Best Of The Season

Craig Bergmann,the designer responsible for some of the Chicago area's most inspiring landscapes, is bringing his artful aesthetic indoors by opening a boutique that sells garden-inspired ornament for the home.

Opening in November—just in time for holiday decorating and gift buying—Craig Bergmann's Garden Shop in Wilmette is in an early-1900s Lord & Burnham greenhouse attached to a former farmhouse, now the offices of Bergmann's landscape design firm.

specialty plants including topiaries, forced bulbs and orchids; fresh and dried floral arrangements; and antiques are among the el egant offerings of the high-end boutique.The overriding theme here is nature. "There's nothing artificial," Bergmann says. "Our mantra is using natural materials in creative ways."

The shop is sophisticated without being stuffy. One lush tablescape highlights antique china, a hydrangea-filled urn, a verdigris candelabra, and a tussie-mussie fashioned with dried roses and old millinery fruit— all laid out on "linens" of evergreen cuttings. Elsewhere, an antique terrarium is filled with Christmas ornaments, rolls of old wallpaper are used as pedestals, and giant pine cones and humble acorns become sculpture.

A floral-arranging center is set up in the nearby garage, where customers can purchase staff-styled arrangements, special-order displays, or bunches of win-terberry and other "raw" ingredients for projects of their own design.

Bergmann's new shop overflows with his signature contemporary, informal take on the formal European model. It is destined for every discriminating garden lover's not-to-be-missed list.

Craig Bergmann's Garden Shop is at 1924 LakeAve.,Wilmette, Illinois. Open limited hours and days. For more information call 847-251-8355, ext. 11 or visit www.craig bergmann.com.—laurie grano for the love of piet

Inspired by the waving grasses and painterly perennials of Piet Oudolf's designs (see pages 70-77)? If you are an overseas member of the Royal Horticultural Society, you could recreate a small corner of Oudolf's New Perennials borders at the RHS gardens in Wisley, U.K., by applying for surplus seed.The RHS surplus-seed distribution list is included in the November issue of the members magazine, and for a flat fee of 10 pounds sterling (about U.S. $18) you are entitled to up to 20 free packets of seed—and nearly 700 items to choose from.A Phytosanitary Certificate is required for orders to the United States, but this is processed by the RHS. Apply by January 31,2006. For RHS membership, see www.rhs.org.uk.—jf

A small corner of an Oudolf border could be yours to grow

A small corner of an Oudolf border could be yours to grow

Potting Shed Pictures

november / december 200 5

Love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies —

gertrude jekyll

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