ISSUE NO. 6
THE GARDEN ISSUE VISIT THE REGION’S MOST INSPIRING GARDENS GROW GOODNESS
ÂŠ 2016 LAKESHORE MAGAZINE All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying or other electronic methods, without prior written permission of the editor; except in the case of brief quotations embodied in the critical reviews and certain other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, please write to: email@example.com
Cover Photographer: Adam Dooley
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CONTENTS FEATURES 20 | From the Ground Up North 32 | Grow Good Food, Yellow Tractor Gardens
LOCAL ADVENTURES 10 | City in a Garden
STYLE 18 | Flower Power 30 | Spring Greens 42 | Gifts from the Garden
IN EVERY ISSUE 3 | #LakeshoreLife 4 | Contributors 5 | Editor’s Letter 6 | Spring Events
CONTRIBUTORS LINDSAY HUMES ART DIRECTOR
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MATT FRANK FOUNDER, FROM THE GROUND UP NORTH
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WENDY IRWIN FOUNDER + CEO, YELLOW TRACTOR LLC
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EDITOR’S LETTER Spring! Finally. Throughout the cold, grey season of winter and, let’s face it, much of early spring, I daydream about digging in the dirt and working on my constantly evolving backyard garden. I’ve often said that, other than becoming a parent, nothing has taught me more about myself than cultivating a garden. My notorious impatience and need for immediate results is no match for nature. She works at her own pace. Mistakes are always forgiven and, sometimes, the plants I expect the least of surprise me with their ability to thrive, often in spite of my attempts to weed them out. I gave up on growing vegetables several years ago, I was only feeding squirrels, but flowers have proven to be a great relationship. Peonies are my botanical soul mates, although our annual affair is all too brief. With this issue we’ll explore the abundant gardens of our region. In this issue we’ll follow one of my favorite seasonal adventures through some of the most beautiful gardens of Chicago and the North Shore. I’ll take you on a short tour of my favorite flower gardens where I cultivate ideas for my own garden space. You’ll also meet two local organizations whose mission is to bring the many benefits of gardening to local communities. And, as always, you’ll find some products that you may need to start your own garden. When I launched Lakeshore Magazine one year ago (happy anniversary!), I hoped to capture the sense of wonder at the remarkable place where we live, the interesting people who surround us and the natural beauty of all our seasons. I hope this issue will inspire you head out into the spring and explore new places. You’ll find much more online at lakeshoremag.com. Please join us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest for more ways to engage with the Great Lakes Region. And, as always, I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions for Lakeshore Magazine. With best wishes,
ALICIA K. O’CONNOR, Lakeshore Magazine email · facebook · instagram · pinterest · twitter
SPRING EVENTS ILLINOIS CUBS VS. REDS, April 11th WHITE SOX VS. INDIANS, April 18th CHICAGO ANTIQUE MARKET, April 2rd & 24h and May 28th & 29th This popular monthly event featuring art, fashion and vintage items moves outdoors in May.
GOSPEL MUSIC FEST, May 29th & 30th
The outdoor music season opens in Millennium Park with this annual weekend of classic Gospel performances.
BIKE THE DRIVE, May 29th
One day each Spring Lake Shore Drive is closed to vehicle traffic to welcome bicyclists of all ages.
LOUIS VUITTON AMERICA’S CUP WORLD SERIES CHICAGO, June 10th - 12th Join us as we cheer on Oracle Team USA at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series.
MICHIGAN BRING BACK THE 80S FESTIVAL, April 22nd – 23rd, Frankenmuth
Celebrate the music, trends and events of the 1980’s. All proceeds benefit cancer research.
TRAVERSE CITY CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL, May 7th - 14th, Traverse City
Sample from the regionâ€™s finest chocolatiers, chefs, and caterers.
TULIP TIME, May 7th - 14th, Holland
This celebration of Dutch heritage and culture features more than 4 million tulips planted throughout the town.
WARBLERS ON THE WATER, May 27th - 29th, Beaver Island
Guided bird walks provide an opportunity to see many types of birds at the natural resting points during spring migration.
WISCONSIN GITCHEE GUMEE BREW FEST, April 16th, Superior Sample 125 beers from 35 craft breweries.
MIDWEST HORSE FAIR, April 15th - 17th, Madison
The annual three-day event will delight horse lovers of all ages.
WOMEN'S WEEKEND, April 29th - 30th, Lake Geneva
Call your best girlfriends and plan to meet in beautiful Lake Geneva for this weekend-long event sponsored by the Rotary Club of Lake Geneva.
WISCONSIN MARATHON, May 7th, Kenosha
Full and half marathon distances are offered along a lakeside course.
ELKHORN ANTIQUE FLEA MARKET, May 15th, Elkhorn
The summer treasure-hunting season opens with this monthly market held at the Walworth County Fairgrounds.
CITY IN A GARDEN Chicago’s motto, “Urbs in Horto” or City in a Garden, may surprise you. After all, this city best known for its glittering skyline, historic architecture, and culinary indulgences might not call to mind finely designed garden spaces. But one thing Chicago does better than any of the many world-class cities I’ve visited is public gardens and parks.
After our annual winter hibernation, native Chicagoans and tourists flock to parks along the lakefront and throughout the city to enjoy these beautifully designed and lovingly maintained public spaces. Wide lawns and mature trees offer a place to recline and take in the sight as spring unfolds into summer. And the flowers. Oh my goodness, the flowers! In thousands of beds, parkways, and planters Chicago shows off an unrivaled display of annual flowers that amazes me in every season. As a long-time resident, I look forward to seeing what Chicago and its North Shore suburbs have planned each spring and invite you to join me on a brief tour of some of my favorite spots. All of these sights are completely free to visit (parking fees apply) and open to the public year-round.
LURIE GARDEN IN MILLENNIUM PARK Millennium Park, completed in 2004, is the crowning achievement of Chicago’s lakefront park system. With so many features including the Cloud Gate, Crown Fountain, Pritzker Pavilion, and Maggie Daley Playground, it might be easy to miss the lovely Lurie Garden. The garden is found at the eastern side of Millennium Park over an elegant footbridge and just inside a striking 15-foot tall hedge that symbolically represents the “big shoulders” of Chicago. The Lurie Garden in midspring is an undulating expanse of purple prairie plants including catmint and salvia. Later in the season, more native plants take center-stage with coneflowers and lilies attracting butterflies, finches and other pollinators to this urban oasis. In spite of the bustling city on every side, this place is a tranquil, meditative oasis of calm. The most incredible view is from above and can be easily seen from the shining footbridge connecting the park with the modern wing of the Art Institute of Chicago. Better yet, take in the sight from the full height glass windows of the museum itself. To find our next stop, head north on Michigan Avenue and enjoy the beautiful median and parkway plantings.
PHOTO BY PAYTON CHUNG 11
THE LINCOLN PARK CONSERVATORY This is certainly one of the most beautiful spots in Chicago. Built in 1893, the ornate glass conservatory is a respite from the city in every season. Each of the four rooms houses tropical plants, a koi pond, and seasonal floral exhibits. Just south of the conservatory is a century-old formal garden with a changing annual display of plants surrounding a delicate fountain. The French-style garden offers three seasons of interest as spring bulbs give way to summer and early fall flowering plants. Just east of the conservatory, practically hidden in plain sight, is the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool. Originally created in the 1930’s, the lily pool is a beautiful example of Prairie School Landscape Architecture combining simple structures created from natural limestone in a style that fits harmoniously into the natural setting. This local treasure was nearly lost to neglect in the last century but was reborn through the dedication of local conservation groups in the early 2000’s and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. Before you leave the area, visit the sprawling gardens just across Stockton Drive on either side of the William Shakespeare monument. Though you could truly spend years wandering through the many formal and semiwild garden spaces of Chicago’s parks, I invite you to take a trip north on Lake Shore Drive, past colorful median plantings, to the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston.
PHOTO BY ALLEN SCOTT WALKER 13
THE SHAKESPEARE GARDEN Another hidden garden can be found on the impressive campus of Northwestern University. Plants and flowers play a prominent role in the works of William Shakespeare and gardens that pay tribute to his works exist throughout the world. A lovely example is found just north of the Garret Theological Seminary on Northwestern’s Evanston Campus. The Shakespeare Garden is a joint project of Northwestern, the city of Evanston, and the century-old Garden Club of Evanston. The garden, established in 1915, was designed by renowned landscape architect, Jens Jensen and is hidden just beyond a tall hedge that gives the effect of a private English walled garden. Around the formal beds a natural path follows the perimeter and crosses the center past a vintage sundial. From late spring to mid-summer delicate blooms unfold in a soft pastel color palette. I’ve visited the spot many times and have almost always had the garden all to myself. It feels like a real secret garden.
BAHA’I HOUSE OF WORSHIP Just a few miles north, another formal garden surrounds the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois. The temple, as well as the history and philosophy of the Baha’i organization, are the real draw, but the gardens that surround the imposing temple nearly steal the spotlight in spring and summer. Each of the distinct garden rooms is defined by a hedge to focus attention internally. The rooms feature long greens, reflecting pools and fountains bordered by colorful annual and perennial beds. In the spring, sweet-smelling hyacinth and tulips are on display along with brightly colored pansies. Throughout the summer hydrangeas and roses take over and the annuals take on a fresh design each year.
PHOTO BY TH SHRIVER
PHOTO BY RYAN 15
Continuing north on Sheridan Road the stately mansions of the North Shore offer their own garden displays. Just past the striking sights of North Shore Congregation Israel and the exclusive Lake Shore Country Club, Sheridan Road turns to the west along the Lake and Cook county border. Our final destination is in sight, the worldclass Chicago Botanic Garden.
THE CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN This place is my idea of paradise. Twenty-six gardens sprawl over nine islands and nearly 400 acres. The incredible variety of landscape design styles and plant varieties is staggering. Upon entering the garden through the visitors’ center you’ll cross a flower-draped bridge to the ever-changing crescent garden where spring offers a spectacular display of tulips and other flowering bulbs followed by beautifully designed annual gardens later in the season. If you time your spring visit right, the bulb garden will be full of so many unusual flowers you’ll question everything you thought you knew about spring bulbs. For a few weeks in May, the crabapple trees are covered in pink and white blossoms and Dutch iris blooms profusely along the water’s edge. Migratory birds flock to the garden in all seasons and join the resident swans that paddle gracefully between the islands. Every square foot of this garden is stunningly beautiful in every season, but I do have a few favorite corners. In spring, and all seasons really, I love the English Walled Garden where low-growing classic plants surround ponds and fountains. Wide benches urge you to rest and take it all in. In May, mature wisteria vine will be in fragrant bloom. Don’t miss the Japanese garden in spring when the crabapples and azaleas are blooming. Walk to the far side of the Japanese garden island and find a patch of Dutch iris next to the zig-zag bridge that only blooms for a few weeks each year. Finally, across a bridge on Evening Island, take in the view of flowering trees and blooming prairie plants that are best seen from this perspective. There is so much beauty throughout the garden, so take your time. Stay all day. I encourage you to purchase a membership and visit often in different seasons. Just when you think you know this place well, it will surprise you all over again.
PHOTO BY JAYSIN TREVINO
PHOTO BY TONY THE TIGER 17
FLOWER POWER SUNSHINE + CHEERFUL BLOOMS WELCOME SPRING
FLORAL DOOR KNOCKER
ROSEMAY - LAVENDER WREATH
PETUNIA + ROSES PAINTING
UMBRELLA FLORAL PLATES
FROM THE GROUND UP NORTH INTERVIEW OF MATT FRANK BY ALICIA Oâ€™CONNOR
Each year Spring in the Midwest brings a life-affirming sense of a new beginning, an annual renewal of our connection to the natural world that we sought to shelter from for so many months. As the trees begin to bud and the first flowers open bringing swaths of color to the landscape, we find a renewed appreciation for the abundant plant and animal life that surrounds us and a desire to connect with the local environment.
PHOTO BY VANESSA CAMBIER 21
To make that connection, meet Matt Frank, Founder of From the Ground Up North, an educational initiative focused on highlighting sustainable agriculture practitioners, places and opportunities for getting involved in a thriving local food scene and economy throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. From the Ground Up North offers a wealth of information about the local agricultural community in the upper Midwest and links readers to local producers, businesses and activists. It was a pleasure to interview Matt about his initiative!
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE FROM THE GROUND UP NORTH? Iâ€™ve lived in Minnesota for more than a decade and in that time, have developed a passion for the vibrant agricultural community and local food and drink scene around the region. I studied environmental design in college, and in subsequent years have obtained certifications in Permaculture Design and Urban Farming which connected me to a wide array of local sustainable agriculture-based businesses, grassroots organizations, educators, farmers, advocates, and artists throughout greater Minnesota and Wisconsin. I created From the Ground Up North to tell their stories, help build awareness of their ecologically friendly efforts and accomplishments and share related resources. From the Ground Up North combines my personal values, creative skillsets, and passions to educate and inform others about healthy foods, healthy environments and healthy communities in the Upper Midwest.
WHY IS SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE IMPORTANT? Sustainable agriculture provides people with delicious, nutritious foods while using far fewer fossil fuels, chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides than conventional agriculture. In turn, this aids in improving both human and environmental health. As humans, we should see ourselves as stewards of the larger environmental community instead of entities that try to control or dominate it. When we pollute the Earth, we negatively impact ourselves.
WHAT RESOURCES WILL READERS FIND ON FROM THE GROUND UP NORTH? The website includes monthly feature stories highlighting organizations that are making a difference in their communities, sustainable agriculture and environmental land use issue research reports, a local foods map, resource links and third-party hosted events. We strive to cultivate awareness of food system issues, related social inequalities, and opportunities for improving equitable access to human and environmental health. We also offer a monthly newsletter called The Harvest to keep followers informed and up-to-date on the latest stories, news, events and resources.
PHOTO BY AMANDA RUETER
PHOTO BY LUKE GLIDDON 23
TELL US ABOUT A FEW OF THE ORGANIZATIONS THAT YOU HAVE HIGHLIGHTED RECENTLY? Iâ€™ve found so many fascinating and inspiring stories to tell! It was a pleasure to meet Kristine Beck, the Founder of Kinstone Academy of Applied Permaculture. Kinstone Academy of Applied Permaculture is an international Permaculture education center offering a Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) course and other Advanced Permaculture Programs. Permaculture is a regenerative design methodology for sustainable living that seeks to provide human material and non-material needs in a manner that respects the Earth and all living creatures. Originally seeking a change of pace from the corporate world, Kristine wanted to reconnect with the land by transforming her underutilized family farm property into an ecologically sound, productive landscape based on permaculture principles. To Kristine, permaculture embodies how she wants to live her life - by caring for the Earth, caring for people and giving back to both in a way that is benevolent. The 30-acre property located in the Driftless region of western Wisconsin is a living and working classroom that facilitates hands-on learning in a wide range of systems, all the while producing food and regenerating the land and people. Kinstone welcomes visitors to experience a functioning sustainable farm, food forest and view a number of natural buildings on the property that have been designed utilizing permaculture. Read more at From the Ground Up North - Kinstone Academy
PHOTO BY VANESSA CAMBIER 25
Egg|Plant Urban Farm Supply is a wonderful, family-owned business in St. Paul that answers the question â€œI want to grow food but where do I start?â€? The store is a onestop shop reminiscent of a country general store for anyone interested in growing food in an urban environment. Egg|Plant are fine purveyors of egg-laying chickens, edible plants and trees, pollinator-friendly flowers and homesteading items, such as cheese making kits, bee keeping supplies, canning supplies, seeds, compost bins and rain barrels. The owners and general manager are incredibly knowledgeable and happy to offer guidance. They also offer a series of urban homesteading classes on the topics of chicken keeping, seed saving, bee keeping, mushroom growing and more! Read more at From the Ground Up North - Egg|Plant Urban Farm Supply
PHOTO BY VANESSA CAMBIER 27
Growing West Side is a grassroots organization that responds to a need in an isolated neighborhood on St. Paulâ€™s west side. This neighborhood lacks easy access to a major grocery store, and as such, can be considered a food desert. Seeing a need to educate the community about growing nutritious food for themselves, neighborhood residents started Growing West Side and currently operate four projects, including the West Side Farmers Market, a community gardening and food security project named Beans in the Boulevard, a public Seed Library, and a fruit planting Orchard Project. They also offer gardening and healthy food classes, workshops, and community events as a way to empower people to take control of their health using nutritious food as a tool for change. Read more at From the Ground Up North - Growing West Side
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BRING SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE INTO THEIR EVERYDAY LIVES? Anyone can do something to affect positive change. Simple things include supporting local growers by shopping at farmers markets or eating at locally owned and operated farm-to-table restaurants. If they are available in your area, joining a grocery cooperative or buying a community supported agriculture (CSA) share are a few additional ways to directly support local farmers. View the From the Ground Up North Local Foods Map to see whatâ€™s available in your area. Growing your own food can be incredibly satisfying and a lot of fun. Even a small space like a window ledge or apartment balcony can be used to create a small-scale edible garden. With a bit more space you can grow herbs and vegetables in a raised garden bed or plant annual and perennial vegetable and fruit crops in your yard or as part of a community garden. Every little effort makes a difference for the health of our environment and communities. Find many more past stories highlighting sustainable agriculture practitioners and follow From the Ground Up North for future installments and additional resources. You can also stay up-to-date by following From the Ground Up North on your favorite social media sites.
PHOTO BY LUKE GLIDDON 29
SPRING GREENS THE PERFECT SHADE FOR EVERYTHING THIS SEASON
GREEN BEAN BOOTS
PUCCI SCARF 31
PHOTO BY J. ARI ECCHINO 32
GROW GOOD FOOD YELLOW TRACTOR GARDENS
For Wendy Irwin, the Founder and CEO of Yellow Tractor, this is personal. Growing up in the shadow of Texas oil refineries in an area that some have called â€œthe cancer beltâ€?, Wendy began to understand the connection between the environment and human health at an early age. As a professional, parent and community activist now living in the leafy northern suburbs of Chicago, she knew she wanted to do something to make a positive impact on human and environmental health.
The idea came like a bolt of lightning one day just over five years ago. The key to better health begins with the most basic connection to the food we eat, and that connection starts by growing it for ourselves. In that moment of clarity, Yellow Tractor was born. Yellow Tractor, LLC provides on-site employee gardens and gardening education for corporations that are committed to improving individual health and well-being. In partnership with its clients, Yellow Tractor creates and facilitates custom-designed fruit and vegetable gardens and provides all the resources required for success. Recent clients include large and mid-sized corporations with employee wellness initiatives, schools and universities, and not-for-profit organizations committed to health, food security and environmental responsibility. Yellow Tractorâ€™s own custom-designed, raised cedar garden beds are the building blocks for each garden. The beds are built of untreated, natural red cedar, are easy to assemble with no tools required, and may be used in any location with at least 8 hours of direct sunlight each day.
After identifying the client’s goals and studying the garden site, installation begins. Each garden includes the beds, seeds, plants, soil and access to a full range of educational resources. Master gardeners create a soil mixture and planting plan to meet each client’s needs and deliver the best harvest. And the harvest can be significant. Each 4’ by 8’ garden bed can deliver up to 100 pounds of fruits and vegetables in a single season. Working in the garden provides opportunities for employees to connect on a personal level, builds community, and provides exercise, healthy food, and ultimately better overall well-being. By reaching people where they spend most of their life, in the workplace, Yellow Tractor helps organizations internally by lowering healthcare costs and improving productivity and externally through employee engagement projects in the community. As Wendy has said, “Corporate gardens are the new gym: they relieve stress, provide team building, burn calories and deliver fresh, healthy food for employees.” But the mission doesn’t end there. Wendy and her Yellow Tractor organization are committed to bringing the benefits of this approach to schools and underserved communities through a not for profit arm, The Yellow Tractor Project. Wendy explains, “A portion of the proceeds generated by Yellow Tractor flow to The Yellow Tractor Project which brings underserved communities and civic organizations the same caliber of health and wellness programming that Yellow Tractor delivers to workplaces. This allows us to reach people who most need the education and tools to grow their own fresh, healthy food.”
To connect corporate clients to not for profit beneficiaries, Yellow Tractor organizes employee volunteer projects bringing together the communities served. Yellow Tractor Dig Days are 1-day projects in which corporate employees work hand-inhand with participants at local civic organizations, schools and community gathering places to create a garden. One example of this partnership involved a sponsoring organization, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, and the incoming class of students at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. The Kellogg students along with Yellow Tractor staff and master gardeners built fruit and vegetable gardens at thirteen civic organizations across Chicago and Evanston all in one day. “It’s truly amazing what we can accomplish for our communities when we have strong partnerships like these.” And it’s all just beginning to bloom. 38
PHOTO BY TIAN YAKE
PHOTO BY J ADAMS 39
INSPIRED TO CREATE YOUR OWN GARDEN? I asked the staff at Yellow Tractor to offer some simple steps to get you stated.
STEPS TO STARTING A RAISED BED VEGETABLE GARDEN 1. Pick a level and sunny location. Make sure your location has a flat surface to lay the bed and approximately 6-8 hours of sun for optimal vegetable growth. 2. Get building materials. Measure the area where you will install the raised bed, this should be determined by how much space you have and the type of plants you want to grow. Youâ€™ll need; wood for the bed, cut to size, screws long enough to fit your bed height, drill and landscaping fabric to lay as the base under your bed for drainage and weed control. 3. Build your bed. Lay out your landscaping fabric over the area you have chosen. This fabric easily allows you to avoid weeds in your bed without the task of digging the grass up. Now construct your raised bed atop the fabric. 4. Fill the bed with compost and fertilizer. Make sure to get a healthy mix of compost and fertilizer for your bed. The amount youâ€™ll need is dependent upon your beds dimensions. 5. Plan your garden. Select vegetables and herbs that you will get the most yields based on the size of your raised bed. Once you have purchased your plant materials, be sure to look at the spacing requirements when installing them in your bed. 6. Enjoy your garden. Tend to your garden with watering, pruning and harvesting as needed to keep your plants healthy and your yields high. For consultation, supplies and materials, visit YellowTractor.co.
GIFTS FROM THE GARDEN FLORA + FAUNA FOR YOUR HOME - INSIDE + OUT
GARDEN CLUSTER NECKLACE BLUE BIRD PILLOW
PEONY CANDLE DRAGONFLY DOOR KNOCKER
JOIN US AS WE CHEER ON
ORACLE TEAM USA at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Chicago Match Race on Lake Michigan! Navy Pier / 600 E. Grand Ave. June 10-12, 2016 (10 AM – 6 PM daily) Grand Tickets Available at ACWSChicago.com
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The Garden Issue. Visit the most inspiring gardens of the region and grow goodness.