The days grow darker, yet the sun shines brightly on the gardens at The Garlands of Barrington, which was recently honored with a 2019 “Integration of Native Plants” award from The Council of Barrington Garden Clubs.
“We were floored at how beautiful the landscaping is here at The Garlands,” said Maureen Doessel of the Country Home and Garden Club, who visited the campus in August and decided on the spot to nominate The Garlands for recognition.
The award was presented to Joan Kerkla, Administrative Manager and Garlands Landscape Coordinator, and The Garlands landscape contractor, Jim Yaeger of Damgaard Landscape, and his crew for their role in the beautification of Barrington.
“We’ve been moving away from less formal gardens and toward more native plantings,” said Yaeger. The native gardens surround the fountain at The Garlands entrance, Inspiration Bridge and the two ponds. In the ever-blooming backdrop, spiderwort blossoms in the spring, asters flower in the fall and bluestem prairie grass grows three seasons. These plants, along with about fifty other indigenous species, make up the award-winning landscape.
“While it’s certainly our goal to produce a colorful setting throughout the seasons for show, we also strive to create a natural habitat that attracts and supports wildlife at The Garlands,” explained Yaeger.
Did you know that cone flowers and bee balm attract bees that are much needed to pollinate Garlands members’ flower and vegetable gardens? Irises at the water level give cover to ducks, herons, frogs and turtles that live in the ponds and aquatic plants provide them with food. According to Yeager, on a sunny day, lots of turtles can be spotted sunning themselves on the rocks.
In fall and winter, Yaeger plans to keep the garden scenic by not cutting back vegetation. “When the snow falls on the bare stems and branches, the contrast and texture can be visually stunning.”
“We take great pride in providing a breathtaking view in every season for our members and guests,” says Dawn L. Kempf, Vice President, Sales Marketing and Health Care. “Our members love our landscaping, and we are delighted that The Council of Barrington Garden Clubs appreciates our beautiful grounds as well.”