The President's Circle
Welcome to the February E-Newsletter


Dear President’s Circle Member,

It was wonderful to see so many of you at the Three Friends of Winter Preview Party last month (photos are below). This was our first gathering in what promises to be a delightful and fascinating year of events and programs for President’s Circle members, ranging from special lectures to gala evenings to an exclusive travel tour.

The bitterly cold temperatures of late winter have prompted me to take advantage of the Chicago Botanic Garden’s many indoor options. I recently brought my family to the Regenstein Center, and as we stepped inside, we encountered a warm and happy hub of activity. We walked past beautiful new photomural panels from In Search of Paradise: Great Gardens of the World. We lingered, amazed, at the Woodcut exhibition, featuring large-scale relief prints made of cross sections of salvaged wood by Bryan Nash Gill. I loved every part of Woodcut, including the artistic entry sign and the benches, the latter of which were crafted from an ash tree that grew at the Garden until it became infested with the emerald ash borer. (You can read about what we are doing to fight this invasive threat in the next issue of Keep Growing, and on the Garden’s website.)


You're invited!

Slow FlowersSlow Flowers

Saturday, March 9
10 to 11:30 a.m.
$28 per person


Author and garden expert Debra Prinzing gives a talk on her yearlong floral journey to create 52 bouquets, one for each week of the year, using local materials exclusively. The audience is invited to bring in a few samples from their own gardens for Debra to use in her designs or comment about. Discover her tips and tricks for locating and utilizing the best, most intriguing local material, and watch her fashion gorgeous bouquets before your eyes. Debra will also be signing copies of her books The 50 Mile Bouquet and Slow Flowers: Four Seasons of Locally Grown Bouquets from the Garden, Meadow, and Farm.

Click here to register for this event.


Presented by the Garden Conservancy and the Chicago Botanic Garden; cosponsored by the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.

GinkoGinkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot
Peter Crane Lecture and Book Signing


Thursday, March 14
4 to 5 p.m. Reception
5 to 6:30 p.m. Lecture and book signing
$20 per person


An arboreal oddity with one of the longest of all botanical pedigrees, ginkgo has a life story deeply intertwined with that of our planet. Inspired by the historic ginkgo that has thrived in London’s Kew Gardens since the 1760s, renowned botanist, former director of The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and Yale University dean Sir Peter Crane explores the evolutionary history of the species in this special engagement. Come hear the ginkgo’s story, followed by a signing of Crane’s new book, Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot.

Click here to register for this event.


Antiques & Garden FairAntiques & Garden Fair Preview Evening

Thursday, April 18
6 to 10 p.m.


This year’s Antiques & Garden Fair is from Friday, April 19, through Sunday, April 21, and explores the theme of “Color in the Garden.” A special Antiques & Garden Fair Preview Evening offers guests an opportunity to enjoy priority shopping, sumptuous buffets, and libations. Click here for more information, including ticket prices. To make a reservation by phone, please call (847) 835-6944.



Photo Album

Three Friends of WinterThree Friends of Winter Bonsai Silhouette Show Preview Party

On January 25, President’s Circle and Director’s Circle members and friends enjoyed a magical evening at the Three Friends of Winter preview party. The event included an informal tour of the bonsai silhouette show by curator Ivan Watters; Japanese music, sushi, and sake; and a presentation by Kris Jarantoski, executive vice president and director.

Three Friends of Winter is generously supported by the Astellas USA Foundation.


calendar of events

The complete 2013 listing of President’s Circle events is now available.



When my family and I were at the Garden we also visited the Greenhouses, which have been transformed in the past few years. They are sensational—lush, colorful, textured, dynamic, fragrant, joyful. My sons enjoyed seeing a chocolate tree with ripening cacao pods, and discovering clusters of bananas among the enormous leaves of a banana tree. I hope you and your family also find time to explore the indoor treasures of the Garden. Don’t forget to drop by Lenhardt Library to see the new exhibition there, Historic Landscapes: Architectural Design in Print. The rare books in this exhibition contain engravings of landscape design from the past four centuries in Europe and the United States.

I look forward to seeing you next month at another indoor Garden event, when Sir Peter Crane discusses the amazing evolutionary history of the ginkgo in his special presentation, “Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot.”

Soon enough we will all be outdoors, benefiting from everything Mother Nature has to offer. In the meantime, during these coldest days of the year, there’s much to discover inside the Garden.

All the best,


Sophia Siskel
President & CEO
Chicago Botanic Garden


Sophia Siskel
President & CEO

Betsy Hough
Ben Lenhardt
President’s Circle
Co-chairs

In This Issue:

Slow Flowers
Peter Crane
   Lecture
AGF Preview
   Evening
Photo Album
Calendar