene and the colors.  You are surrounded in intense, vibrant color! Within Posy’s color palette we are seeing hues of color we’ve never seen before and it becomes quite evident here.  These are not the usual pinks and blues we know.  No yellow or orange is evident anywhere.  She simply does not care for it.  Distinctly, one becomes aware that it is the placement of the various plants combined with the colors, textures and design that is in a word: Outstanding.  She has captured a Monet canvas in real-life form. There is live perfection here and more awaits us.  As we stroll down what I like to call the grassy promenade steps we come to a massive circled bent grass area encompassed by perennials.   Here is her masterpiece.  Posy comments “it’s the best it has ever looked”.  I gaze around mesmorized and agree. This is heaven and I don’t want to leave! 

We raise more grassy steps to my favorite area, the pool surrounded in bluestone patio and pool house.  I briefly pause to lie on the lounge chair dreamily gazing at the beauty surrounding me.  Today the doors of the pool house are opened to greet our group.  There is a round antique table centered with a fresh floral arrangement from the gardens.  A lavish buffet of scrumptious treats is for us; including various homemade Italian cookies and fresh fruit.  Posy pours homemade lemonade and ice tea in unique fleur de lis glasses.  The friendliness and hospitality of Posy and her staff is most gracious and appreciated. There we meet Lois, Posy’s personal Secretary.  We begin to explore the upstairs of the pool house and the main floor, both decidedly French, before we settle in to enjoy our treats. Music starts to play and I recognize it from the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.  It is soothing and serene and seems just right for this special occasion.  Members are eating, mingling and chatting with Posy and staff and one can tell everyone is truly enjoying themselves.  I am feeling complete and happy.  This is a perfect day!

We continue the last leg of our tour to the potting greenhouse, vegetable garden and what I like to call the “behind the scenes” area.  Like the rest of the property everything is neat, clean and well-groomed. There are apple trees and beautiful blue and pink hydrangeas.  One shady area has various large pots overflowing with Fuchsia’s.  We end back at the house to view the “wall garden”.  The side wall of the two story high garage is a garden in itself, mounted with various pots and metal ornamental containers filled with colorful flowers.   We wonder how they water this?

We end at the front corner of the house gazing at all that beautiful, bent grass looking out at us in the background are huge white hydrangeas.  We are giddy with excitement and inspiration and we gather for our traditional group photo and members profusely thanking Posy for having us over.  Our time is ending in paradise and we don’t want to leave…..Posy is smiling; happy….She has shared with us her ultimate gift, her passion, her Camp Rosemary.  Thank you Posy…we love you!

Posy Krehbiel's Camp Rosemary - - July 12, 2012

by Eve Jacobs         ( * * * Press F5 to restart the pictures * * * )            

Our day at Posy Krehbiel’s beloved “Camp Rosemary” by Eve Jacobs

Wow! Wow! Wow!  Some may say this Lake Forest property holds the finest flower gardens in the Midwest but I would say the country!  It was a beautiful, warm sunshine filled summer day as we approached Camp Rosemary.  The homeowner Posy Krehbiel was waiting for us at the entrance to her home built in 1904.  Very relaxed and casual she chatted with us about the day, her grandchildren visiting, the dog and a coyote hanging out in her ravine!  The water trucks had come and gone yesterday to ensure the bent grass stays green.  And green it was….no signs of drought here!

We started out our tour in the Main House with its grand double-door entrance and wide staircase. Posy gave us a brief history of the house and property and we learned the original gardens were designed by Rose Standish Nichols in the 1920’s.  To this day, Posy has kept the original design. This very private property enclosed by large trees, shrubs and evergreens boasts around 8-9 acres surrounded by ravine.  We then proceeded through the living room where the main view is out to the Thyme garden, purples being the dominant color and further back a rose garden dominated in pinks with an enormous urn of roses directly centered from the window view.  A melting, relaxing feeling comes over you as you are encapsulated by the view here.  On to the library where a wall of doors are opened up beckoning one to comfortable outdoor seating area on the west terrace underneath a bluestone patio.  We walked down the bluestone path through a garden dominated in purples; lilac’s and white flowers around to the Thyme garden.  Posy explained her color pallet which is evident through-out the various gardens consists of purples, blues, a wide-range of pinks and of course, white.   The layering of color is so phenomenal it is difficult to describe.

At the greenhouse, Head Gardener Betty who is in charge of all containers meets us and discussed the various plants including a massive succulent display, an non-stop flowering Abutilon maple tree and a large Tree fern that captured many hearts!

Adjacent to the greenhouse is the original perennial garden, the backdrop wall of tall shrubs are pruned to resemble a “wave”.  Marya the gardener in charge of the perennials, annuals and bulbs now joins the group.  Everyone begins soaking in the scene and the colors.  You are surrounded in intense, vibrant color! Within Posy’s color palette we are seeing hues of color we’ve never seen before and it becomes quite evident here.  These are not the usual pinks and blues we know.  No yellow or orange is evident anywhere.  She simply does not care for it.  Distinctly, one becomes aware that it is the placement of the various plants combined with the colors, textures and design that is in a word: Outstanding.  She has captured a Monet canvas in real-life form. There is live perfection here and more awaits us.  As we stroll down what I like to call the grassy promenade steps we come to a massive circled bent grass area encompassed by perennials.   Here is her masterpiece.  Posy comments “it’s the best it has ever looked”.  I gaze around mesmorized and agree. This is heaven and I don’t want to leave! 

We raise more grassy steps to my favorite area, the pool surrounded in bluestone patio and pool house.  I briefly pause to lie on the lounge chair dreamily gazing at the beauty surrounding me.  Today the doors of the pool house are opened to greet our group.  There is a round antique table centered with a fresh floral arrangement from the gardens.  A lavish buffet of scrumptious treats is for us; including various homemade Italian cookies and fresh fruit.  Posy pours homemade lemonade and ice tea in unique fleur de lis glasses.  The friendliness and hospitality of Posy and her staff is most gracious and appreciated. There we meet Lois, Posy’s personal Secretary.  We begin to explore the upstairs of the pool house and the main floor, both decidedly French, before we settle in to enjoy our treats. Music starts to play and I recognize it from the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.  It is soothing and serene and seems just right for this special occasion.  Members are eating, mingling and chatting with Posy and staff and one can tell everyone is truly enjoying themselves.  I am feeling complete and happy.  This is a perfect day!

We continue the last leg of our tour to the potting greenhouse, vegetable garden and what I like to call the “behind the scenes” area.  Like the rest of the property everything is neat, clean and well-groomed. There are apple trees and beautiful blue and pink hydrangeas.  One shady area has various large pots overflowing with Fuchsia’s.  We end back at the house to view the “wall garden”.  The side wall of the two story high garage is a garden in itself, mounted with various pots and metal ornamental containers filled with colorful flowers.   We wonder how they water this?

We end at the front corner of the house gazing at all that beautiful, bent grass looking out at us in the background are huge white hydrangeas.  We are giddy with excitement and inspiration and we gather for our traditional group photo and members profusely thanking Posy for having us over.  Our time is ending in paradise and we don’t want to leave…..Posy is smiling; happy….She has shared with us her ultimate gift, her passion, her Camp Rosemary.  Thank you Posy…we love you!


                                        
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