Fall Decorating Tips for a Green Halloween 

By Kristin Boza 

With the state of trick-or-treating unknown at this time, many neighbors are dreaming up ways to ensure the festive autumnal spirit is showcased throughout the community. Decorating the front lawn or porch is one way to bring some spooky spirit to your block.  

Some people may forgo the visit to the pumpkin patch this year due to social distancing, but pumpkins, gourds, cornstalks, and straw bales can be found at local grocery stores and greenhouses, like City Grange, 1818 W. 99th St. City Grange will even deliver your décor right to your front porch if the order is placed online at CityGrange.com. 

Rashelle Strate, general manager of City Grange in Beverly, offers these tips to maximize autumnal potential on the front porch.  

Dried corn stalks can be bundled upright and tied with raffia or twine to flank a front door, standing at attention to welcome fall. 

Fill a bushel basket with filler, such as extra top-soil or sand, and arrange colorful gourds and pumpkins of various colors and shapes on top for a fun front-stoop or porch decoration. 

Use straw bales as tabletops on front stoops, patios, or porches for displays of potted mums in fall colors and colorful pumpkins and gourds. 

Don’t forget the inside! Create a grouping of pumpkins of different sizes and colors in a bowl or on a wooden board for a great seasonal centerpiece. Anchor it with a large pumpkin and surround it with smaller ones, or display a bowl full of mini pumpkins. 

With all of these natural objects used for decorating outdoors, beware of squirrels looking at it as their own personal Thanksgiving feast. One of the easiest — and most ‘green’ — tips is to sprinkle cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes over the entire decorative display, or mix up some hot sauce with water in a spray bottle and spray it all over the pumpkins to ensure full coverage.  

Once fall briskly pivots to winter, what to do with all the foliage and pumpkins on the porch? There’s no reason to throw them away to only take up space in a landfill. Instead, compost all of the natural materials and earn some great fertilizer in the spring.  

BIA Selects Beautiful Gardens in North Beverly 

The Beverly Improvement Association (BIA) once again searched for beautiful gardens in North Beverly. According to BIA members Mary and Collins Fitzpatrick, the neighborhood is magnificent and this year’s gardens are filled with colorful flowers and plants in full bloom due to Mother Nature and to the hard work and loving care of its homeowners.  

Gardens selected for special recognition this year are the Wergin garden, 90th and Hamilton; the Sconza garden, 89th and Hamilton; the McFarland and Wallace garden, 92nd and Damen; the Robinson garden, 92nd and Winchester; the Holland garden, 92nd and Pleasant; the Smelser garden, 91st and Hoyne; the MacNamara garden, 89th and Leavitt; the Folsom garden, 91st and Bell; the Allen-Thomas garden, 94th and Claremont andthe Kelly garden, 92nd and Claremont. The 2020 “best block” 88th to 90th on Pleasant.  


Beauty and Community: BAPA Hosts the Beverly/Morgan Park Garden Walk

It almost seems ironic that the blessings of a warm and rainy spring and the need to be productive during the isolation of a global pandemic were a winning combination for Beverly/Morgan Park’s gardens. Inspired by the exceptional beauty of our community and the need for our close-knit community to come together safely, BAPA is hosting its first Beverly/Morgan Park Garden Walk on Sun., Sept. 13, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Due to the restrictions enforced by Covid-19, BAPA’s Ridge Run/Memorial Day Parade, Home Tour and Beverly Hills Cycling Classic were cancelled. This new offering will be BAPA’s only community-wide special event for 2020.

From the time the event was announced, community residents have been coming forward to offer their gardens, volunteer to help and purchase tickets. So many gardeners invited us to come see their yards, it was very hard to choose the ten private gardens that will be featured this year! Planners have included several don’t miss points of interest in public spaces, and are already looking ahead to Garden Walk #2 next summer.

This year’s Garden Walk will begin with check-in at the Edna White Community Garden where people are welcome to walk among the beautiful plantings while enjoying music and merchandise from Home Grown vendors.

Masks will be required at all Garden Walk locations. Visitors will be expected to follow the rules of social distancing and adhere to the map in order avoid overcrowding at gardens.

Featured locations range between 89th and 117th Streets, West Beverly to East Beverly, and many points in between. Each stop is distinctive for its style, variety of plantings, and beauty. Three are award winners in the Chicago Bungalow Association’s annual garden contest, and all of them are uniquely beautiful. No matter whether you’re going home to a sunny or shady yard, a mature garden or a freshly dug flower bed, you’ll be inspired by the hard work, creative vision and delight shared by the gardeners.

Among the locations are:

  • A sunny yard where seating areas and paved pathways offer endless ways to enjoy an eclectic variety of colorful and lush shrubs, trees and plants, many of which were purchased on clearance and nursed back to life.
  • A winner of this year’s Chicago Bungalow Association Garden Contest for the front yard where there is a mix of perennials and annuals anchored by evergreens and a shady back yard where lawn was replaced with garden beds separated by curving pathways and seating areas, and an unusual water feature.
  • A serene garden of native plants and prairie style garden fixtures and ornaments, including a stunning pond.
  • Side-by-side yards (one of which earned a Chicago Bungalow Association garden contest award!) where sisters have taken down the fences and joined efforts to create a showcase of flowers, vegetables and herbs as well as beautiful spaces for entertaining and places for the kids to play.
  • A true garden hideaway which surely what they had in mind when Urbs in Horto was chosen as Chicago’s city motto! A cozy yet expansive yard that features a small stage for live music, serpentine garden spaces and a perfectly manicured putting green.
  • A welcoming multi-tiered oasis filled with fabulous plantings and appealing decorations that just three years ago was a concrete jungle. Wait until you see the “before” photos!
  • An expansive yard filled with abundant and colorful interest throughout the blooming season, including whimsical fairy gardens, a dramatic front garden, and an elegant elevated patio.
  • A lovely space situated next to the Dan Ryan Woods that features a meditation pond with sand and ceramic fish, a garden of kitchen herbs, and an array of shade-loving perennials and potted plants that create an ever-changing garden experience?
  • A sprawling double lot with garden spaces that have evolved over 20 years, incorporating quiet seating areas, flower beds bursting with color and texture, and built elements for form and beauty.
  • A lovely garden filled from early spring through fall with outstanding flowers and plants lovingly tended by a group of volunteer garden experts.

Points of Interest to be showcased on the Garden Walk include three school gardens where students and community volunteers create magical outdoor education; a peaceful baptismal garden behind a church; and selected residential front yard gardens that are simply not to be missed.

Garden Walk sponsors include OSF HealthCare Little Company of Mary Medical Center, Beverly Bank & Trust, Southtown Health Foods, The Beverly Review, Chicago Bungalow Association, and County Fair Foods. Garden Walk partners are Steuber Florist & Greeenhouses, City Grange, The Blossom Boys, Edna White Garden and Oak & Bloom.

Garden Walk tickets are $20 in advance at www.bapa.org and $25 on the day of the event.

For information on becoming a Garden Walk sponsor or volunteer, call 773-233-3100 or email bapa@bapa.org.

Please Support BAPA’s Work in Our Community


The pandemic forced the cancellation of BAPA’s major fundraising events – Home Tour, Ridge Run & Memorial Day Parade, and Beverly Hills Cycling Classic Bikes & Brews – eliminating funding sources vital to our operations.


Restrictions inspired BAPA to invest our scarce resources into free programs to meet the changing needs of our neighborhood. Here are some of the things we accomplished:

Small Business Support

  • Promoting your business on Instagram webinar with expert Maggie O’Reilly
  • Digital marketing webinar with expert Jason Wiley
  • Business planning webinar with Ivan Ruiz from Beverly Bank & Trust
  • Special business coverage in The Villager

Community Spirit

  • Bike Beverly initiative with online maps of safe local bike routes
  • Support of Divvy bikes
  • Retooled History Mystery Bike Adventure for summer/fall family-friendly games
  • Friday Night Live livestreamed porch concert series supporting local musicians
  • We Love Smith Village vehicle parade
  • Happy Birthday to Korean War vet Rico Miller vehicle parade
  • Remembering Brian Piccolo vehicle parade

Community Outreach

  • Donated Home Tour booties to a hospital in need during COVID-19 treatment crisis
  • Slow Down safe driving campaign
  • Delivered senior meals donated by Franconello restaurant
  • Supported 19th Ward Youth Foundation free meals to area first responders and medical personnel
  • Donated to and supported Maple Morgan Park Community Food Pantry
  • Brought Beverly Bakery donuts to 22nd District police officers
  • Developed BAPA Cares COVID-19 Response resources at bapa.org
  • Co-hosts weekly Free Store with Turpin Cares and 19th Ward Mutual Aid
  • Hosted a job search webinar with expert Megan Connolly
  • Listed local business/restaurant updates to promote shopping and eating locally in weekly enews and The Villager

School and Teens

  • Presented CPS Community Service Awards to students in neighborhood public schools
  • Launched the BAPA Teen Service Corps volunteer group
  • Presented the BAPA Cares pandemic response webinar


  • Socially distant spring clean and green clean-ups
  • Weeding Wednesdays at area parks and public areas
  • Pitch in for the Parks special park clean-ups


As a not-for-profit organization, BAPA depends on donations from residents and businesses to continue working on the issues that keep our community strong, safe, connected and thriving. Support us by making a donation or joining as a BAPA residential or business member.

Neighbor Wins Driehaus Award for Home Landscape  

By Kristin Boza 

Living in Beverly/Morgan Park, we know what a special place this is. Incredible architecture and carefully crafted landscaping are prominent in our community. 

One neighborhood resident has been singled out for his landscaping efforts. Tommie Harris earned the Chicago Bungalow Association’s 15th Annual Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Bungalow Award in Landscape Design. Harris has spent years perfecting the lushness of his lawn and the incredibly large plants that dot his yard’s perimeter.  

“The key is fertilizing early,” Harris said. “I fertilize the lawn in March, and I usually don’t have to do it again in the season. I apply a healthy dose of it to give it a good start to spring.” 

Harris, a retired Chicago police officer, began his landscaping adventure as a way to promote some privacy in his yard. He cultivates many of his plants inside during the winter to ensure they grow strong when the weather cooperates in the spring and summer. 

“I pull up my bulbs in the winter to make sure they stay warm,” Harris said. “I really think that is what helped my perennials grow to the size that they are — which is quite large!” 

While local wildlife, from bugs to bunnies to coyotes, often find solace in his garden, Harris takes the time to make sure they don’t destroy his hard work. “I actually remove beetles by hand to make sure they are gone for good. Spraying the leaves with a pest killer is bad for the plant, so I take the extra step to remove bugs that could kill the garden,” he said.  

Overall, Harris spends a lot of time in his yard paradise, making sure each plant is properly watered and has the nutrients it needs to thrive. Aside from the fun he’s having in the garden, Harris was excited to earn the Driehaus Award to meet other winners. “There was a reception for all of the winners, and it was incredible to meet with other bungalow owners and hear their stories,” Harris said. “I met people from all over the city who did different projects on their homes, and we shared a lot of great tips as well.’ 

According to the Driehaus Foundation, there are an estimated 80,000 Chicago bungalows that represent one-third of the city’s single-family housing stock. Chicago developed the Chicago Bungalow Association (CBA) in 2000 to ensure the preservation of this type of home; additionally, the CBA encouraged the renovation and preservation of more than 20,000 bungalows since its inception.  

In late 2019, seven Driehaus Award winners were announced and each won a cash prize of $1,000 and a handcrafted copper plaque made by local artisan Frank Glapa of FMG Design. Seven honorable mentions earned a $250 cash prize and plaque.  

Check out Harris’ garden, and all of the other nominated projects, at ChicagoBungalow.org. CBA is currently accepting applications for the 2020 Driehaus Awards; nominate yourself or a neighbor at ChicagoBungalow.org. 





Christmas Block  

Every year, on the day after Thanksgiving, the yards on 99th and Campbell are transformed into a wonderland of cartoon characters, Christmas scenes and reminders of the meaning of the holidays. The elaborate display began in the yard of Matt Doherty and, year by year, has expanded into the yards of neighbors creating the most-viewed Christmas display in our neighborhood, and, surely, an annual destination for many other area families. Kids who grew up visiting Campbell Avenue each year are bringing their own children. 

Doherty may be the mastermind of the Christmas block, but, just like at Santa’s workshop, it takes a team of elves to bring his vision to reality. Doherty’s helpers include his wife, Sherry Doherty; his brothers, Michael and  Marty Doherty; and his friends, Nora Collins, Stacy and Kim Kouzios and Cathy Sorich. New pieces must be crafted and painted, and some of the older pieces touched up, and it all has to be installed for the season.  

New this year is a thank you to people in the U.S. armed forces who are on active duty overseas, an interactive toyland and a display based on Frank Capra’s classic Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  

Children are invited to mail their letters to Santa at the special mail box; remember to include your address so Santa can send a reply!  

Word about Doherty’s holiday cheer is spreading! This year, he is setting up displays at La Rabida Children’s Hospital.  


Coloring books make great holiday gifts

Two coloring books featuring local landmarks are available this holiday season, Color Me Beverly II and Color Me Morgan Park.

These books are the innovative and unique creations of Beverly artist Judie Anderson and local historian and writer Carol Flynn. Each book retails for $10 and features 12 illustrations accompanied by text explaining the origins and importance of the landmark to the community.

Coloring is a fun and relaxing activity for all ages. For children, coloring fosters self-expression and helps develop motor skills. For adults, studies show that just a few minutes of coloring have the same benefits as meditation – a restless mind calms down, reducing stress, enhancing relaxation and sleep.

These coloring books are also unique collectors’ items. They are very popular with ex-patriates nostalgic for the old neighborhood. They make great stocking stuffers and are very easy to mail as gifts.

The books will be available at two craft fairs that will be held at Olivia’s Garden at 10730 S. Western Ave., on Sunday, Dec. 1, from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Locations in the community that carry the books are: Bookie’s bookstore, 10324 S. Western Ave.; Turkey Chicago gift shop, 9913 S. Walden Parkway; Heritage Gallery, 1907 W. 103rd Street; the Ridge Historical Society, 10621 S. Seeley Ave.; and Mt. Greenwood Cemetery, 2900 W. 111th Street. In addition, Sacred Heart Church at 11652 S. Church St. has the Morgan Park book, and the Beverly Unitarian Church at the Givins Castle, 10244 S. Longwood Drive, has the Beverly II book.

For those who live out of town and would like to have copies shipped to them, contact Carol Flynn at cflynn2013@yahoo.com.

City Grange to Open Holiday Pop-up Shop  

Shop Will Offer Holiday Decorating and Shopping Opportunities Inspired by Nature 


City Grange, Chicago’s only independent social-enterprise gardening center focusing on education and organic and sustainable plants, will open its first pop-up destination just in time for the holiday decorating and shopping season. 

Located at Joplin Marley Studios at 9911 S. Walden Pkwy., the City Grange Holiday Pop-up Shop will offer seasonal greens, wreaths, garlands, cut floral, holiday containers and other décor items, as well as holiday decorating demos and classes. Select merchandise can be ordered for delivery. 

City Grange Founder and President LaManda Joyan Illinois Extension Master Gardener and founder of Peterson Garden Project, is excited to bring City Grange to a new part of the city. “I believe the world would be a better place with more gardeners,” she says. “I started City Grange to inspire, motivate and help more people garden successfully. Our first location on the north side has been an overwhelming success, and I look forward to welcoming everyone in Beverly and the surrounding communities for holiday decorating and shopping at City Grange.” 

The City Grange Beverly Holiday Pop-Up store will be open on Fridays, 4 to 8 p.m., 

Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun., Nov. 22 through Sun., Dec. 22.  

City Grange is America’s first independent social enterprise gardening destination focusing on organic and pesticide-free plant material, education and community-building. City Grange sells organic and pesticide-free plants, garden tools and supplies, hosts gardening workshops and offers a job-training program for at-risk individuals called United We Blossom. City Grange takes inspiration from the historic Grange movement of the 1800s to advance modern-day urban gardening for everyone and promote the social and economic needs of communities. 

City Grange plans to open its second location in the Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood in springFor more information, visit www.citygrange.com. 

Ten Things to Do in the Fall Garden  

By Barbara Gyarmathy, Master Gardener 
Garden Club of Morgan Park/Beverly Hills 
  1. Sit back and be proud ofthis year’s garden, then get back to work!  Whether this was your first attempt, or one of many, gardening is a learning experience that requires lots of patience. Do an honest evaluation of your garden. What worked? What didn’t?  Which plants should be divided or moved to another spot? As your garden is fading through the fall, think about what you can plant that will provide longer color, interest and pollinating benefits at this time next year. 
  2. 2.Remove annuals from containers and landscapes. This can be hard to do when they still look good. Supertunia Vistas and SalviaRockin’s look like they could bloom forever, but they won’t. As soon as the first frost hits you will wish you had cleaned them up earlie  
  3. 3.Now is a good time for additional planting and some redesigning. Still warm soil and relatively cool air temps can continue to promote healthy root growth in plants forhopefully another six weeks. Take advantage of endofseason sales on trees and shrubs, and divide and move perennials around in the garden.   
  4. 4.Plant springblooming bulbs. Fall is the only time to plant bulbs like tulips, daffodils and crocus.These plants need to experience cold winter temperatures in order to bloom in spring. Milkweed seeds also need the extreme winter cold to germinate. Plant bulbs among specimens like hostas and catmint so once the bulbs have bloomed, the fading foliage will be hidden by the leaves of the later-emerging  If squirrels are a problem, try spraying bulbs with animal repellant or cover them with chicken wire. 
  5. 5.Tend theperennialsIt is not necessary or recommended to cut back your entire garden. Once certain perennials go dormant, it’s a good idea to clean some of their foliage out of the garden bedsCut down hostas that have been damaged by slugs (slugs lay eggs in the dormant foliage so removing it will reduce slug issues next year)Many types of bees and small beneficial insects happily overwinter in garden debris and their welfare is very important. Some perennials should not be cut back, such as evergreen or semi-evergreen perennials like pinks, coral bells, foamy bells, foamflower, creeping phlox and red hot poker, and perennials with woody stems like hibiscus, Russian sage, lavender and butterfly bush. Perennials with winter interest like False Indigo, coneflowers, ornamental grasses, autumn sedum, alliums or lenten roses will add a fourth season to your garden because their shades of brown and gray and textures will stand up to the snow. 
  6. 6.Continue to water. Evergreen perennials, shrubs and trees, as well as anything you’ve recently planted, will need to be watered until the ground starts to freeze.  
  7. 7.Rake, shred and mulch with leaves. Nature delivers natural mulch at our feet every fall when deciduoustrees drop their leavesToo often these humble leaves are raked, bagged and dumped into the alley for the trashman. Finely textured leaves from willow or honey locusts will easily degrade on their own and don’t need to be raked, but broad leaves from maples, sycamores, oaks and the like need to be raked to prevent them from matting down which delays decomposition and could smother grass and perennials. Take time to shred these leaves and rake them back into garden beds in late fall as the ground begins to freeze. Leaf mulch will keep weeds at bay, insulate plants over the winter months andmost importantly, enrich the soil as the leaves break down. It’s all about the soil in a healthy garden and leaf mulch is nature’s great gift to us! 
  8. 8.Protect sensitive and newly planted perennials and shrubs.If you are pushing the hardiness zone on a few of your plants, heaping a pile of shredded leaves or evergreen boughs on top of them once they are dormant may help them make it through the winterMulching newly planted perennials and shrubs can prevent the root ball from heaving out of the ground during the freeze/thaw cycles of winter by keeping the temperature more consistent 
  9. Bring the outdoors in! Gather cut branches and dried flowers from the garden to use in your indoor decorating.Hydrangea, berried branches, ornamental grass plumes and plants with seed pods can all make the beauty if this season last.   
  10. Start dreaming about next year’s garden! The catalogues start comingin winter and gardeningrelated events and expos begin as early as January. Well worth the trips are the Porter County Master Gardener’s Association Gardening Show in Valpo at the end of January and the Wisconsin Public Television Garden and Landscape Expo in Madison in February. There will be more information on these two informative and inspiring shows in our next article.   

(The Garden Club of Morgan Park/Beverly Hills was established in 1926, and members are dedicated to beautifying the neighborhood and educating themselves and others about garden caretaking.    

Call for Nominations for Bungalow Awards

It’s time to celebrate Chicago’s historic bungalows and their owners’ dedication to renovating and restoring them with the 14th Annual Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Bungalow Awards. Created by the Chicago Bungalow Association with the support of the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the awards honor the creativity and efforts of bungalow owners for home improvement and restoration projects both large and small. 

Awards are given in the following categories: 

Exterior Rehabilitation demonstrating appropriate rehabilitation projects and/or compatible additions. 

Interior Rehabilitation demonstrating a contemporary use of space while maintaining significant features.  

Interior Restoration accurately recovering the details and forms of the Chicago bungalow. 

Small Project preserving historic detail and form while improving a room or the exterior at a cost of $5,000 or less. 

Green Project demonstrating energy-efficient design and renovation while maintaining classic features. 

Landscape Design demonstrating a creative design solution and enhances the bungalow’s overall visual impression. 

Window Restoration preserving historic detail, materials and repair/restoration methods of original wood windows.  

“The number of Driehaus Award nominations from throughout the City increases each year,” said Mary Ellen Guest, CBA Executive Director. “This is a reflection of homeowners who take pride in caring for their bungalows.” 

The first place winner in each category will be awarded $1,000 and a handcrafted bronze plaque. 

Nominations must be of CBA-certified brick Chicago-style bungalows located in the City of Chicago. Nominations can be made by bungalow owners themselves, a neighbor, friend or neighborhood association. Nominated projects can be whole homes, single rooms, or small projects and will be judged by a panel of architects, preservation experts and civic leaders. Any project completed within the last five years is eligible.  

All nominations are due by Tues., Oct. 30 and on-site viewing of the finalists’ bungalows will be conducted on Fri., Nov. 9 and Sat., Nov. 10. 

Nominations can be submitted online at www.chicagobungalow.org, or mailed to CBA at 53 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 740, Chicago, IL 60604. Submissions must include before and after photographs of the project.