Craig's Summer Letter

Dear Gardening Friends, 

As the stellar Delphinium for 2019 wane, I am already starting to think of Autumn and it causes me to pause.  Why does our gardening season go by so fast and winter months seem to drag on?

I think I’ve figured it out; being outside at all times of the day, looking at the light and differences in the world of the garden more frequently, and having a lot more energy to get out and do things, means that I am a garden centric creature and my habits run deep.

Over the last few years I have been scheming on a solution to my own, and my staff’s winter doldrums: Go on the road.  We have started to take on select garden and landscape design projects across the country.  Currently we have drawings on the boards and screens for projects in Encino and Palm Springs, CA, Berkshire County, NY and Saugatuck, MI.  This climate diversity and variation of scale and style is inspiring and challenging for us all - and it’s fun!  These new regions require a vast plant and materials list for us to selectively serve through.  It’s still odd to be specifying tender plants in the ground for perennial use in warmer climates.  To manage this, we have been meeting a myriad of new horticulture folks, contractors, nursery people and shippers to fulfill the need for our project quality of implementation.  Fall construction of many of these folks will extend our season well past the holidays which will help shorten our Illinois-based winter. 

Winter shopping for specialty plants and objects starts in January from the east to the west coast so things can be shipped and arrive in Spring for our May garden season flurry.  This more national approach to sourcing is exciting and our offerings are so much richer and diverse for our clients.  Hardy plants will still be sourced as locally as possible.  We were so not scathed by this past winter losses due to healthy plants from healthy local sources.

My turning ‘60’ in October has been an interesting preoccupation lately.  It doesn’t depress me at all, it is inspiring me to not wait on my ideas but to pursue them.  A challenge, since I historically have been a procrastinator.

There truly is no time like the present.  I am the leader of a very talented, and gifted group of people and they deserve my visions for the company and my guidance.

We proudly won an ASLA award for a residential project in Southwest Michigan.  One always works harder for fellow designers and friends and this job was no different.  This modern garden, using the setting as the style setter, used select plantings as artful ingredients in this simple, sparcely adorned property.  This design directive subconsciously guided us to the desert modern style we are quite actively putting our twist on in the Coachella Valley in Southern California.  Our first completed projects and details will be photographed this fall so stay tuned!

Our garden design mantra of creating transcendant places that change the quality of people’s lives is transferable from one climate zone to another.  Over the years from Southern Florida to Southern California, from a Chicago rooftop to a long grove potager of heritage crops, our practicing the Art of Fine Gardening (Copyright symbol) is alive and well from sea to shining sea.

Happy Summer!

Craig Bergmann