Autumn Letter from Craig

Dear Friends,

I can’t believe it’s October already! This month of Libra certainly has been apparent with varying temperatures, nice intermittent rain, late frosts, and beautiful fall foliage colors, despite the earlier summer drought.

To be able to plant bulbs in less than freezing soil conditions has been a blessing for our fingers. All of our tender plants are being sheltered in the greenhouse and potted boxwood are getting good long drinks and time-released fertilizer for spring readiness.

Along with the seasonal change, we have had some changes in our staffing. Sadly, but excitedly, we have lost Samantha Peckham from our design department to the Olbrich Botanical Garden’s Director of Horticulture in Madison, Wisconsin. We are so happy for this wonderful opportunity for Sam, they are getting one of the best! Andrea Berger, a seasonal member of our Garden Care team has decided to head back to the Madison area to be closer to her family so dear to her. Andrea has always been an exceptional gardener and one that really exudes the love she has for all things garden. If there is any consolation for such loss, we all have plenty a reason to now regularly visit the beautiful surrounds of Madison, Wisconsin.

Meanwhile we are excited to welcome two new members of our growing Design Department. Leo Zombolo, a previous intern, has returned to join the ranks officially as a production assistant. Brendan McAleer, a recent landscape architect graduate, has joined as a associate designer. Additionally, we’ve expanded our administrative team to include Judy Langevin, who will be working with all three production departments.

Highlights of this fall include a 2 year project for dear clients and friends in Snowmass, Colorado – just a week before their first snowfall! The design intent has all been presented and we can’t wait for next summer’s reveal of an established planting and new mountain meadows. The family dogs are happy for a yard to play in again without the mud during construction, and the owners are elated for a clean house again!

Many styles of projects were installed from fantasy to mid-century. A local home landscape has been transformed to a maze of garden experiences including a rose garden, woodland path, kitchen garden, new terraces, and pergola, and even an old-fashioned clothesline for fresh sheets set in a meadow. An antique Chinese stone art collection has been featured in a beautiful garden in Encino, California. We are establishing a wonderful arboretum on a rural local property and created a hillside garden with stone stairway along a local ravine in Lake Forest. We have been working on two exciting design projects soon to be installed at two local foundations: the History Century of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff and the old garden space at Howard Van Doren Shaw’s Ragdale.

We are so lucky to work in an area so steeped in history and architectural integrity. I feel we do our best work for folks who trust us reveal the nuances of their properties and realize in our design process what is possible to treasure and create for years to come. This winter, Russ and I are embarking on writing our first book about our history of gardening at Craig Bergmann Landscape Design. Who better to co-write with, than the man who helped build our garden care services to what they are today for the past more than 3 decades. Stay tuned for more!

I am sure that winter will just fly by. So much going on at CBLD from a wonderful lineup of new and old home landscape projects, continually caring over 100 clients’ gardens, out of state designs from Florida to California, and many a place in-between. Who would have thought, that two men starting a landscape company with $1,000 and a VW pickup truck would have built such an incredible staff and client family decades later!

This summer, our plant purchaser, Alex Buvala, and his wife Rachel celebrated the birth of their new son, Dean. He is named in memory and in celebration of our dear friend, Deanna Buvala, Alex’s mother, and wife of Russ Buvala, who passed earlier this year. I can just imagine how proud she would have been at the sight of her first grandchild; a big smile, firm grasp of the little one and with few but poignant words…a true joy of family propagation for such a wonderful plants woman. Dean, you have big shoes to fill, may life treat you well!

Thank you!

Autumnally Yours,

Craig Bergmann, Proprietor