Craig’s Winter 2022 Letter

Dear fellow gardening friends,

From the first blasts of frost in late October, I have been dreading the onset of winter’s wrath. Now post holidays and subzero temps in their frigid fury, I look at the forms and future of our woody plants in the gardens both here in Illinois and projects afar and wish them all good things. These plants are our friends and I am concerned for their long term well-being…
Very irradiate and variable weather patterns are becoming the norm for all regions of our country and this is yet another gamble to deal with as a professional garden making company. Imagine guaranteeing such a dynamic product in such changing times…

The days of predictable precipitation levels, temperature ranges, and known potential insect and bacterial infestations are no longer givens. Seems the only thing familiar and predictable in the natural world these days is the power of the sun and seasonal day length changes. The climate and the world is a changing and we are too. We certainly are much more judiciously scrutinizing of our old standby genus, species and varietal lists of Hardy plant materials. The root funguses and insect pathogens are making many of our native and cultivated plants common to our area a dangerous selection in too great a quantity. This said we are planting alternatives to Ash, Arborvitae and Boxwood to name a few. Couple this with nursery shortages of quality mature plant materials due to a huge home improvement time since the COVID Era has, once again, required us to invest in ourselves and acquire open nursery stock and garden element inventory to supply our clients.

This plant shortage is coupled with a shortage of trained and up and coming laborers to do the work we do. The days of children following in their parents’ or mentors’ footsteps in the gardening and landscape world has virtually disappeared. We now are searching nationally for local labor at quite a premium of time and money. If only our local governments would understand the importance of trade school educations for those that chose to not pursue the typical four year plus college track for job education. No different than raising a healthy and stable family, a garden can only grow with care, financial support, knowledge, and a safe and forgiving environment…and of course friends and family.

Post pandemic I certainly hope we all can truly embrace the community at large we live in from insect to plant, child to politician, and realize it takes us to be cognizant, accountable, responsible and looking out for each other to withstand these climate changes of weather, politics, and human nature that are ravaging our planet.

May we all pause and realize that if we don’t make a big difference where we can, then we cannot expect big changes needed to realign our course…

Wishing you a warm and healthy winter wonderland time. And if you know anyone looking for a great employment opportunity here at CBLD please have them reach out!!!


Craig Bergmann