2016 Summer

Summer Letter from Craig

Have you ever seen a more spectacular start to summer? A friend of mine said recently that with all the consistent moisture of this spring, we have entered into a phase of “Jurassic Gardens.” The luxuriant growth of deciduous woody and herbaceous plantings here in our garden amazes us. This week, we are eagerly anticipating something spectacular from the delphiniums in our Blue Border. Lobelia flowers are still tumbling from our planters accompanied by a myriad of summer seasonal beauties. Most exciting to me is our rare display of old and modern climbing and shrub roses. I think June of 2016 will go down in the record books as one of the most beautiful for rose-flower displays…who knows what next year will bring?

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    In this, our most active season of the year, we’ve begun pruning miles of hedges in the North Shore to tidy up for summer garden events. This includes our own! We’ll be hosting a garden party for Random Acts of Flowers on July 14 and hope you can join us. Details are on our Facebook page.

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    This July marks five years since we moved from our original Wilmette location to Lake Forest. We truly feel settled and established now. I am so thankful for the opportunities my company provides me both professionally and personally. None of what we’ve accomplished would be possible without a multi-layered support system of dedicated people that include staff, neighbors, municipal support, friends, and folks like you who continue being interested in our company’s journey.

    I sincerely wish you many a summer evening laden with the aromas of roses and gardenias to tickle your nose.

    Happy summer! We all deserve it!

    Craig Bergmann
    RLA, ASLA, Proprietor

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Spring Letter from Craig

Dear Friends,
I write this letter to you shortly after the vernal equinox, a day when many in human history have looked to the power of the sun for guidance. Since the time change, it has been so nice to see the sun in the late afternoons instead of the gloom of long nights. I have always treasured early spring and listening to the robins singing at dawn as if they were resident roosters. Our mild winter this year has revealed many an early sprout, including our lungworts (Pulmonarias) who seldom show their coral, white, or blue bells until early April. Emergent perennials in the borders are revealing that many delphiniums survived and the lavender didn’t freeze hard back to the ground for once.

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    Like the newness of spring in the air, there have also been an abundance of changes here at CBLD. A treasured, long-term employee and friend, Linda Hewitt, has left us for new horizons along with welcoming her first grandchild into this world last month. We all wish her much joy and happiness on this new chapter in her life. A valued member of our design team, Jeff Mis, has left the Midwest for a new geography and job specializing in public landscape work in North Carolina. May his new journey bring him happiness and visits on his return trips back home to Chicago so he can share great stories with us.

    Spring always stimulates new growth and here at CBLD our team is growing. The Nursery department administrative support team has doubled with the addition of Misty Becker and Marianly Hernandez. They will keep all of us current with a myriad of plant materials we need for the 150+ gardens we install and maintain.

    In the Garden Care Department, we have added an already-familiar face to many of you. Erik Dayrell, who has been in the Design Studio for years, has decided to “dig in” and join the Chicago-based crew for all of our growing urban garden needs. We are finding his landscape architecture degree and broad experience benefits our clients in some of the more unusual work we do in Garden Care.

    In the Landscape Construction Department we have a new project manager: Matt Synnestvedt (a familiar landscape industry name!) who brings an innate understanding of what it takes to turn drawings into reality on a landscape project. We feel very fortunate to have his family legacy join our team.

    Daniel Eisner joins us as our ledger accountant to be the conduit between our purchasing department and accounting. Dan is a whiz kid in Excel and is helping with all of the technological savvy that young minds bring to the work force.

    The Design Studio welcomes Lacey Carlson as Associate Designer. After only a short period of time here she has proven herself a talented and valuable team player in this entry-level position. We hope to share many years with her and provide her with growth and hands-on experience.

    Watching our pups, Violet and Pepper, sitting in pools of sunshine at my feet as I write this makes me realize, yet again, how simple pleasures can be the best for our well-being. A bright blue sky and crisp, clear air is calling me outside so I can finish some dormant pruning on an espalier, pull some obvious chickweed in the vinca bed and, of course, let Violet and Pepper chase a few chipmunks or squirrels before lunch…

    Happy Spring!

    Craig Bergmann
    RLA, ASLA, Proprietor

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Winter Letter from Craig

Dear Garden Friends,
The holiday hub bub is in full gear here at CBLD. The recent foot of snow we received stalled much holiday lighting plans until the first week of December, a cold start to winter decorating. Our recent finishing up with the new landscape work, outside and in, at the Deerpath Inn here in Lake Forest, has been a fun project, and it is so accessible for you all to enjoy. Do take a visit sometime soon!

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    We here at CBLD are often asked when we close for the season. “What do we do all winter?” is a classic question. Winter at 900

    Well, the answer is:

    We continue to design new projects and review projects of the past, as well as look for efficiencies we can strive for throughout the company. At our greenhouses we continue to grow plants and care for overwintered plants, while outdoors we do winter gardening tasks such as dormant pruning. We also plan for upcoming garden events, both at our clients’ homes and here at 900.

    Does this sound like we don’t stay busy? We sure do!

    We wish you a winter season full of fun, good health, easy travelling, and reflection time from the past busy year,
    Craig Bergmann
    RLA, ASLA, Proprietor

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Fall Letter from Craig

Hello Garden Friends,
Boy, the Fall season just blew by this year! We have been super busy in the gardens and in the design studio. Much bulb planting and closings have been finishing up these past weeks. And with the El Niño weather sure showing us to not anticipate winter too soon… it’s been so hard to try to figure out when a foot of snow is to arrive one day and be gone the next.

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    We are all so thankful for another great year at CBLD. We received a nice Thanksgiving message I think would be nice to share with you:

    “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
    -John F. Kennedy

    I hope you all had a wonderful start to your holiday season!
    Craig and the CBLD Staff