NGS History

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A Virtual Walk of Member Gardens

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Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. ~ Lindley Karstens,

Bee Balm

About the Northtown Garden Society (NGS)

The Northtown Garden Society, established in 1982, provides gardening education and community service to the West Rogers Park (West Ridge) area on the far north side of Chicago. Meetings are held monthly, usually on the first Thursday of the month at the Warren Park Field House, 6601 N. Western Avenue. Refer to the Calendar for more information about meetings and other activities.

Coming Attractions Daffodil

Thursday, September 1, 2016 , 7:00 PM; Warren Park Field House, 6601 N. Western Ave.

Home Grown Rosarian

Our Guest Speaker, Nathan Beckner, is a Rosarian.
Hopefully you were lucky enough to visit Mr. Beckner's fabulous garden during the NGS garden walk in July.
His love of roses began on a family farm in Indiana where his Grandmother grew roses.
Mr. Beckner worked 8 years at Gethsemane Garden Center and currently works for a vertical garden company.
This is your opportunity to meet him in person.

We will also be holding a plant and seed exchange so if you have spare plants or seeds, bring them along.

Saturday, August 6, 2016, 11:30 AM

Tour of Back of the Yards Studio/Gardens of Artist Ronald Kulla

Don't miss this unique opportunity to visit an Urban Oasis and to enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by this master gardener. You may want to visit the Farmers Market across the street before lunch. We will meet at Roland's place for lunch at 11:30am. 4522 S McDowell, Chicago 60609 (45th and Ashland). Open to members and guests only.

The cost is $15.00 per person. RSVP (via Contact NGS on left) is required.

NGS News 2016

Waters SchoolCommunity Outreach Update


We visited Armstrong and Waters Schools to check on progress which is happily shown in the photos:


Top and below: Waters School vegetable gardens

Waters School Waters School

Below: Armstrong School Conifer Garden

Aremstrong SchoolArenstrong School

Waters gardenCommunity Outreach

by Eva Mannaberg

Photo: Waters School Garden by N. Wieting

Our Community Outreach Program for 2016 has granted scholarships to 4 children to attend Warren Park Day camp. In 2015, 2 children received the scholarship and in 2014, one child was granted the scholarship.
Three local schools, Armstrong, Boone and Waters, have received $300.00 each in order to further their school gardening projects. Armstrong will build a conifer garden, Boone will grow vegetables in raised beds and Waters will use the grant to continue its Sustainable Garden Project.

Waters SchoolBoone School

Armstrong SchoolPictured above left: Waters School - Principal Titia Crespo and Pete Leki

Above right: Boone School - (L to R) Jean Francione, Principal Jacklyn Delaney, Eva Mannaberg (NGS) and Jami Mandolini

Left: Armstrong School - (L to R) Theresa Isaacson, Eva Mannaberg (NGS) and Principal Otis Dunson

Photos by Natalie Peterson

Thank You, Eva Eva


NGS Board Chairman, Eva Mannaberg, was honored with a gift of appreciation for her diligent work and generous spirit on behalf of the organization.

Pictured L to R: Nancy Wieting and Eva Mannaberg

Vol PartyNGS Volunteers Honored


The NGS members who gave of their time in 2015 were honored at a dinner in January. Without their help, we would not be able to care for our gardens in the parks, offer educational programs or host fund-raisers. Their work is greatly appreciated.

Vol Party Vol Party

Vol Party Vol Party

News for Master Gardeners

The Chicago Botanic Garden recognizes NGS as a community garden organization. Our gardens in Indian Boundary and Warren Parks have been added to a list of approved sites for master gardeners to work towards their required volunteer time.

Educational programs sponsored by NGS also qualify for required Master Gardener education hours.

Garden Clubs of Illinois Membership

Northtown Garden Society is a member of the Garden Clubs of Illinois. Membership in this organization provides service and education opportunities and a reduced rate for liability insurance as well as a reduction in the membership fee for the Chicago Botanic Garden. NGS members who are interested in joining GCI should contact any NGS board member.

2016 Programs and Community Service Activities

PicnicThursday, July 21, 2016

Mad Hatter Garden Tea Party and Picnic

Our summer picnic was held indoors to escape the heat so we didn't get to enjoy the bugs and ants. Instead we enjoyed delicious food, games with prizes and the creativity of members who wore decorative hats. Thank you, Eva and your committee, for planning a successful picnic.


picnic picnic




Garden walkSunday, July 10, 2016

West Ridge Garden Walk and Post-walk Party

On a lovely summer day, we sponsored a successful walk of 28 gardens in the West Ridge area which was enjoyed by all. Pictured below are gardens of NGS members who participated. To see all of the gardens, please visit our Facebook page.

Photo L to R: Judy Ishii, Ginny Davis, Nancy Seyfried



Davis Glapa

Above L to R: Davis, Glapa; Below L to R: Holohan, Lauren

Holohan Lauren

Pranga Swartzman

Above L to R: Pranga, Swartzman; Below L to R: Urbanski, Waldron

Ubanski Waldron

Williams Left: Williams









Post-Walk Party - Thank You, Lee and Patrick Holohan, for your hospitality.

GW Party GW Party

GW Party GW Party

GW Party GW Party

May 7, June 10 and June14, 2016

Triangle Garden Cleanup

A group of volunteers helped prune, weed and mulch the Triangle Garden at Indian Boundary Park which was shown on the garden walk. Many thanks go out to Ginny Davis, Natalie Peterson, Holly Gallegos, Carol Veome, Jane Pranga, Jennifer Henderson. Linda Sanford and Marilyn Shipley for helping care for this garden throughout the spring and summer.

Wednesday, June 22, 5:30 PM

A visit to Waters School to see the gardens with Pete Leki.

Thursday, June 2, 2016Nina Koziol

From Pen to Print: Local Gardens in the News

Pictured right: Ms. Koziol on right with NGS guests

Once again, our very knowledgeable guest speaker, Nina Koziol, delighted us by taking us on a photograhic tour of beautiful and sometimes quirky Chicago-area gardens featured in the Chicago Tribune and Chicagoland Gardening.

To learn more about Ms. Koziol and view photos of her gardens, visit her web site, www.

Plant SaleSaturday, May 21, 2016

Spring Plant and Garden Decor Sale

We held a very successful Plant and Garden Decor sale to raise funds for our Community Service programs which include 3 scholarships for Warren Park summer day camp and donations to 3 area school (Boone, Armstrong and Waters) gardening programs.

We wish to thank Eva Mannaberg for organizing the event, all of the plant donors and all of the volunteers who helped with the sale.

Plant Sale Plant Sale

Plant SalePictured above right:

NGS Members Judy Ishii with Linda Sanford displaying her stained glass garden art.

Thursday, May 5, 2016 Herbs

Cooking with Herbs

Alice Revelski, a garden club member, gave a demonstration on using Spring culinary herbs from her garden. She made fennel soup and passed a variety of fresh and dried herbs from her large collection around to smell and taste.


Herbs Herbs


Pictured above and right:

Alice prepping the herbs; fennel soup (yum) and Alice with Eva Mannaberg.

Pete LekiThursday, April 7, 2016

A Sustainable Schoolyard in Chicago

Pete Leki, award-winning environmental activist, gardener and Ecology Programs Coordinator at Waters Elementary School spoke about the process of converting an asphalt parking lot/play area to native plant and community gardens. To see a video of Mr. Leki discussing his work at Waters School, click here.

Photo of Mr. Leki by N. Wieting

Thursday, March 10, 2016 Chris Baker

The Art of Bonsai

Chris Baker, curator of bonsai at the Chicago Botanic Garden where he maintains approximately 175 bonsai trees, spoke about creating the various styles of bonsai and maintaining your creations.

Mr. Baker has been studying and working on bonsai for more than 13 years. He spent six months in 2012 studying bonsai with third-generation bonsai master Tohru Suzuki at the Daijuen Nursery in Okazaki, Japan. He was an intern and volunteer at the United States National Arboretum's National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington, D.C. He has been the curator of Bonsai at the Chicago Botanic Garden since 2012.

BiltmoreThursday, February 4, 2016

Garden Travelogue

Pictured left: The Biltmore Estate

To remind us of gardening weather, we traveled to warmer, sunnier times through photographs of the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford Illinois, the Garfield Park Conservatory, and Roland Kulla's Urban Farm presented by Felicia Kaplan.

Farther afield, we photo-toured the John Denver Sanctuary in Aspen, CO, the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens in Washington, DC and the Biltmore Estate Gardens in Asheville, NC. presented by Ginny Davis.

Biltmore Biltmore

BiltmoreAbove and left: Biltmore Estate and Gardens




Below left and right: Dumbarton Oaks

Dumbarton Oaks Dumbarton Oaks

JD Gardens JD Gardens

Above left and right: John Denver Sanctuary

Updated 7/29/16 GD