It is the season of nearby bright and festive holiday arbor and garden illuminations in popular public spaces in Brookfield, Glencoe,Chicagoand Lisle. All of these family-friendly events run through the end of the year.
Call me crazy, but recently being all bundled up and heading into Chicago from Oak Park to stand in a cold street with a huge crowd of shivering, but warm-hearted strangers who are singing carols and collectively anticipating the thrill of watching a Chicago mayor throw a switch to light a single, 57-foot Christmas tree, is the holiday cheer that annually kicks off my season.
After attending FRED 2013 (Frederick Law Olmstead in Riverside Education and Design) symposium last month, and while there hearing what all-around gardening pro and native Berwynite Roy Diblik had to say about a few local prairies, I had to see for myself it it was true.
For several years now I have talked about doing it. Toyed with taking a class. I even sat through a YouTube video demo about "putting up" my home grown tomatoes. Even so, the idea of me home preserving the fruits and veggies I grow here hasn't come to fruition yet.