Craig’s Winter 2024 Letter

Greetings Garden Friends,

The most recent post-holiday deep freeze reminded me of times as a child when winter was seldom bitter cold (subzero) and December and January were typically snowy and sunny. Boy, have things changed 5 decades later!

Measurable, predictable weather seems anything but normal these past few years. I am always humbled how intrepid our plant world really is when they cannot only survive, but typically thrive, in our midwestern US climate.

For the past few months, Paul and I have been calling the Sonoran Desert home and we again are reminded of the intrepid power of the natural world. We couldn’t survive a week in such extremes without shelter, food, and water. Even the California mountain longhorn sheep I am seeing quite often, a dozen at a time, are doing so well they will soon be off the endangered list. Spring here is in March so I am so excited and fortunate to experience two springs in one year from the West to the Midwest.

This winter the focus is on our first book we are writing from top to bottom. I have asked Russ Buvala, our company’s Head Gardener and my loyal, decades-long friend, to share in the journey and satisfaction of documenting our company’s heritage and philosophy. With his expertise as the creative leader of our garden care and events department, I’m honored to partner in this adventure with him. We’ll be profiling a cross section of projects over the years and will reflect on the origins of CBLD, our processes, as well as a few, hopefully insightful, musings. The deadline to the publisher is June 1, 2024, so we are focused and “hunkered in” for the next few months. Printed copies are anticipated to be in our hands around Spring 2025 to share with you!

As I have often shared, the quiet and neutrality of winter months always provides reflection times. Slowing down to appreciate the limited daylight, organizing the inside of things while we can’t garden outside as usual, and figuring out how to lose those holiday pounds are just a few things I seem to always attempt. Yoga Monday nights is a start. We’ll see how much of this really gets done this year!

And, thankfully and gratefully, I want to take a moment to put in writing how much I really appreciate the family of staff here at CBLD. None of the accomplishments this company can record as successes could have occurred without the dedication, knowledge, camaraderie, and artistic talent that our CBLD people possess. There has never been a time in our 40 plus years that when I ask for us to rally and produce something great, we have ever failed. I only hope that our newest staff members can learn and enjoy the available knowledge and artistry that is in their presence with our tenured employees.

Here’s to CBLD staff for making mine, and many hundreds of clients, dreams come true! Now get back to work! Just kidding…

Enjoy the still and the coziness of these winter months.


Craig Bergmann