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But don't forget to watch your e-mails for information on our Garden walk at Penny Fulkerson's house on July 14th. She is the president of the Kildeer Garden Club and has a garden you will not want to miss.
( An excerpt from my journal) March 1, 2010
It has been snowing steadily all day and the forecast is for continuing snowfall ending tomorrow morning with a predicted accumulation of eleven to fourteen inches. Near-blizzard conditions may develop as lake-effect snow showers persist overnight.
Ah, but it is so silent, so peaceful and so beautiful outside. A snowfall like this always reminds me of Snow-Bound, a lengthy poem written by John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) in 1867. No other American poet has created homey imagery equal to that of Snowbound. Whittier’s poem is thirty verses long (six pages, double columns of fine print in the Oxford Anthology of American Literature 1938). His figurative language transports one back one hundred and forty years to a different pastoral world and yet in many ways his poetry is relevant today.
March 1, 2016
“In like a lion, out like a lamb” has always seemed a straightforward enough proverb: when March starts it’s still winter, and by the end of the month spring has begun. That certainly describes the vagaries of our Midwest weather. Unseasonably mild temperatures on Sunday broke a 121-year-old record for that day in Chicagoland. By 1:06 p.m. the temperature had climbed to 62 degrees surpassing the record high of 61 degrees for February 28 set in 1895. Yesterday was sunny, but by afternoon the thermometer started to descend, overnight snow fell and this morning we awakened to moody, cloudy 31 degrees and continuing snow. To cure my aching for a taste of spring I bought some colorful yellow and purple primroses to enjoy on the kitchen table while I impatiently wait for the return of the lamb.
On that sunny morning when spring finally returns I’ll take up my old rake that leaned against the fence all winter. It’s a very old garden rake. It is surely 75 years old and still serves me well. The iron tines are rusted and the wooden handle is worn hard and smooth from use by many hands. This rusty rake is a reminder of those who wielded it in the past. My grandmother who taught me early to love the earth and flowers used this rake to prepare her flowerbeds. I used this old rake to prepare the soil for many vegetable gardens that supplied our family with sustenance during the Great Depression years. My husband used it to rake the enormous piles of fallen leaves that we put into the compost heap in autumn.
I’ve had several newer rakes of bamboo and plastic, but they just don’t have the strength and character of my vintage rake. I’ll use it to rake away the oak leaves that covered the primroses, pulmonaria and dianthus during their winter sleep. As I work I’ll dream of the perennials that will soon arise from the earth and of the seeds I’ll plant in anticipation of another year in the garden. And when I’m finished I’ll lean my old rake it against the fence again until tomorrow.
“Never spend a fortune on tools that you chronically lose.”
Boy, was it hot!! Boy, was it buggy! But 21 of us showed up on Thursday, July 9th, for a lovely garden tour of Old Mill Farm, the home of Frank Mariani. Before we started, Cheryl, Frank’s personal assistant, loaded us up with bug spray and introduced other staff members who were joining us. The walk toward the house was a beautiful shade garden of ferns, astilbe, hosta, Bottlebrush Buckeye and much more.
As we walked, Jim, the Head Horticulturist, provided an introduction to the Farm. The approximately 10 acres are mostly wild – “not a formal property” -- including 2 acres of prairie which are periodically burned. Black Walnut and oak trees abound. Wildlife is plentiful with the usual suspects plus ducks that nested in the vegetable garden and flying squirrels that nested in the attic. A House Wren, typically singing his little heart out, was with us throughout the visit.
The cultivated gardens were just beyond the swimming pool which lies next to the English Tudor house. After 20 years, the vegetable garden is getting a new structure, including raised beds bordered by stone instead of wood which deteriorated over time. It was beautifully maintained and filled with delicious looking veggies including all kinds of greens, herbs, cucumbers and peppers as well as the usual garden fare. And what do they do with all the produce? Jim said it all gets used by family and friends “of which the Marianis have many.”
A variety of native plants filled the flower garden including milkweed, Rattlesnake Master, Prairie Spurge, Purple Prairie Clover and Wild Quinine. Also in the garden, among many other species were Dahlias, Blue Angel Clematis, Trumpet Vine, Lantana, “Lollypop” Verbena and “Breadbox” Poppies which provide the seeds for opium. Pear, plum, apple and cherry trees make up the orchard, and bee hives are also on the property.
After resting briefly on the patio by the pool, we thanked our hosts and headed off to The Silo in Lake Bluff, a favorite of LGC members. Pizza, veggie wraps, salads and air conditioning! What more could we want after visiting lovely Old Mill Farm.
Written by Marj Lundy
3 cans Pillsbury Junior Grands biscuits (12 oz cans)
1 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
10 T butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
Butter and flour a bundt pan.
Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces and place them in the plastic bag and shake to coat with cinnamon sugar. (Do about 1/2 can at a time). Place the coated biscuits evenly in the bundt pan. After all the biscuit pieces are in the pan, press the dough lightly.
Melt the butter and add the brown sugar. Mix well and then add the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture to the butter. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the dough. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.
After baking, invert the pan onto a large platter and tap lightly. Leave the pan in place for at least 10 minutes then tap again and remove the pan.