Get an idea of what HEGC members and guests have enjoyed during past events!

Container Gardening

Container gardening is the hottest trend for growing vegetables (like tomatoes), herbs, and flowers. It’s ideal for those living in condos, townhomes, and homes. No yard is required, it’s easy on the back, and you don’t need heavy tools. Gain practical tips from two Master Gardeners who will discuss container and plant selection, simple design considerations, and the proper planting and maintenance to help ensure success. Presented by Master Gardeners, Sandra Atkinson and Judy Kahn

Design for the Mature Landscape and Incorporating Natives

Learned how you can refresh your existing gardens and/or add a new garden area into your landscape. Ed Max, owner of Max’s Greener Places, in Winfield, IL is a professional landscape designer, naturalist and certified arborist. He is also a Native species and natural areas specialist. Ed likes to use native plants wherever possible for many reasons: One is, native plants are good for the environment (and for pollinators) Also, native plants use less water and need few chemicals to survive.

Dahlias – Propagation, Growing, and Storage

Dahlias are a tuberous plant that requires full sun 6-8 hours of direct sunlight and will bloom all summer long. They will provide you with color and abundant flowers for cutting and enjoying throughout the summer. The more you cut a dahlia plant, the more it will bloom. Presented by Dan Kaplan. Dan has served as 1st and 2nd Vice President and President of the Central States Dahlia Society. He acts as a mentor to the many members.  He is a devoted promotor of all things Dahlias. 

Houseplants – Selecting the Right Plants for your Space & Keeping them Healthy Presented by Clark Hudmon, co-owner of the family-run Barn Owl Garden Center in Carol Stream

Hudmon’s interactive presentation included tips on potting mixes, fertilizers, lighting & watering.  Care of Orchids and Amaryllis bulbs were discussed.  Clark has a degree from UW-Madison and is also Master Gardener.  After a short stint in the corporate world, Clark made a career change to follow his love of nature, gardening, birds, and bugs. He re-joined the family business, The Barn Owl Gardening Center, in 2013. Over the last decade, Clark has successfully redefined the business with a keen focus on organic gardening, birding and community service which has made the Barn Owl the go to place for both gardeners and bird enthusiasts throughout the western suburbs.

Members Only Holiday Party

Member’s enjoyed our annual holiday party, which featured a potluck, a winter themed project, and a chance to mix and mingle. In 2024 we enjoyed creating green & floral center pieces to bring home and beautify our spaces for the winter.

“Selecting the Right Tree including Understory Trees and the Benefits of Natives”

Brad Buker is a Certified Arborist for Bartlett Tree Experts.  He began his career in arboriculture in 1989 as a Plant Health Care Technician.  He is a member of the Illinois and Wisconsin Chapters of the International Society of Arboriculture and is both a Certified Arborist and a Certified Tree Care Safety Specialist. Brad prides himself as an expert in examining and evaluating his clients’ landscapes and giving them custom-tailored programs designed to maintain the health and safety of their property.  These can include soil, insect, and disease management as well as general tree maintenance, such as pruning, cabling, removal and planting.   

“Putting the Fall Garden to Bed”

Bill Karges worked for Pioneer Garden & Feed for close to 50 years. He was manager, chief botanist, and all-around dispenser of gardening information.  Bill will walk us through Fall garden clean-up do’s and don’ts.  He will also explain why waiting until spring for major clean-up of beds is encouraged by many naturalists. 

Perennials: New Varieties and Late Blooming Cultivars That Bring Color to the Fall Garden

Jennifer Brennan is a renowned horticulture and gardening expert in Chicagoland. Jennifer has degrees in Ornamental Horticulture and Botany from University of Illinois, Champaign. She serves as the Horticulture Info Specialist and Manager of the Education Center at Chalet Landscape, Nursery and Garden Center in Wilmette.  She often appears as the Horticulture Correspondent for ABC, Ch7 Morning News anchor Tracy Butler.  Jennifer is very active in the Perennial Plant Association and is a frequent speaker at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show and the Chicago Botanical Garden.

Members Only Field Trip to The Gardens at Ball

Wow, what a treat to be able visit Ball Horticultural’s West Chicago gardens at our leisure. There are 9-acres of display beds of annuals, perennials, vegetables, and cut flowers, including the newest plants from the industry’s leading breeders and marketers. The visit was amazing!

Members Only Garden Forum

6:00 – 8:00 PM at Nancy Schaefer’s home. Nancy showed us around her beautiful garden and told us all about her large variety of native plants.  

Members Only Garden Walk

9:00 AM – 1:00 PM  We are fortunate to have 4 of our members offer their gardens for all of us to enjoy. Thank You Debbie, Carol, Steve, and Susan! Please see the Members Only site for the details. Don’t forget to get your lunch order to Nancy R. by July 6th.

Member Field Trip to Cantigny Park in Wheaton, IL

Cantigny is a 500 acre park with formal and informal gardens on the former estate of Colonel Robert McCormick (former owner and publisher of the Chicago Tribune).  It was named after the World War I Battle of Cantigny in which Colonel McCormick fought.  These world class Display Gardens contain 160,000 annuals, perennials, ground covers, flowering shrubs and trees.

Member Field Trip to Lilacia Park in Lombard, IL

Lilacia Park is an 8.5 acre horticultural showcase featuring 700 lilacs and 25,000 bulbs.  In 2019, the park was recognized and placed on the official list of National Register of Historic Places. Members enjoyed tours of a Victorian Cottage & Carriage House as well as the grounds of Lilacia Park. After a group lunch, members attended the Lombard Garden Club Lilac and Perennial Sale, before returning home.

Solving Water Problems in the Landscape

Tired of battling wet areas in your lawn? Come and listen to Amanda Arnold discuss how to solve these problems with rain gardens, swales, drainage ways, and plantings.  Amanda has a BS in Landscape Architecture from Ball State University and is an Adjunct Faculty member at College of DuPage.  She is the owner of PlanIt Landscape Perspectives specializing in eco-focused designs and landscapes. Her past experiences of serving as Chair of several landscape design and education organizations have steered Amanda to concentrate her passion on native and natural spaces.

Growing Lilium Lilies in the Garden

Donna Mack,  a member of the Lily Society, will share her expertise on the many lily varieties that she grows and explain how to successfully plant, grow, and care for them. Also learn how to protect your bulbs from animals.

Seed Starting Demonstration with speaker Debbie Kalasa

Debbie Kalasa is a Master Gardener Intern and club member. Debbie, who has successfully started seeds for over 30 yrs, will share tips and best practices on seed starting mixes, lighting, and demonstrate how to successfully take a seed from planting through the hardening-off process.

Attracting Birds to the Landscape

Jeff Miller has been selling and formulating wild bird seed for 49 years.  He has been constantly testing different bird seeds and grains to attract colorful birds to the backyard.  Questions about bird feed seeds will be welcome.