Beautiful Happenings at City Grange - June 2019

I feel I have lived an entire lifetime in the past six weeks here at City Grange.

We changed our opening date due to snow. Our fundraising plant sale for Peterson Garden Project got canceled due to snow the first day (thank the good Lord for all the volunteers who helped save thousands of dollars of inventory from the cold and had fun in the process). We got suntans the next day.

And the rain. Lots of rain and, coincidentally, most of it on weekends.

And yet we persisted. On the wet days, we worked out the kinks with our United We Blossom job training program and community outreach. (And held golf umbrellas for some hardcore plant lovers.)

After three weeks of stumbling over each other in our tiny (but adorable) space, someone noticed there was an apartment for rent across the street where I am now typing this and watching the activity in our plant yard at the same time. We can now all sit down around a table to eat lunch or have a meeting. Bonus: the landlord has a puppy named Zeke.

New team members have come (a few have gone). Job training associates have stepped up to leadership roles and, collectively, figured things out with smiles and aplomb. Perhaps the crowning achievement on that front, in the words of one of the team, “This is the first job where I’ve liked everyone I work with.” The feeling seems to be mutual.United We Blossom Job Training Program

We’ve built a “Shady Bower” for our expertly collected shade loving plants. And developed relationships with growers that provide the best plants. The most beautiful plants. The plants we know will help our new gardeners succeed. And are healthy for pollinators and the earth, too.

The Monarchs, Black Swallowtails, bees and hummingbirds have found us and visit regularly.

The press, including Forbes and Worldview have also found us and helped to tell our story. The Chicago Tribune, NBC 5, industry podcasts and more have helped to tell our story.

Instagram Reposts

And, mostly, YOU the signer-uppers for this newsletter and thousands of others have come, smiling with words of encouragement, hugs, elation, support, good advice. Stopping by after work, driving 50+ miles because they heard about us from a friend, bringing your families from out of town and in strollers… coming back multiple times “for the plants” but leaving good wishes and encouragement with each visit. Plant lovers, community lovers, friends, neighbors... the beating heart of a good world.


YOU have made the last six weeks more miraculous than anything else.

So, with your support, City Grange #1 has made it through the second wettest and coldest spring in recorded history. We have full hearts, a full plant yard and heads full of ideas for classes, events and fun to celebrate everything that we are together.

It was just words before, a lovely graphic and an inkling in my heart but now [I can’t type it without getting misty] I would shout it from the rooftops: United We Blossom.


LaManda Joy