WBEZ | gardens http://www.wbez.org/tags/gardens Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The 'L' beauty show http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-07/l-beauty-show-100803 <p><p>Ever get bored riding the &quot;L&quot;? Tired of texting, or talking on the phone, or reading the paper, or daydreaming? Want to just look out the window and watch the city go by?</p><p>A century ago there wasn&rsquo;t much to do on the train except read the paper or look out the window. That&rsquo;s why there was an &quot;L&quot; floral contest in 1910. The idea was to get the people along the line to spruce up their property.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/00--North%20Side%20%27L%27.jpg" title="" /></div><p>Two years before, the <em>Tribune</em> had partnered with a fertilizer company to select Chicago&rsquo;s best front porch garden. The new contest was sponsored by the Northwestern Elevated Railroad, one of the city&rsquo;s privately-owned transit companies. Northwestern&rsquo;s service covered the modern Brown line, and the Red line north of Belmont.</p><p>The contest was open to all outdoor floral displays visible from the Northwestern tracks. Five judges from the Industrial Club had been riding around in a special train to inspect the entries. On this date 102 years ago &ndash; July 23, 1910 &ndash; the winners were announced.</p><p>Northwestern did not skimp on the prizes. First place in any of six categories was worth $50, close to $1200 in today&rsquo;s money. Cash was awarded for backyard gardens, window boxes, and porch displays.</p><p>No one was surprised that one of the awards went to Mathias Overton of 3649 North Sheffield Avenue &ndash; he had taken the grand prize in the 1908 <em>Tribune</em> contest. The most startled winner was Mrs. J.P. Hutchinson of 5430 North Winthrop Avenue.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/00--Gardening%20by%20the%20%27L%27%20%28CDN%29.jpg" title="Chicago gardening along the 'L' (Library of Congress)" /></div><p>&ldquo;I entered my garden as a joke on my husband,&rdquo; Mrs. Hutchinson said. &ldquo;He told me what I thought was pretty no one else would think was pretty, and that it was foolish to enter.&rdquo; Then she added, &ldquo;Just think how I can laugh at my husband now!&rdquo;</p><p>Another delighted winner was Reverend Paul Roberts of St. Joseph Catholic Church at 1107 North Orleans Street. His garden, located behind the church, was an arrangement of geraniums, pansies, Zanzibar beans, and other plants, surrounded by neatly-trimmed hedges. &ldquo;I had no idea of winning a prize,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve always been interested in plant life, and spend all my spare time tending the garden.&rdquo;</p><p>The <em>Tribune</em> called the 1910 floral contest &ldquo;The &lsquo;L&rsquo; Beauty Show.&rdquo; Maybe it&rsquo;s time for the CTA to sponsor a revival.</p></p> Mon, 23 Jul 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-07/l-beauty-show-100803 Cardinal blesses ‘healing garden’ for sex-abuse victims http://www.wbez.org/story/cardinal-blesses-%E2%80%98healing-garden%E2%80%99-sex-abuse-victims-87664 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-09/CardinalGeorge_Healing_Garden.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago’s top Catholic official Thursday blessed what his archdiocese is calling its “healing garden” for survivors of clergy sexual abuse.<br> <br> The garden covers a plot next to Holy Family, a 19th century Chicago church at 1080 West Roosevelt Road, and includes more than two dozen varieties of trees, plants and flowers as well as a 600-pound bronze sculpture of a man, woman and child holding hands, dancing in a circle and smiling. An archdiocese committee that includes four abuse survivors started planning the project more than two years ago.<br> <br> At a prayer service before giving his blessing, Cardinal Francis George said the garden shows “a permanent voice of victims, a permanent apology on the part of the church, and a permanent commitment by the ministers of the church . . . that we are there” for victims who seek help.<br> <br> “We hope,” George added, “that, in the midst of this tragedy, there will be the possibility of new life, of resurrection of the heart in such a way that one can continue with new energy and new vigor and to be not trapped in something that brings death but, rather, find new life — with the help of others and the help of God — that will be, itself, a light to the world.”<br> <br> But the garden isn’t impressing some victims of Catholic clerical abuse.<br> <br> “Cardinal George and other church officials have empowered and enabled sexual predators to abuse more children,” said Barbara Blaine, president of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “Instead of being punished for those reckless actions, many have been promoted.”<br> <br> Blaine says many church officials ought to face criminal investigation.</p></p> Thu, 09 Jun 2011 21:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/cardinal-blesses-%E2%80%98healing-garden%E2%80%99-sex-abuse-victims-87664