...And That's My Opinion©

By Sandy Goldman

The Rogers Park Community Curmudgeon

Another Garden Party

A couple of weeks ago I went to another Garden Party. This one was different than the previous one (see “Me and Ricky Nelson”) because it was in my neighborhood and the people were friendly and convivial and not combative.  It was the final stop on the Rogers Park Garden Group’s (RPGG) “Garden Meander”.  The preceding, self-guided walking tour featured five of Rogers Park’s special gardens and ended in the garden of one of the founders.  It was attended by well over 50 people whose great interest was not only gardening but also community camaraderie replacing the political rankling of the past few months.

The Amphora Restaurant, 7547 N. Clark Street (773) 262-5767, provided appetizers of great variety.  I suggest that you go there for great Mediterranean fare. The food is great! Ask for Josh or Steve and tell them that Sandy sent you (lol).

The Rogers Park Garden Club was begun eight months ago and started holding membership meetings four months ago.  It has earned the distinction of being the fastest growing organization of its kind the state of Illinois with over 100 members.  Its mission is to help groups and citizens build/plant attractive gardens by aiding and encouraging neighborhood groups, i.e. block clubs or park councils etc, plan and achieve garden projects for East Rogers Park beautification.

To that end they helped the Loyola Keepers Group to replant and revitalize the two 24’ deteriorating circle gardens in Loyola Park at the turn-a-round on Morse Ave. and the lake.  Stroll down to the lake and take a look, the gardens are amazing.

On August 28, Melina Kelson-Podolsky will speak on the subject of “Sustainable and Edible Gardening.”  She is a graduate of the Culinary Arts School and Kendall Collage.  Learn which flowers and leaves are edible!  Add color to your salads! Expand your culinary scope!

The Garden Club has already presented prestigious speakers at monthly meetings such as Terry Guen, Coordinating Landscape Artist for Lurie Garden at Millennium Park. Other speakers of note were John Eskandari of Gethsemane Gardens and Northwestern Univ., and Christy Webber of Christy Webber Landscapes, one of the largest firms in the Chicago area. 

There are plans underway for a community Garden Treasures Sale on Sept, 30th in front of Charmers Café, Jarvis and Greenview - watch for information. All proceeds will go to the Community Garden Project 2008.

The RPGG meetings take place at the Presbyterian Church (Friendship Room), on the corner of Greenleaf and Greenview at 7 pm.  They meet on the last Tuesday of the month from April to October.

I don’t know much about flowers and gardening.  My green thumb turned blue years ago (I think about the time I married Carol).  I do, however, know about organizing, having been personally involved in a number of events in R.P through the years. These women are to be congratulated.  From the seeds/ideas of three people, then six— the group has grown into a healthy garden whose membership reflects a wide range of individuals who believe in the Chicago motto “Urbs in Horto”.  They epitomize the successful, positive forces in Rogers Park, which are so often parodied and mocked by petty, negative self-styled “critics” who hang around on the fringes of society.

In the light of full disclosure I must reveal that my wife, who is the Treasurer, is also one of the organizing members.

Membership is open to all.  Please send $10.00 check payable to RPGG, c/o Carol Goldman, 7132 N. Ashland Blvd.: Chicago, IL. 60626.  Include name, email, street address and phone number.  Or come to the next meeting and join there.  That’s all there is to it.   

...And that's my opinion.

And I'm Sandy Goldman

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E-mail Sandy:  smgoldman@ameritech.net