Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-12-08



The fairy gardener
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jim Edminster

This article shared 699 times since Tue May 1, 2018
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

This is probably the third time I've started a column with "What strange weather."

In these last days of April, my yard's bulbs are still catching up: the squill are fully in bloom ( note: plant more ), some ( few ) tulips are just budding, no species tulips yet, the pushkinias are all out, no lilies yet, only three or four daffs are blooming, the crown imperial frit is about to flower, no iris, no hosta out of the ground yet, crocus of various pinks and puroles are up and out.

The hosta not being up is a problem: I'm in the process of painting my new Free Library box yellow & blue. ( To get stencils I wanted to put on the box I had to make an expedition to JoAnn Fabrics—let's just say that was a trip. I felt like I was in a foreign country. ) The problem is my parkway is full of new unmarked hostas, and that is where I wish to put the box.

It finally got warm enough to plant some of the plants I got at the Chicago Garden Show: anemones, lilies, toad lilies and the like. I marked them all in my crowded overplanted yard with chopsticks.

I'm buying some cobalt blue ceramic fish to "swim" through my garden. I'm also in the market for a small ( but not bonsai ) tree, possibly a Japanese maple or a miniature weeping red bud for a space that rats made several years ago in my border. ( Sweeney, Smudge & Orion are now guarding against such a recurrence thanks to the Tree House Animal Shelter's "Feral Cat Rat Abatement Program." The kitties, all mature serious adult cats turn absolutely kittenish when I'm in the yard by showing me how fast they can run up a tree or catch and kill a vicious dead grass plume! )

I was reading the new Chicagoland Gardening magazine that I subscribed to at the garden show and I read in the mag's intro that the editor was from the same part of Kansas as I am. I thought "What the heck!" and cold-called her, introduced myself—and she's coming to check out my garden.

Every so often I get in a compulsive mood and then I notice things about the garden. All those dead stalks. All those leaves on the sidewalk. All those bulb leaves being strangled by growing thru holes in leaves. All those dead branches I thought I tossed last fall! If you're truly obscessed you can chop up the stalks and branches for your compost, but I'd advise you to get a life instead ( unless you have a chipper ). If I was that obscessive, I'd grid my whole yard into one foot squares so I could map what's where. Then maybe I wouldn't have bleeding hearts coming up in a clump of Lords and Ladies ( Italian arums ) half an inch away from a sum and substance hosta. I wouldn't have a traditional peony sprouting amid a colony of Virginia waterleaf with hyacinths in it.

If you have garden dislikes, you are not alone: The Japanese think Victorian bedding plants like petunias, zinnias, and snapdragons are vulgar, as are roses, They make an exception for peonies since it is an emblem of emperors. The Japanese even have a saying along these lines: the three elements of a garden are rocks, water and plants. Notice flowers are not mentioned.

Doing some errands on Chicago's near west side with my friend Steve we went off to the Goose Island Brewery where we met Jon Naghski, the head craft beer brewer. He and his assistants go weekly to the local street market to pick up something to infuse in their beers. We sampled a blueberry infused beer. It was ... interesting. I suggested he might want to try perilla, a self-seeding Japanese herb related to basil. Called "shiso" in Japan it has a licorice flavor and is also used to dye other foods purple. I think it'd be interesting in beer.

Here's your recipe for this month—Salmon & Soba Salad: ( It's loosey-goosey

both as to ingredients and amounts. ) Ingredients; pk dry soba noodles, sesame or olive oil, rice wine vinegar, soy or ponzu sauce, lime juice, chunk of fresh ginger, 8-12 green onions, 4-8 chopped tomatoes, small amount of chopped cilantro, S & P, several small cans of water-packed tuna or salmon, some white wine, soy or ponzu, honey. To do: marinate drained fish ( give your cat the liquid—she'll love you. ) in wine, soy and honey overnight. Fix amount of soba noodles you want, mix oil, vinegar, soy, lime juice, ginger and S & P. Drain noodles and add to dressing. Top with fish and its marinade. Adjust dressing up if too dry.

There's a new film out you may want to catch. The Gardener is about the Quebec garden of Frank and Anne Perkins Cabot. Frank visited gardens all over the world and refers to himself as a "master plagiarist," purloining garden ideas from Nepal, India, Japan and Europe.

I'm reading an interesting book by Matthew Restall entitled When Montezuma Met Cortes, and the thesis is that most of the "history" of this encounter is a flat-out lie: The Aztec emperor did not give his land to Cortes in awe of European superiority. One thing the ( according to the book ) incredibly hateful and incompetent Spaniard did was to burn down Montezuma's menagerie ( much advanced from any European model ) and his botanic collections; Montezuma had apparently in his botanic garden every beautiful and/or useful plant in his empire. We would probably be much further along in our plant and animal husbandry if these collections had been preserved.

I was talking to a garden club member ( and old friend ) who wanted to know if planting turtlehead was advisable in her Michigan cabin's garden. It is, I said, considering these conditions: Chelone ( turtlehead ) is a shade perennial, usually pink-flowered. She could plant seed if she could get them but waiting till May for garden center plants would work better. Like any plants, newbies need more water for awhile. It's fairly tough and will grow in clay or boggy soils. Good luck, Geri!

Waiting for truly warm weather with, I assume, all of you.

This article shared 699 times since Tue May 1, 2018
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Gay News

THEATER Queer-themed 'Queen of the Night' to run Jan. 29-March 13 2022-01-11
- Victory Gardens Theater is slated to open its 2021-22 Mainstage Season with Queen of the Night, written by travis tate and directed by Victory Gardens Artistic Director Ken-Matt Martin. Queen of the Night features Terry Guest ...

Gay News

NATIONAL New Jersey, Audre Lorde, LGBTQ book, youth items 2021-12-19
- In the face of growing anxiety over the Supreme Court's conservative bent, state lawmakers in New Jersey are moving to pass marriage-equality legislation, Gay City News reported. According to Garden State Equality, the New Jersey Assembly's ...

Gay News

SPORTS Bulls, Blackhawks victorious in Dec. 2 games 2021-12-03
- —DeMar DeRozan scored 34 points as the Chicago Bulls improved to 15-8 with a 119-115 win over the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden. Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic each added 27 as the Bulls ...

Gay News

AIDS Garden Chicago supporters, CDPH official commemorate World AIDS Day with event 2021-12-01
- AIDS Garden Chicago supporters and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) commemorated the 34th annual World AIDS Day on Dec. 1 at the Belmont Yacht Club with a sneak preview of the garden. The 2.5-acre ...

Gay News

Cirque du Soleil's "Twas the Night Before' Nov. 26-Dec. 5 2021-11-17
- Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. (MSG Entertainment) and Cirque du Soleil announced that the family holiday theatrical event "'Twas the Night Before…" by Cirque du Soleil is returning to The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., ...

Gay News

N.J. governor re-elected in tight race 2021-11-04
- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has become the first Democratic governor in more than four decades to win re-election in the Garden State, according to Murphy's victory over Republican nominee Jack Ciattarelli, albeit slim, defied ...

Gay News

Victory Gardens Theater announces plans for 2021-22 season 2021-09-10
--From a press release - Chicago, IL— Victory Gardens Theater announces their 2021/2022 Season, which will be presented in-person at the Biograph Theater in Lincoln Park. The season will feature three mainstage productions: Queen of the Night by travis tate, the ...

Gay News

Victory Gardens Theater to hold series of virtual Town Hall forums 2021-07-14
--From a press release - Chicago, IL— Victory Gardens Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director Ken-Matt Martin and Acting Managing Director Roxanna Conner, will hold a series of Town Halls to introduce Ken-Matt to the VG community and share news ...

Gay News

Mayor Lightfoot helps break ground at AIDS Garden Chicago 2021-06-02
- On June 2, various local officials, including Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, helped break ground at the AIDS Garden Chicago—the city's first public park to memorialize the early days of Chicago's HIV epidemic, and to honor those ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Military bill, LGBTQ teen, trans deaths, Pride items, children's book 2021-05-09
- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill that directs the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs in the Garden State to assist former Armed Forces service members who were denied an honorable discharge due to ...

Gay News

Victory Gardens names artists for Black Monologues, part of Black Beauty Fest 2021-03-25
--From a Victory Gardens Theater press release - Chicago, IL— Victory Gardens Theater, in partnership with The Black Women's Expo and Black Owned Chicago, presents the 5th Edition of the Black Beauty Festival (BBF), April 10-11, 2021. Offered virtually for the first time, Black ...

Gay News

Where Did We Sit on the Bus? online streaming production starts Feb. 22 2021-02-04
--From a press release - Chicago, IL— Victory Gardens Theater and Geva Theatre Center announce the online streaming production of Brian Quijada's music-infused production of Where Did We Sit on the Bus?, written and performed by Brian Quijada and directed by ...

Gay News

AIDS Garden projected for fall 2021 completion 2020-12-22
- State Rep. Yoni Pizer convened a virtual meeting Dec. 21 to discuss the progress of the AIDS Garden Chicago. The long-planned site is "destined to become a true Chicago landmark and destination," said Pizer as he ...

Gay News

AIDS Garden Chicago installation update coming Dec. 21 2020-12-18
- CHICAGO — On Monday, Dec. 21 at 11 a.m., 12th District State Representative Yoni Pizer will be hosting a virtual town hall with fellow elected officials, community partners, and project managers to provide a progress report ...

Gay News

THEATER Andre De Shields to help celebrate youth Dec. 9 2020-11-11
- Andre De Shields—a Grammy-, Emmy- and Tony-winning actor, director and educator, and the 2019 "Triple Crown" winner for his portrayal of Hermes in Hadestown—will be the keynote speaker of the Victory Gardens Theater event "Voices of ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.