A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Natural Gardens of Saint Charles, Illinois

Years ago, I knew very little about gardening. I decided to join a garden club in our little town. A friend introduced me to the ladies of the club and I was inspired. We would meet at each other's homes and always had a tour of their garden or a plant swap. At first, I had very little to swap, but they always sent me home with some sprigs to plant. I would plant them as soon as I got home...many times making mistakes and planting something in the wrong spot. I learned by doing. The next year I had a few things to swap with my friends. We went on a field trip that second year to

The Natural Gardens in a neighboring town.Many of their customers are retail customers who are gardeners, educators and homeowners. We entered the gardens and I saw a landscape of all kinds of perennials as far as I could see. You wait your turn and then a digger comes and digs the plants that you choose. You can trust that they have made every effort to ensure that the plants are true to name and origin. A little research before is advisable otherwise a new gardener can be overwhelmed.
They grow and maintain the plants in a way that communicates that they care about the health and safety of the world in which we all live.

This from the internet...
The Natural Garden was established in 1953 as a small nursery where perennials were dug on site for the customers. As interest in perennials and woodland wildflowers brought in more customers, they began to produce a greater selection of plants in containers.
By 1979, as public concern for the preservation of indigenous fauna and flora encouraged and supported the work of natural land managers (park districts & forest preserves), the nursery began to propagate and produce native prairie plants.
Their selection of ornamental plants has also increased through the years, and they have expanded into producing over 1000 container grown selections on 25 acres. The Natural Garden, Inc. now consists of a 4 acre retail garden center with display gardens and a wholesale department.

We ladies spent the better part of a day there. We brought a snack to eat and some water. We all waited our turn, while looking at everything and watching what everyone else was buying. We would change our minds many times....wanting what our friends were buying. I lived in a house with a very shady yard. I didn't know that you could have a beautiful shade garden, until I went to the gardens. It is where my love for hostas began. I live in a sunny yard now....still have many hostas...ones that tolerate some sun. Sitting in the cool shade, while the others were buying sun plants, I dreamed of my yard being like the one that I was resting in. Shady, cool, and moist on a hot day in Illinois. I wanted to create an oasis in my back yard. We picked out our plants, filled the car trunks (we actually did fill them) and journeyed home....dropping the tired gardeners at their homes. I was the last stop. My selections were put on my driveway and my friend left me there. I looked at these first plants for shade and thought....here goes. I did create, over the years, my oasis in the back yard. I made many more trips to the gardens, exchanged pass a long plants, and hit all the plant sales in my area. My yard was full and I loved it. When I remarried and moved away, I brought some of my favorite plants along. I had a big sale at my house and friends came and dug things out of my yard. It was a wonderful learning experience planting those first gardens....it has stayed with me from then till now. I still think of that shady spot in St. Charles, where I sat and dreamed of my garden.



OhioMom said...

I always enjoy your reminisces ... thank you so much for sharing them with us :)

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I haven't been to The Natural Garden in years, but I used to go frequently when I lived in Bartlett. I loved their display gardens, their plant selection and their catalogue which listed the months each plant would bloom in. One of these days I'll make it back out there.