Saturday, June 6, 2009

Spring Fling Saturday - A Busy Day!

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.

This gorgeous Japanese Maple graces Carolyn's front 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!)

Monica hamming it up for the camera as we wait for the rest of the group to board. . .

to head off to

Ginkgo 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.


  1. Looks like fun. I feel almost like I visited the gardens too. Love the full moon maple. Those windows are cool too!

  2. Linda, Thank you for sharing all of this and providing such great background information. Saturday was such an activity packed day! I enjoyed it, and really appreciated having the bus drive us around.

    I really enjoyed reading about the lily pool at the Conservatory; I am so glad the Conservatory decided to restore the pool--it's too bad, though, that Mr. Caldwell didn't get to see his dream restored. I didn't get to see this, having decided to see the butterfly exhibit instead, but it's some place I hope to visit on a future visit to Chicago.

    You got a much better picture of Monica than I did:) Thanks again for all your hard work; I'm still thinking of all the great memories of the weekend!

  3. I didn't event realize that the garden was named after the tree in the center. Don't think I even remember seeing the tree. I remember people sitting in shade when I headed for the shade provided by the shed but don't remember the tree. LOL.

  4. Hi Linda--i think the Saturday run was easier than the Friday run where I thought I was having a heart attack! ;-) I know I need to exercise more. Seeing my photos makes me want to hide under a rock, only I probably couldn't lift one big enough. *Sigh.* I didn't realize it was a gingko I was sitting under, but (duh!) it all makes sense!

  5. Hi Linda, I'm not at all jealous

    ..... :-(

    Thank you for a wonderful tour/Tyra

  6. What fun. Great pictures.

  7. Great photos and posting, Linda. Thanks for all your compliments on my home and garden. It was a pleasure to have the Spring Flingers visit.

  8. It looks like you had a wonderful day...No! I can't believe those windows are painted. They look terrific!


  9. Hi Linda, I'm happy to keep hearing about SF...thanks for sharing and your photos are great! Love that japanese maple!

  10. Great pictures! Love the one of the bus, with me buried in my iphone. Gotta get out of that habit. Monica has the right idea--she's enjoying the moment!

  11. Hi Linda, Another great day of memories for Spring Fling. Carolyn Gail was a gracious hostess and her garden and home were beautiful. The petunias are planted and happy! Hope you had a great weekend. Gail


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