But wait. . . there's more! Our visits to Rick Bayless' garden and Lincoln Park were the bookends for a busy day of garden tours. After the Bayless tour, we headed off to a fantastic Mediterranean/Middle Eastern buffet lunch at Andies restaurant. Carolyn Gail greeted each of us at Andies with a big warm hug. After lunch we took off again, this time for Carolyn's home and garden.
oohing and ahhing, and chatting
Carolyn even invited us into her home. She was as gracious and warm as you can imagine. Her southern hospitality and artist's soul were apparent everywhere we turned.
Can you believe she painted these windows? Even in person it's hard to believe they're not stained glass.
Heading back to the bus, but first, Supertunias for everyone as we depart Carolyn Gail's - swag from Proven Winners! (full sun to part shade - thank you PW!)
to head off toGinkgo Organic Gardens, a community garden sponsored by Chicago's NeighborSpace. The Ginkgo tree in the center of the garden inspires its name, and provided welcome shade on an afternoon that turned suddenly hot. Through the gate you can see bloggers checking out the garden, and resting in the shade of the Ginkgo.
The produce grown at Ginkgo is donated to Vital Bridges' GroceryLand, a food pantry that serves low-income people living with AIDS. Fresh produce is an important part of a healthy diet, organic's even better, and that's never more true in the case of people living with chronic illness.
After Ginkgo Garden we visited Lincoln Park, then headed back to the hotel to relax before dinner. A few of us organizers got together at Elephant & Castle, the restaurant attached to the hotel, caught our breath and had a nice visit. We were joined by Garden Punks and J Dog. Before long it was time to head to Giordano's, a classic Chicago-style pizzeria a couple of blocks from the hotel, where we enjoyed a smorgasbord of thin crust and deep dish pizzas with a variety of toppings, drinks, and salad.
For a second night in a row Monica and I ran to make it to our train, and headed home for some rest to get ready for a very early Sunday, the last day of Chicago Spring Fling.