Friday, March 28, 2008

Organic gardening and a hint of spring

This is Kirsten Akre from Kilbourn Park . Home of the City of Chicago's only organic-teaching greenhouse. Every year they raise vegetables and other plants for the annual plant sale taking place this year Saturday, May 10 at 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. and Sunday, May 11 at 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
I sat in on the organic gardening class for the new group of Chicago Master Gardener interns for a chance to see Kirsten in action. She is a lively enthusiastic instructor.
Covered was the importance of feeding the soil , growing healthy disease and pest resistant plants, soil testing (especially for lead in the Chicago area),organic fertilizers available and how to use them , hosting beneficial insects and accepting some level of pests to keep predators around. A few of the organic pest controls were discussed. Again she stressed making sure we knew what the problem really was and using non toxic methods.
I think a class at Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse is in order this spring. To bad I had not seen the discussion about Jeff Gillman's book 'The Truth About Organic Gardening' at In The Garden Online before the class. I would have liked to hear Kirsten's opinion.
Spending the day in a greenhouse on a cold day is always a pleasure. Here are a few pictures of the Spring Show at The Garfield Conservatory part of this year's 100th birthday celebration.

This opening peony seemed so delicate.

The azaleas were so full of blooms and the stock smelled wonderful.

It was hard to return to the cold gray Chicago weather afterwards.


Blogger jodi said...

Oh, the thought of peonies in bloom makes me long so much to be out of this exhausting, exasperating, LONG grey cold dreary snow-laden winter. (Can you tell that I've had enough?!?) This was a wonderful escape from the dreariness.

29/3/08 8:52 PM  
Blogger Dave Coulter said...

The Kilbourn Park sale is terrific. I only have room to plant tomatoes in's probably a blessing for my budget, lol...

29/3/08 10:47 PM  
Blogger Gloria said...

Jodi, Chicago has several large conservatories where the spring show is an annual tradition. While it changes yearly Azaleas are always part of the show. I think it was called The Azalea and Rhododendern show in the early days. Now scent is a big plus with
stock and scented geraniums this year. Plus the wonderful smell of sun warmed moist earth and all growing things. I love spring garden shows for this alone.

Dave, I'll be buying a few too many plants and be left trying to fiqure out where to put them.
While I am sensible about most plants vegies always lure me with all that possiblity.

30/3/08 12:59 PM  
Blogger Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

At the Garden Bloggers' Spring Fling,I won as a door prize another book by Jeff Gilman, "The Truth About Garden Remedies." After reading that on the plane, I see I should also read "The Truth About Organic Gardening." I am adding your blog to my new Chicagoland blogroll. Also, I'd like to know if you are interested in us Chicagoland garden bloggers hosting a garden bloggers get together in Chicago next year.

8/4/08 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Willi said...

Hi, Gloria,

I love reading your blog! I'm an editor at Organic Gardening magazine and I'd like the opportunity to chat with you about your garden. Please email when you get a chance at

Thanks so much!

Willi Evans Galloway

10/4/08 1:43 PM  

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