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The Sacredness of Place

In creating our gardens, we take our cues from the beautiful things and places we have seen in the natural world.

The location - the earth - tells us what goes where. The conditions, such as the amount of sun or shade, the type of soil, the amount of moisture an area will get and retain all dictate what types of plants will be happy, will thrive and will coexist there.

The location - the earth - tells us what goes where. The conditions, such as the amount of sun or shade, the type of soil, the amount of moisture an area will get and retain all dictate what types of plants will be happy, will thrive and will coexist there.

The native plants we use - the wildflowers, grasses, sedges, ferns, shrubs, and trees - will all belong together there, as they have since ancient times. Otherwise there will be a sense of disharmony, discordance, and uneasiness.

Now, having said all that, how do we create a sacred place for you?

The answer is, we really don't!!! The sacredness can only come from the relationship that develops between you and the place, unless it was sanctified previously. Perhaps it is the place where you buried your pet or plan to dedicate in honor or memory of someone that you hold dear.

What we can create for you is a place where harmony, place, ease, calm, beauty, and life will abound; where you can focus, think, meditate, remember, relax, play or worship, being one with your surroundings.

The placing of favorite artifacts of your own choice from the natural world, such as old gnarled logs or rocks and stones can draw you in and hold your attention.

You can have the garden blessed or dedicated thus affirming its specialness. We create a place for you, which, upon entering, takes and holds you by its unique attraction and sanctuary. The rest is up to you.


Garden w/ Trellis
Art's garden in Cicero started as a typical, grass-covered yard. The garden is in full sun. Bird feeders and water abound. Wildflowers include: (from left) Goldenrod, Trumpet Vine and Purple Coneflowers.

This shade garden was laid out around a large oak tree. The rich soil supports wildflowers, grasses and sedges. The native plants are seperated by interconnected, mulched paths which define the beds. Flowers include Woodland Phlox and Wild Goldenglow.
Shade Garden

Front Garden
This garden is situated on the north side of a Riverside bungalow. It contains a beautiful shade-tolerant assortment of native plants including: (from back to front) Calico Aster, Giant Purple Hyssop and Sweet Black Eyed Susans.

A quiet, shady garden can become a sanctuary with the addition of personal features.

Click here to see more photos of this Oak Park garden.


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Prairie comes from a French word meaning "extensive meadow," a flat, treeless community of grasses and forbs (flowering plants). Because prairies grow in areas where long periods without rainfall

Schulenberg Prairie

are common, the plants have adapted by developing intricate, interwoven root systems that may extend nearly 20 feet below the surface.

Tall- grass prairies also adapted to periodic burning and now depend on fire for survival.


In the past, fires were started naturally by lightening striking dry grasses in the fall. The flat ground encouraged the fires to spread over wide distances, burning off shrubs and small trees, whose shade would otherwise slowly kill off sun-loving plants.

Historical accounts tell us that Native Americans set fire to prairies every year to keep them open and grassy, improving forage for bison and elk.

On Saturday, April 6, 2002 Ray Schulenberg and David Kropp burned their recently restored 3-acre prairie in Plainfield, IL.

Burn

Ken Benson & friends
Many people, including Ken Benson's horticulture class from Triton College, were there to help.

People from Du Page county and volunteer naturalists from various forest preserves also helped.

It was a proper, prescribed burn. The weather, temperature and humidity had to be "just so" and they were.

Burn 2

Burn 3
Burning the prairie restores its health and vigor by keeping out weeds and adding a fast shot of nutrients to the soil. A spring burn removes dead plant litter, allowing the sun to more easily warm the soil, encouraging new growth.

Burn 3
Art  

Art and Linda both participated.

Afterwards, there was fellowship and hospitality.

Linda


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