The President's Circle

Welcome to the August E-Newsletter

Dear President’s Circle Member,

Keep Growing Fall 2011Read Sophia's letter on the many beautiful reasons to visit the Chicago Botanic Garden this fall. In addition to our classic and always-popular festivals and celebrations, this year the Garden offers a new event: Autumn Brews: Seasonal Beer Tasting in the Garden. Read about all of these events—and much more—in the fall issue of Keep Growing.

You're invited!

Happy HourHappy Hour in the Bernice E. Lavin Plant Evaluation Garden

Thursday, August 25
5 to 7 p.m.
$10 per person

Celebrate the end of summer and the new Trellis Bridge connecting Evening Island to the Plant Science Center while enjoying refreshments, good company, and warm evening air in the redesigned Bernice E. Lavin Plant Evaluation Garden!

Register online or call the President’s Circle hotline, (847) 835-6925, today.

Farm DinnerFarm Dinner

Wednesday, September 7
5 to 8 p.m.
$150 per President’s Circle member

The Garden invites you to celebrate food as we bring together local farmers, winemakers, breweries, and our own Green Youth Farm for a spectacular multicourse meal. Our talented chef, Cleetus Friedman, will wow your palate as we explore the relationship between the earth and the food you will enjoy. The summer Farm Dinner series is generously supported by Harris Private Bank.

To register for the September 7 Farm Dinner, please call (847) 835-6925.

Estate PlanningTips to Ensure Your Estate Plan Really Works

Thursday, October 6
8:30 a.m. coffee and doughnuts
9 to 10 a.m. presentation and discussion
Complimentary, but reservations are required

Join Stacy E. Singer, senior vice president, The Northern Trust Company, for an objective discussion of ways to ensure a smooth estate plan. This is a wonderful way to educate yourself in a familiar and beautiful setting. This strictly informational presentation is for both experienced estate planners and those new to the estate-planning process. It is appropriate for individuals who are single or married. Stacy has graciously agreed to share her knowledge with our group as an educational benefit to members of the Garden’s President’s Circle, Director’s Circle, and Garden Heritage Society.

Register online or call the President’s Circle hotline, (847) 835-6925, today.

don't miss

An Afternoon with Patrick BlancAn Afternoon with Patrick Blanc

Wednesday, September 7
Lecture and book signing, 2 to 3:30 p.m.
$15 per person

Join French botanist and designer Patrick Blanc as he discusses his amazing living vertical gardens. Renowned for having injected biodiversity into built-up areas, he has installed vertical gardens internationally in hotels, restaurants, lounges, museums, showrooms, and numerous other public buildings.

Register online or call the registrar at (847) 835-8261.

An Afternoon with Michael Van ValkenburghAn Afternoon with Michael Van Valkenburgh

Wednesday, September 21
Lecture, 11 a.m. to noon
$35 per member/$44 per nonmember

Landscape architect and designer Michael Van Valkenburgh demonstrates his passion for landscape as a living artistic medium that deepens and enriches people’s lives through the confluence of aesthetics, technology, and ecology. Join Van Valkenburgh as he looks back at the projects and experiences that led to his design of the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Spider Island, and discusses how Spider Island influenced his later work.

Register online or call the registrar (847) 835-8261.

photo album

Gardens of Distinction Gardens of Distinction

This year’s Gardens of Distinction featured four exceptional North Shore private gardens designed by renowned landscape architect Craig Bergmann. Bergmann, who treated members of the President’s Circle to a reception at his new home and office at the restored Old Coach House at Elawa Farm, led the bus tour. Our sincere thanks to Bergmann and his wonderful team, including Russ Buvala, for such a fantastic day.

View photographs from past President’s Circle events (the password is “circle”).

Upcoming Garden Events

Roadside Flower SaleRoadside Flower Sale

September 9 to 11
10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Chicago Botanic Garden volunteers host the annual Roadside Flower Sale. This year’s 31st annual sale of one-of-a-kind dried flower arrangements in the Regenstein Center showcases gifts from the Garden's specially collected dried flowers, pods, and grasses. More than 300 flower arrangements and wreaths are available for purchase.

Fall Bulb FestivalFall Bulb Festival

Members-only preview:, Friday, September 30, 10 a.m. to noon; General public: Friday, September 30, noon to 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, October 1 and 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Woman’s Board of the Chicago Horticultural Society presents its annual Fall Bulb Festival, including the bulb sale featuring 200 varieties and a fall market of vendors selling pottery, baked goods, honey, and more. Preorder your bulbs online, beginning September 8.

HallowFestHallowFest A Garden of Good…and Evil

October 21 to 23
Friday and Saturday: 6 to 8:30 p.m. Earlier hours on Sunday: 4 to 6:30 p.m.

Celebrate Halloween at the Garden! Discounted members-only tickets are on sale beginning Monday, August 22. Tickets cost $14 for members and $16 for nonmembers. Children ages 2 and under are free. Purchase tickets online or at the Visitor Center.

Upcoming Events

Please click on each of the photos above for information on these fun ways to enjoy the Garden.

In recent weeks, you may have learned the Chicago Botanic Garden has confirmed the presence of Emerald Ash Borers (EAB) on Garden grounds. On July 26, Kris Jarantoski, executive vice president and director, and Tom Tiddens, director of plant healthcare, met with state agricultural inspectors to confirm that EAB were present in traps near the Dundee Gate.

This disappointing development is not a surprise. The EAB problem is prevalent throughout the Midwest, and I’m sure many of you have encountered them in your hometowns or personal landscapes. For the last five years, the Garden has employed the best research-based integrated pest management practices to protect ten percent of our ash tree collection. The goals were to ensure the survival of some of these beautiful trees on garden grounds and to protect their longstanding contributions to our plant and animal communities. Unfortunately, it was not feasible to protect all of our ash trees. In the coming years, we are prepared to lose many trees, including in our beloved McDonald Woods.

As always, the Garden, true to its mission, will continue to promote the understanding and conservation of plants and the natural world. On behalf of the entire Chicago Botanic Garden, thank you for your support. It greatly enhances our ability to address through research and education the many conservation challenges we face.


Sophia Siskel
President & CEO
Chicago Botanic Garden

Sophia Siskel
President & CEO

Jane O’Neil
Ben Lenhardt
President’s Circle

In This Issue:

Sophia's Letter
Happy Hour
Farm Dinner
Estate Planning
Patrick Blanc
Michael Van
Photo Album
Roadside Flower
Fall Bulb Festival
Genus Rosa Exhibition Nature Nights Journey of the Universe screening