900 NORTH WAUKEGAN ROAD  |  LAKE FOREST, IL   60045  |  (847) 251-8355
Craig Bergmann is a registered landscape architect, garden designer, plantsman
and lecturer. He received a BS in biology from DePaul University in 1981 and
founded Craig Bergmann Landscape Design, Inc. in 1982.  All design is done
under his supervision. Craig is uniquely self-taught, gardening since he was five
years old with a gift of his own garden plot from his father.

Bergmann’s award-winning work has been featured in several books including
Rosemary Verey’s The American Man’s Garden, Mary Riley Smith’s The Front
Garden, Susan McClure’s Midwest Garden Design, and Page Dickey’s book
Inside Out: Relating Garden to House, as well as in such periodicals as Garden
Design (Golden Trowel Winner in 2007), House Beautiful, House & Garden,
Traditional Home, Midwest Living, Fine Gardening, Horticulture, Chicago
Magazine, Forest & Bluff Magazine and Chicago Tribune Magazine. Bergmann
and his own garden was featured on the PBS television series The Victory
Garden in 1998 and on HGTV’s Gardener’s Journal. His own gardens and others
of his design have been included on The Garden Conservancy Tours for many
years. Bergmann is the editor of the book, Midwestern Landscaping, a
comprehensive and practical guide to gardening in USDA Climate Zone 5. He is
on the board and Vice President of the Garden Stewards of the Elawa Farm
Foundation. He has received numerous awards for his preservation installations.

Craig Bergmann’s Country Garden in Winthrop Harbor from 1989 to 2005 was a
“must-see perennial nursery and European-style garden center” (Chicago
Tribune). The landscape design business, formerly in Wilmette, IL, moved to the
coach house at 900 North Waukegan Road, Lake Forest, IL in 2011. The coach
house and two gatehouses were designed by the famous North Shore estate
architect David Adler in 1917 for A. Watson Armour.  Bergmann and interior
designer Paul Klug have completely renovated two of the three buildings and
reinvigorated the property with the garden installation. Keeping the original Armour
garden plan in mind, Bergmann used much of the plant material from the Country
Garden display gardens and recycled historic materials to create similar border
gardens with statuary.  Beyond that he has re-imagined the entire two and a half
acre property installing additional garden rooms, a pool area with espalier apple
trees, revitalizing the orchard with a dove cote, and restoring the motor court with
borders containing Mrs. Armour’s original irises.

An animal lover, he is the proud owner of Violet and Pepper, two Norwich terriers,
who preside over the property and design studio. A flock of frill-back pigeons and
homing doves are housed in the Old Kennel House.

KEITH CARLSEN, Nursery Manager
Bio coming soon!

DON BRENNAN, Plant Procurement
Don attended Triton Community College and Southern Illinois University receiving
his Associate of Science Degree in Ornamental Horticulture with a minor in
Landscape Design. He served in public horticulture at the Chicago Botanic
Garden for 21 years and was the coordinator for Chicagoland Grows Plant
Introduction Program for 15 years. He has been with CBLD since 2005 and is
interested in all forms of woody plants and ornamentals, with a special interest in
plant adaptability and selecting cvs for performance in growing conditions of the
Upper Midwest.
The Head Grower of all seasonal annual crops, Jane has been with CBLD since
1990. She received her BS in Ornamental Horticulture from the University of
Wisconsin, Madison. She enjoys researching and trialing different plants, and
visiting botanical gardens, trial gardens and locally grown venues. She has a
passion for all animals, loves her many pets and is committed to animal rescue


DON BOLAK, RLA, ASLA, Senior Designer
Don received his BS and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from Michigan
State University. He has been practicing landscape design and architecture in the
Midwest (Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois) for 24 years, and joined CBLD in
1988. He has “worn many hats” during his career from crew, crew foreman,
estimator, sales, designer, project manager, supervisor, and department manager
to his current position of Senior Designer where he concentrates on design
development and project management. The variety of custom work from
environmental restorations to elaborate classical gardens to minimalist zen
environs done at CBLD keeps things interesting. If not a landscape architect, he
would be a photographer. He is a lecturer on photographic techniques, and his
award-honored work has been published in magazines.

Erin-Marie, who has a background in landscape design and horticulture, has been
practicing since receiving her BA in Landscape Architecture from the University of
Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She received the LARE Landscape Architecture
certification and is a member of ASLA. After working in design firms specializing
in detailing and managing residential construction projects, she joined CBLD in
2012. In addition she spent two years completing an art studio concentration in
ceramics, bronze and metalwork at the University of Illinois. She is interested in
web site design, urban vegetable gardens, snowboarding, swimming, illustrative
drawing, and spending time with her young son and family.

MITCH HEIAR, ASLA, Associate Designer
Mitch joined the design team at CBLD in 2015 after receiving his Bachelor of
Landscape Architecture degree with a minor in horticulture from the University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He graduated with honors at the top of his class
and served as President of the ASLA Student Chapter. An avid enthusiast of the
designed environment, Mitch has a passion for bringing a site to life by creating a
living experience with space. He has additional experience in park design, native
prairie and forest restoration, and the athletic turf renovations of professional
sporting venues.  A competitive person by nature, in his free time he enjoys playing in local sports leagues and cheering for his favorite hometown teams.

LACEY CARLSON, Associate Designer
Bio coming soon!



JERRY BORREGO, Field Installation Manager
Bio coming soon!

Lalo is a certified landscape technician and has been with CBLD since 2008.  He
has thirty years in the business of building gardens in the Chicago area.  An
accomplished plantsman he never tires of sharing his enthusiasm for gardening.

Bio coming soon!


RUSS BUVALA, Head Gardener
A graduate of University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign with a BS in Ornamental
Horticulture, Russ is passionate about all aspects of the gardening world.
He is a CBLD veteran, starting in 1988.  He supervises the horticultural teams
responsible for maintaining the CBLD gardens. He ably assists in the creation and
installation of CBLD presentation gardens for speciality sites and events, and
presents seminars and classes for a wide variety of gardeners and garden lovers.

CHARIS MITCHELL, Senior Gardener
Charis, who joined CBLD in 2013, has a BS in Genetics with an emphasis in
environmental studies from University of Wisconsin Madison and AAS in
Horticulture from Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, WI. She volunteered at
the Allen Centennial Gardens while in Madison, and established and managed the
Urban Farm at Gateway. She has started and maintained gardening programs
with Harborside Academy, The Sharing Center food pantry, and Salem United
Methodist. In her free time she sings (section leader in the tenor section) with the
Kenosha Chamber Choir, plays bassoon in the University of Wisconsin Parkside
Community Band, and directs the Salem United Methodist Handbell Choir.

JOSE OCHOA, Senior Gardener
Jose has been with CBLD since 1986, gardening alongside Craig before the
Country Garden in Winthrop Harbor was opened. He is now in charge of The
Gardens at 900 North Waukegan Road. He loves all flowers and plants, making
new gardens and taking care of old gardens. He is an expert at pruning topiary
and espalier.

LEAH PILON, Senior Gardener
Leah joined CBLD in 2014 and has a B.S in Environmental Geography. Leah's  
experience in horticulture began with installing native plants for the Lake County
Forest Preserve.  She continued her experience working for a top rated
perennial grower and garden center.  Leah spent 3 years at the Chicago Botanic
Garden as an Assistant Horticulturist participating in the maintenance and
management of gardens.  Leah is an animal lover and is especially fond of dogs. 
LINDA MIRANDA, Assistant Head Gardener
Linda has a BS in Forestry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She
began her horticultural career maintaining country clubhouse gardens and as a
landscape maintenance supervisor for a commercial landscape firm. She spent
eight years at the Chicago Botanic Garden as a Senior Horticulturist supervising
and maintaining several acres of gardens. She has been with CBLD since 2008
enjoying maintaining gardens both large and small.
Roberto has been with CBLD since 1990. He studied horticulture in Mexico City
and at the College of Lake County. He loves all plants and the new designs of
perennial gardens.  In his spare time he enjoys working on his own shade garden
under his favorite oak tree surrounded by rhododendrons and boxwoods, and is
starting a new project - a Japanese garden.
Alfonso has been with CBLD since 1992. He studied in Mexico City. He loves
making gardens and working with perennials. In his spare time he keeps his home
garden lush with Japanese maples and his favorite plant - the 'Casa Blanca' lily.
He collects bird houses.

Herme started with CBLD in 1993 as a Garden Care crew member. He has since
trained many of the Senior Gardeners and many more crew members. His love of
gardening began in his native Mexico growing everything from tomatoes and
sweet potatoes to pumpkins, corn and peanuts. He loves to work in the garden,
enjoys forests, lakes, and his favorite red maple and ginkgo trees.
ERIK DAYRELL, MLA, Senior Gardener
Erik began at CBLD in 2012 through a partnership with The Garden at Elawa
Farm. A design assistant with the CBLD office, he also assisted Elawa with the
daily operations of the organic farm, garden market and ongoing historic
restoration. He received a BS in Zoology from Michigan State University and a
Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Michigan. He has
experience in urban residential design, roof decks and green roofs. He is a
certified Master Gardener and has a keen interest in culinary horticulture and
permaculture. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and traveling with his friends
and family.
DEANNA BUVALA, Assistant Head Gardener
Deanna received her B.S. in Ornamental Horticulture from the University of
Illinois,  Urbana-Champaign. She began working at Craig Bergmann’s
Country Garden as a perennial grower for the Nursery in 1987. She feels
her job has kept her challenged for 25 years and last year had the
pleasure of attending the Chelsea Flower Show in England. Currently she
spends most of her time in the pursuit of growing and purchasing
perennials for the Installation and Garden Care crews.