Sunday, January 31, 2016

Yippee! My blog has moved... my updated website.

New Blog:

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Seeing What Has Been Already There

Though I have been wearing this vintage scarf for at least three decades, I never saw that it has a literal design of a fruit bowl, a decanter and something else that I still can't identify. During those 30 years, I saw it only in terms of abstract pattern and color. Amazing to see anew...on many levels.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Space Zinnias

On my Instagram feed, I am delighted by the NASA posts. I love this one because it shows how real gardeners know that rules don't help plants thrive: paying attention does!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Trees and Steiglitz and Bowie on My Mind

The top image is the fallen fruit of the tree, Liquid Amber (Liquidambar styraciflua) or Sweetgum. Usually it drops its fruit in Spring, just before new growth. I took this photo last it is running several months ahead. The deeply cold weather that arrived yesterday should interrupt that rush to Spring....

Below is a famous image taken by the great American photography, Alfred Stieglitz. Through March 27th, you can visit the superb show at the Art Institute of Chicago, "Alfred Stieglitz and the 19th Century. Some interesting Julia Margaret Cameron's are included.

And on the note of legendary artists: I would like to salute David Bowie. I will miss his presence and expansion of our culture.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Wicker Park Garden Club 2016 Home Landscape Design Workshop: 1 week left to sign up!

In my opinion (through about five years of participating with the class and a decade with the garden club), this class is exceptional! Not just in the quality of the sheer useful and varied information presented, but, as well, in the exposure to a diverse group of people from throughout the Chicagoland area. It is also a steal in terms of cost.
   There are only 10 slots left, so if you can't go, please forward to everybody you think might be interested, or give one as a gift for no reason, which supports the garden club and Random Generosity, one of the best gifts of all!!!

Register   - A Great Holiday Gift for A Friend or YOU!
2016 Home Landscape Design Workshop
10 Positions Left in Class - Register Soon
Learn to Design a Garden for Your Home, School, Church, Business, Parkway, Patio, Deck
8 Saturdays - January 9 - February 27 at 10am – 1pm each week
An 10 Teaching Assistants
Wicker Park Field House 1425 N. Damen, Chicago, IL 60622
Fee: $120 for entire 24 hours of training – Pay at First Class
Register at (Limited to 40 students) Register Now 
Now in its 10th year the Wicker Park Garden Club’s Home Landscape Design workshop is taught by 5 professional designers and 10 veteran gardens from all over Chicagoland. The 8 week series takes the students through the process of design - both in lectures and in weekly hands-on design project
  • creating a site plan to use in designing your landscape 
  • determining usage areas to meet your needs and bed areas, 
  • incorporating architectural influences of the home into the landscape design, 
  • exploring various hardscape options, 
  • studying and designing with various plant palettes for sun and shade, 
  • including vegetables and herbs in a small space city garden or on your deck/patio 
  • understanding native and sustainable plant palettes and how to work with them. 
  • learning to incorporate 4 season interest and color into your garden design.
OR   Learn How to Work More Effectively with a Designer You Hire to Design for YOU.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

John Vinci's House & Garden: Crabtree Farm plus Sullivan, Nickel, Adler and Shipman

The day before the icy storm hit, I was lucky enough to visit Crabtree Farm with some colleagues. Having only been there about 15 years ago, it was a real treat, especially this more recent building, Crabtree Guesthouse. I was surprised and pleased to learn the architect was John Vinci, principal of Vinci Hamp Architects, an old family friend who designed my father's gravestone (as well as their dear friend, the Louis Sullivan champion: Richard Nickel's) at Graceland cemetery where you can also see the grave of my dad's mentor, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. [The landscape at Graceland was designed by the great O.C. Simonds.] Above is the view out onto the pool and fields at Crabtree Farm. It's hard to see but, you can make out the perfect garden structure there in the image below.

Of course, Crabtree Farm abounds with history. You can catch a glimpse in this view through a current veggie garden towards the indoors tennis court (one of a dozen in the U.S. from the 1920s) by architect, David Adler.

And this bench anchors a section of the original garden by Ellen Biddle Shipman next to the Adler-designed residence from the 1920s. I was so impressed by her work, I hungered for a decade before finally visiting the garden on the cover of the above book, at Stan Hywet in Akron, a few years ago. Homes and Gardens wear, styles change, but it is still moving to see how certain visions and concepts retain their power.

This post should have enough links even to engage Lynn, my inspiring neighbor of architectural expertise.