Planning your garden


Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford*

To paraphrase Alexander Chalmers "The three grand essentials of happiness are: Something to do, something to love, and something to hope for” and for me my garden hits all three marks. 


Winter blooming Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)**

Here in Chicago, the start of our long winter is tempered somewhat by the holidays being front-loaded just at the start of our shortening days and falling temps. What follows the bright lights and merry-making at the end of yet another year? Generally it is one long hangover of gray skies, freezing temps, bracing winds and crunching snow.

But, what we look forward to are ever lengthening days, a day or two above the freezing mark and the promise that that slushy snow now seeping into our shoes is a prelude to...spring!



Gardeners who can’t wait to get a jump on spring have already planted bulbs like snowdrops which bloom starting end of February and witch hazel which can bloom as early as January. When that something to hope for happens in your garden, it’s definitely something to love. And the something to do all comes down to the planning of it. Happiness.

The Wicker Park Garden Club is again offering their landscape design class this coming January and February. For eight Saturday mornings, beginning January 7th, a group of professional landscape designers and a dozen experienced gardeners will walk students through the garden design process. By the end of the eight weeks, students will have a viable site plan showing overall design and a plant pallet.


Professional designers will lecture on site plans, design specifics, architecture in the garden, soil amendments and of course plants…lots and lots of plants. Teacher assistants - our experienced garden club members (full disclosure, I’m one of them) - will aide students throughout the process. This course is geared towards gardeners at all levels, beginner or experienced; and towards any type of garden, parkways to cottage to estate.

For more info visit the Wicker Park Advisory Council Facebook page 

*Photo by Jim Angrabright

**Photo resource Neptuul




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