Dear President’s Circle Member,
As we move into our 40th anniversary year at the Garden, I find myself reflecting on this living museum's many accomplishments. The successes of the past continued in 2011, when, in every way, the Garden flourished. For the third year in a row, the Garden experienced record attendance with more than 950,000 visits to the Garden. More than 50,000 households are now part of our membership community. There are more opportunities than ever for people to benefit from the Garden's efforts in horticulture, education, science, and visitor programs—the pillars of our ten-year strategic plan. The hard work of staff and volunteers, and the generous donations of contributors like you, make our goals achievable.
President's Circle membership is at an all-time high, and I am grateful to each one of you for your commitment to the Garden. President's Circle contributions are a vital source of operating support. I hope you enjoy the Garden's special President's Circle programs, from preview parties and lectures to tours and tastings. For everyone, this special anniversary year at the Garden promises to be one of the most exciting ever.
It was wonderful to kick off our 2012 President's Circle events at the Bonsai Silhouette Preview Party. The unseasonably warm weather brought out a great group to see the Garden's bonsai in their beautiful winter dormancy.
Antiques & Garden Fair Preview Evening
Thursday, April 19
6 to 10 p.m.
Spring's most exciting event at the Garden, the Antiques & Garden Fair, is celebrating its 12th year as the Garden celebrates its 40th. Enjoy priority shopping, sumptuous buffets, and refreshments at the special Antiques & Garden Fair Preview Evening on Thursday; the Fair is Friday through Sunday. Proceeds from the Preview Evening benefit the Garden's conservation, education, and research programs. The Fair showcases more than 100 dealers of antique garden furnishings, exquisite vintage items, and garden-related merchandise from the United States and Europe.
Click here for more information and to register.
Upcoming Garden Events
Lift Your Sprits:
Craft Spirits Tasting at the Garden
Thursday, March 8, 6 to 8 p.m.
Members: $23; in advance: $20
Chase away the winter blues as you lift your spirits at the Garden's first craft spirits tasting event. Connoisseurs are invited to sample an array of spirits crafted by small-batch distillers, including Death's Door Spirits, Templeton Rye Spirits, Angel's Envy, and Rhum Clement. These distilleries will pour quarter-ounce tastings of bourbon, rye, scotch, vodka, and gin, while representatives give guests an insider's view of ingredients and techniques used in the distillation process.
Click here for more information and to register.
On January 26, President's Circle members and friends enjoyed the Bonsai Silhouette Show Preview Party. The event included an informal tour of the Bonsai Silhouette Show, hors d'oeuvres, Japanese music, and a presentation by Kris Jarantoski.
Lecture, Book Signing, and Seed Swap
Sunday, February 26, 2 to 5 p.m.
Lecture and Book Signing with Diane Ott Whealy, 2 to 3 p.m.
Seed Swap and Demonstrations, 3 to 5 p.m.
Diane Ott Whealy, expert gardener and co-founder of Seed Savers Exchange, shares her experience designing and planting heirloom flowers, vegetables, and herbs. Copies of her new book, Gathering: Memoir of a Seed Saver, will be available for purchase and signing. During the seed swap, gardeners can bring saved or leftover seed packets to share and swap with other gardeners.
Library Talk: "Renaissance Artists: Illustrations of Science and Art"
Saturday, March 17
2 p.m., Lenhardt Library
Learn about the Lenhardt Library's latest exhibition during this free talk that describes some of the artists of Renaissance science illustrations, which are works of art in themselves. Amazing rare volumes of this period are on display in the Library.
Volunteer Opportunity Fair
Sunday and Monday, March 4 and 5
1 to 3 p.m., Burnstein Hall, Regenstein Center
Discover — and help others discover — a world of wonder and inspiration as a Garden volunteer. You'll have unlimited opportunities to share your talents, explore new areas, and connect with people of all ages as a volunteer at the Garden.
Many of us just returned from a marvelous trip of touring private homes and gardens (even by yacht) in Palm Beach and Hobe Sound. We are grateful for the wonderful work of the Lenhardts, O'Neils, Crowes, and Barbara Carr in making this a memorable event. Stay tuned for pictures!
Spring may seem far away, but before you know it, the Antiques & Garden Fair and Preview Evening will arrive in April. Meanwhile, there's always something to see at the Garden, where Mother Nature brings you a new outdoor exhibition every day of the year. The Garden's indoor exhibitions invariably offer something interesting, as well. Perhaps I'll see you at Treewhispers in the Joutras Gallery or Renaissance Artists: Illustrations of Science and Art in the Lenhardt Library. Enjoy your visit, wherever your Garden path leads you.
All the best,
President & CEO
Chicago Botanic Garden