The President's Circle

Welcome to the April E-Newsletter

Dear President’s Circle Member,

Welcome to the glorious spring of the Garden's 40th anniversary year! With new plant life emerging everywhere we turn, it's worth noting the many human lives the Garden has helped nurture, past and present. As stated in our ten-year strategic plan, "Keep Growing," we believe people live better, healthier, and more satisfying lives when they can create, care for, and enjoy gardens. Our 24 display gardens inspire nearly a million visitors each year, and two of them in particular exemplify our philosophy.

One is the Buehler Enabling Garden, which began 30 years ago and has grown into a leading model in promoting effective garden design, tools, and techniques that engage people of all ages and abilities. The other is the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden, created 35 years ago to educate Chicago-area residents about the benefits and methods of growing fresh produce. These days, our many community gardening participants spend life-changing summers in the Fruit & Vegetable Garden. I hope you find time to visit these very special gardens, and our other wonderful display gardens, sometime soon.

You're invited!

State of the Garden Address"State of the Garden"
Thursday, May 3
8 to 10 a.m.

Join Sophia Siskel for an informal review of the Garden's past accomplishments and goals for the future. Bob Kirschner, director of restoration ecology, will present an update on the Garden's North Lake Restoration Project.

Please R.S.V.P. if you plan to attend.

A Bloomin' FestivalA Bloomin' Festival and Preview Evening

Members-only Preview Evening
Thursday, May 17
4 to 7 p.m.
Fee: $35

Members-only Festival Hours: Friday, May 18, 1 to 5 p.m. General Festival Hours: Saturday and Sunday, May 19 and 20, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Enjoy priority shopping, a light dinner, and beer or wine at A Bloomin' Festival Preview Evening for members and their guests. Due to the popularity of this event, we encourage you to make your reservation in advance. For more information, call (847) 835-8375.

In addition to the 46th annual spring plant sale sponsored by the Woman's Board of the Chicago Botanic Garden, A Bloomin' Festival offers a lovely open-air marketplace featuring live music and a bustling market selling fresh-baked goods, local produce, handmade pottery, and other garden items. Gardeners can choose from more than 25,000 plants at the sale, including annuals, perennials, native wildflowers, geraniums, roses, ornamental grasses, shrubs, vines, and ferns.

photo album

Photo AlbumPalm Beach and Hobe Sound Trip

In February, 40 members of our President's Circle enjoyed a wonderful time in Palm Beach and Hobe Sound, Florida, touring private homes and gardens (even by yacht). We extend our thanks to Cindy and Ben Lenhardt, Jane and Tom O'Neil, Peggy and Jack Crowe, and Barbara Carr for making this another memorable President's Circle travel experience. Multiple photographers helped us capture the special moments. Enjoy the show!

save the date

World Environment DayWorld Environment Day & Opening of the Grunsfeld Children's Growing Garden

Saturday, June 2
9 a.m.

Join the Garden's fifth annual celebration of World Environment Day. Don't miss the keynote presentation by our featured speakers, WGN-TV Chief Meteorologist Tom Skilling and Bob Jordan, WGN-TV News at Nine weekend anchor. The day begins with a 9 a.m. dedication ceremony for the opening of the new Grunsfeld Children's Growing Garden, followed by tours and activities there—including our new Butterflies & Blooms exhibition. World Environment Day activities are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in designated areas of the Garden; the Children's Growing Garden is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Register online for the keynote presentation.

Lecture by Peter Hatch, Director of Gardens and Grounds for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation

"A Rich Spot of Earth: Thomas Jefferson's Revolutionary Garden at Monticello"
Thursday, May 17, 1:30 to 3 p.m.
Fee: $19

Hear what makes the magnificently restored garden at Monticello unique, both for its original purpose and in the present. Author Peter Hatch, who painstakingly restored the terraced garden, will guide the audience from the vegetables first planted in 1770 through the horticultural experiments of Thomas Jefferson's retirement years.

Register online or call the President's Circle at (847) 835-6925.

Natural Vistas: Chicago's Heirloom Landscapes

Tuesday, June 19, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Fee: $20

Hear the story of Chicago's rich landscape legacy in a special Chicago Botanic Garden–Library of American Landscape History event led by LALH Trustee Darrel Morrison and featuring the LALH's world premiere of the film Designing in the Prairie Spirit. Discover two new books, Graceland Cemetery: A Design History and The Native Landscape Reader, which the authors will discuss. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Register online or call the President's Circle at (847) 835-6925.

Gardens of Distinction: Town and Country with Doug Hoerr

Thursday, July 19, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fee: $125

This year the President's Circle signature event is a visit to gardens designed by Doug Hoerr. We will start by visiting three North Shore suburban gardens, travel downtown for lunch overlooking the Hoerr-designed landscape at The Arts Club of Chicago, and conclude with a tour of two private gardens in Lincoln Park.

We are pleased to offer some outstanding events for our President's Circle members this year. Our Gardens of Distinction tour in July will be led by noted landscape architect Doug Hoerr, and a 40th anniversary celebration of the Garden will be presented by Kris Jarantoski, executive vice president and director, in October. Please refer to our online President's Circle calendar for an updated listing of these events and others. I hope to see you soon at our President's Circle programs and at other exciting Garden events, such as A Bloomin' Festival and World Environment Day.

It has been a genuine pleasure for me to get to know many of you through our special President's Circle programs. When the President's Circle formed in 1998, the Garden's most loyal members were able to forge a deeper connection with the mission of the Garden. During my time here, I have only seen that commitment grow. I am so grateful for your wisdom and companionship, and for everything you do for the Chicago Botanic Garden.

With appreciation,

Sophia Siskel
President & CEO
Chicago Botanic Garden

Sophia Siskel
President & CEO

Jane O’Neil
Ben Lenhardt
President’s Circle

In This Issue:

State of the
   Garden Address
A Bloomin'
Photo Album
   Environment Day
Natural Vistas
Gardens of