Martyn Lawrence Bullard and Timothy Whealon, featured lecturers at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Antiques, Garden & Design Show, are two celebrated interior designers with their own sensibilities and styles.
Bullard, who has designed for celebrities like Tommy Hilfiger and Cher, likes to create sophisticated and eclectic interiors. Whealon, who studied English literature and art history and trained at Sotheby’s, focuses on fine and decorative arts and mixes classic and modern styles seamlessly.
They both strolled the exhibitor booths at the Show’s preview party to choose pieces that caught their eye, and would feel right at home among their personal aesthetic. See these picks and more at the Antiques, Garden & Design Show, through Sunday, April 17, and stroll through the Garden grounds to enjoy the spring blooms.
Martyn Lawrence Bullard’s Picks: (Click on an image for information about the item and vendor.)
Timothy Whealon’s Picks: (Click on an image for information about the item and vendor.)
In the summer of 2002, a large, multidisciplinary group of professors, healthcare providers, and design professionals gathered at the Chicago Botanic Garden to help form the curriculum of a new, original certificate program.
The goal of the Healthcare Garden Design Certificate Program was, and remains, to provide a useful, up-to-date, and engaging professional development opportunity in healthcare garden design that reflects the multidisciplinary nature of this emerging field, and allows participants the opportunity to focus their learning on topics of particular relevance to each person.
From the start, evidence-based design has been the core of this program, with a focus on using research results to design garden facilities that allow for and make possible specific health and wellness outcomes, while encouraging the design team’s creativity and the application of professional insight.
What you can expect to learn from attending this course:
Learn from key industry leaders why healthcare gardens constitute an essential component of customer-centered environments of care. Learn how these gardens positively impact patient health outcomes, stress reduction, and satisfaction, as well as employee retention, marketing activities, philanthropy, accreditation, and the bottom line.
Gain a more thorough understanding of how evidence-based design is fueling growth in healthcare gardens and restorative environments, and how research informs the design process.
Define best practices in this emerging field through collaboration with colleagues from a variety of professions.
Discover how healthcare gardens can lead to increased levels of outside funding and contribute to successful marketing activities.
Learn about the full range of benefits that therapeutic gardens make possible when used by health professionals including doctors, nurses, and horticultural, art, music, physical, occupational, and recreation therapists.
Engage in case studies, multidisciplinary group projects, field trips, and other learning activities that focus on the unique characteristics of healthcare gardens and their design for specific populations and facilities.
The Healthcare Garden Design (HGD) program at Chicago Botanic Garden was one of the most information-packed programs I have ever attended. Every speaker was at the top of their field and imparted practical, useful information that I was able to take back to my special-needs school to use. I loved that the speakers had diverse backgrounds—which gave a well-rounded view of what healthcare gardens should entail. Because of what we learned at the HGD program, we were able to design a wheelchair-accessible therapy garden that meets the needs of all our students. The program gave us insight to avoid problems, add security and safety, and create a useful, beautiful garden for students with very complex needs. I can’t say enough about how valuable the HGD program was for my professional career as a special-needs educator with an extreme interest in horticulture therapy. —Janel Rowe, Bright Horizons Center School, Bright Garden Project co-chair
Each cohort is composed of up to 24 professionals and students from throughout the United States and abroad.
Past participants include:
Healthcare executives, administrators, and facility managers
Landscape architects, architects, and garden and interior designers
Nurses, doctors, horticultural and other adjunctive therapists, and other medical professionals
Graduate students in degree programs in these fields
Upon completion of this program, the participant’s ability to design and promote healthcare gardens will be markedly improved. Someone who has completed the program will be capable of applying their knowledge, skills, and insight to the design of healthcare gardens for any population or facility.
What you won’t find in the marketing material—the exclusive intangibles of this course—is the experience of immersive learning from the broad range of distinguished instructors, in a spectacular setting. The Chicago Botanic Garden itself is a masterpiece of great design, and the classroom feels like an illustrious museum. The curriculum and instructors provide personalized and customized learning. Participants have created enduring friendships and professional relationships in this course.
There is no other course like this one; the Healthcare Garden Design certificate program provides a unique and extraordinary experience.
Look for them at Chicago-area garden centers, said Jim Ault, Ph.D., who manages the program for the Chicago Botanic Garden. He’s proud of all of them, but two are special, said Ault, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Director of Ornamental Plant Research: Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’, for its flowers that change from creamy white to deep violet as the plant ages, and Baptisia ‘Sunny Morning’, for its profusion of yellow flowers on dark charcoal stems.
Read more about these cultivars on the Chicagoland Grows website.
Spring is seed season—and a good time to think about gifting seeds to gardeners, friends, and green-thumbed moms (think Mother’s Day, May 8).
Musing about how to share some of the seeds that she gathered at February’s Seed Swap, horticulturist Nancy Clifton got interested in the guerrilla gardening-inspired idea of “seed balls” (or seed bombs, as they’re sometimes called). While the guerrilla gardening movement leans toward stealth seeding, Nancy thinks seed balls make an ideal gift item—they’re easy to make, easy to “plant,” and an easy way to teach kids about germination.
Here’s the easy seed ball recipe:
1 cup powdered clay or potter’s clay (can be purchased online)
½ cup dried compost (the finer, the better—Nancy used a pre-bagged compost mix)
2 tablespoons desired seeds (see seed choice section below)
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (to deter critters from eating the sprouts)
Mix the dry ingredients; then add ½ cup water. Stir, then begin to judge the consistency. Wearing gardening or plastic gloves, roll a teaspoon-sized ball in your hands (size can vary). Think “mud pie”—the ball should hold together when you squeeze it, without crumbling or dripping water.
Roll all of the mixture into balls; then let the balls dry on newspaper or waxed paper for two or three days. Don’t worry about smoothness—rustic-looking seed balls are as interesting as marble-smooth. The color will change to dark red/terra cotta as the balls dry. This recipe yields about 24 seed balls.
About Your Seed Choice
Less is more. You only want a few seeds to sprout from each seed ball. Too many seeds mean too many sprouts, resulting in too much competition for nutrients and water.
All sun. All shade. All herbs. All spring. Choose seeds with similar needs to maximize success in their container or garden spot. Nancy’s variations:
All summer annuals
All cool-season herbs
Use organic, non-treated seeds from your own garden or from trusted sources.
Choose native species for flowers and perennials that will grow successfully in our USDA Zone 5 region. Be responsible: do not use seeds from invasive species.
Seed balls can be set into a container of potting soil (sink it down just a bit into the soil), or placed, randomly or intentionally, on bare soil in the garden. A rainy day is the perfect day to “plant” seed balls—rain helps to break down the clay and compost, giving seeds a good dose of food and water to get started growing.
Throw one in your garden. Fill an empty space. Gift a brown- or green-thumbed friend. And happy spring, everyone!
What makes the Antiques, Garden & Design Show unique? “It’s a feast for all of the senses, and spring is the perfect time of year to experience this mood,” said Lee Thinnes, one the 90 exhibitors at the Show, coming April 15 –17 to the Chicago Botanic Garden. “It is truly special because it’s at the Garden during this splendid time of year.”
The Show features antiques to midcentury design, a garden gallery, a design row, and two market courtyards. Find gifts, garden tools, and botanical merchandise as well as vintage décor and antiques and garden furniture.
Speaking of senses, look, learn, and listen to get the best experience at the Show.
Find items that make a difference: Even one item can make a statement. Thinnes, owner of Lee’s Antiques, is bringing a 1960s snowflake-shape chandelier of Italian Murano glass with a chrome and silver-plate canopy and a 1960–70s French Pierre Cardin red console table.
Milne Inc Antiques and Gallery will feature decorative items for the garden, including colorful nineteenth-century weathervanes and a unique deco planter from Surrey, England. “The wonderful shapes and colors provide visual interest, especially in the long winter months when the garden is devoid of color,” said exhibitors Judith and James Milne.
Bring the garden to your walls: A collection of photographs by Laurie Tennent captures the dramatic color and texture of botanical subjects. “By exaggerating the inner architecture of plant life, I offer the viewer a chance to at once become confronted by and immersed in nature,” Tennent said. Botanicals: Intimate Portraits will be on display in the Krehbiel Gallery.
Buy what you like: “If it speaks to you, buy it.…If you love it, usually you can find a place to work it in,” said New York-based interior designer Timothy Whealon, author of In Pursuit of Beauty (Rizzoli) and a lecturer at the Show.
Do your homework: If you are looking for a particular item or style, do your research before you go so you can ask the right questions. Take any measurements you might need, and bring a tape measure on the day of your visit.
Get the latest: Find inspiration at lectures featuring top design and garden experts. Learn the latest trends from designers Whealon and Martyn Lawrence Bullard, garden between the rows with Jeff Ross of Blackberry Farm, and visualize your dream landscape with Mario Nievera. All lecture tickets include a three-day pass to the Show.
Consult the experts: This is a vetted show, which means the items have undergone a peer review. The exhibitors know their pieces, and their field, so ask them questions, including what makes an item an antique and, therefore, valuable. The Milnes recommend getting an invoice noting the history of the piece and its provenance.
Get ready to engage your senses and find treasures at the Antiques, Garden & Design Show, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday through Sunday, April 15 to 17. Tickets are on sale now for spring’s most anticipated event.