Dear Garden Appreciative Friends,
The summer season is upon us. The weather already another quandary, with our August rains coming in July, but at least the brutal heat and humidity have been phasing in and out so far. In the Garden things seem to be growing well as long as there is proper soil drainage for this water-logged July. Roses were gorgeous in June thanks to a milder winter, but the tomatoes just don’t like the constant moisture. Our old potted Bougainvillea has never been so beautiful, and the early phlox and lilies seem almost too big for their britches.
The Gardens at 900 are now 6 years old and are wearing the cloak of establishment, and in some places, even a bit of welcome patina. It is so nice to be in “edit mode” and not “construction mode” – to be able to really listen to the site and observe the artistry being attempted along the way. The art of fine gardening, our trademark, is a practice we all cherish. We are thrilled when it reveals itself.
Our home and office complex commemorates its’ 100th anniversary this summer so we will be celebrating all year. There is a real humbling feeling that comes with owning and caring for a piece of history. Paul and I both learned early on in this venture that these buildings would not be standing today if they had not been designed and constructed with the finest integrity, craftsmanship, and quality of materials. We both follow this mantra when building interiors and landscapes for our clients. Why does quality and good design seem to take a back seat to a quickly finished product so often in today’s world? It is perplexing that the want for immediate gratification outweighs the cost of a long lasting, better than average, home improvement. We are not finished with our own renovations at 900 because we save up the funds to get the best quality craftsmanship to ensure the integrity of these structures endures. As we progress through our projects, we incite this mentality, so when we get to the end we have something that will stand the test of time. Much like a good friendship, one’s home should get better with time.
But God knows all it takes is a good dose of Mother Nature to remind us who is boss in the garden, and the home for that matter. But with a good foundation and structure, one’s garden and home can withstand these unknowns along the way.
This all said, 2017 here at 900 North Waukegan Road is a joy and more beautiful than ever. Our extended family of friends and staff make every day a gift. It is a pleasure to call the old Gate Houses and Motor House at Elawa Farm more than a dream, but our reality.
May your time in the gardens be a joy to share with your friends and loved ones.
Craig Bergmann, RLA, ASLA