Illinois Road Trip

I had a nice jaunt to Illinois and back over the last two days.  I was a speaker at the InVigorateU event in Bloomington-Normal, IL yesterday which was a lot of fun.  I presented on the topic of “Elements of a Healing Garden” and prominently featured the new Wellness Garden at RBG.  Ironically, the gentleman (Aaron Zych) that introduced me for my presentation yesterday lived across the street from me growing up in Villa Park, IL and I was his babysitter at one time.  He is a talented landscape architect and it was great seeing him.  I did tell the group that it was a pleasure babysitting him all the way through his high school years which likely mortified him a bit…I also saw Eric, Becky and Jeremy who were all in the same graduating class (Landscape Architecture) from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana).  On my jaunt south yesterday, I popped in to the Nicholas Conservatory in Rockford, IL and saw some fun things (see below).  It was nice to get my plant fix and I chatted with some of their gardeners and compared notes about our respective holiday light shows.  Back to seed ordering and the continued take down of the Holiday Light Show (HLS) after a successful run that saw record attendance close to 58,000!