THERE ARE SO MANY limitations lately on how to get what we want at the store: Is it safe? Is it fresh? Is it expensive? Is this really what I want? Is it really what I like? It should make sense to us as gardeners that we plant what we like and harvest— as needed—what we want. Harkening back to seasonal harvesting seems to be the logical solution when planning our menus and our gardens. In this world of every fruit, cut-flower, and vegetable being available to us, we often lose the quality of ‘in-season’ produce.
Vegetables and Fruit
• If organic is your mantra, why not control the what, why, and when your produce is ready? Microgreens are early crops and so easy to start as soon as the ground warms.
• One can grow rotating crops almost year-round with a bit of cover.
• There is nothing like a home-grown tomato. Somehow, they always taste sweeter. Try Sweet 100 as a glory of ever-present cherry tomatoes to snack on, roast, or toss into salads.
• Too many apples? Bake a pie or share with family and friends!
• A home-grown asparagus patch is such a delight to watch as it grows.
As a garden-maker for others and for myself, I strive to create gardens that are fruitful and beautiful. Who says they can’t be both? Gardens can be and, to me, should be.
Just about everything one can grow can be cut for arrangements in the house. These choices are so seasonal, personal, and so much more original than the standard bunch of grocery store roses or tulips.
• Dormant branches can be used as future stakes for vining peas or beans, or as structural elements in floral arrangements. Cornus sericea ‘Cardinal’ (Cardinal Red Twig Dogwood) is a winter favorite!
• Minute flowers are often more appreciated when cut and put in a vase on one’s nightstand, desk, or kitchen windowsill… a ‘bee’s eye view’.
• We can tease the season by forcing branches into flower weeks before those in the garden.
Craig Bergmann Landscape Design, Inc. (CBLD) has won critical acclaim for intertwining design, horticulture, and architecture in a way that is unique to Northern Illinois. The firm is known for its award-winning attention to detail, establishing a true dialogue between the living garden and the architectural site. Today, CBLD is headquartered in the historic David Adler-designed A. Watson Armour Estate in Lake Forest, and operates a 25- acre nursery located in Wadsworth, Illinois.
Craig Bergmann Landscape Design, Inc., 900 North Waukegan Road, Lake Forest, 847-251-8355, craigbergmann.com.