Posts tagged Shannon Ramsay

Brucemore photos

  Executive Director Jim Kern kicked off Brucemore’s Garden and Art Show by happily announcing that we’d get through the day without rain. He was so right. Not only a rainless day, but a gorgeous one. Head gardener Deb Engmark and her crew had the grounds looking beautiful, befitting the weather.  I’ll try to get as many photos as I can of the event here, and will add more later in the week.  Visitors to the show could buy plants and artwork, including jewelry, paintings, sculpture and more. New this year, the Solid Waste Agency gave away FREE compost – a gardeners delight:)

Pat Nosbish of Kansas City, right, and Mary Corkery, of Cedar Rapids, look at daylillies from K&K Gardens of Hawkeye, Iowa, at Saturday's show at Brucemore

Pat Nosbish of Kansas City, right, and Mary Corkery, of Cedar Rapids, look at daylillies from K&K Gardens of Hawkeye, Iowa, on Saturday

 By the time I was there, the Agency’s Stacie Johnson had filled 99 bags of compost to hand out and I’m sure many more followed. Thanks Stacie!! Shannon Ramsay of Trees Forever and her crew posted the value of a few of the towering oaks and maples on the Brucemore Estate. One large oak had a “price tag” of $81,580, meaning the tree could offer that value – by absorbing stormwater, reducing the need for electricity and filtering pollutants – over its lifetime. And a good-sized crowd chose to sit under that tree for shade. Michelle Adams and Myra Hall of Brucemore Cutting Gardens flower shop demonstrated floral arrangements and made it look so simple. Their boss, Chad Rummel, uses bonsai clippers instead of a knife to cut the flowers. Anyone know where those can be found?

Michelle Adams and Myra Hall of Brucemore Cutting Gardens
Michelle Adams and Myra Hall of Brucemore Cutting Gardens

Brucemore was luckily spared during the historic flooding in June that devastated downtown Cedar Rapids and beyond. But it has been fully supportive of rebuilding efforts and demonstrated its partnership with the rest of the area’s cultural/art world with a panel discussion at the garden show on the importance of art.

Janelle McClain, past owner of CornerHouse Gallery, Joe Jennison of the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance and head cheerleader, art therapist Joan Thaler and Stephanie Kohn, curator of the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, poignantly described the value of art, especially in light of the floods. By lifting spirits, acting as therapy in overcoming grief, conducting fundraisers and giving people a reason to stay in Eastern Iowa,  the arts and cultural events are needed now more than ever, they said. Jennison noted that 35 of the 140 organizations in the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance were directly affected by the floods and others, indirectly affected, such as losing Hancher Auditorium in Iowa City as a performance venue for some of the Alliance’s members. Very fitting that Brucemore offered this panel discussion in what has been a rough summer for many in Eastern Iowa.  
I also attended Lori Willett’s “Cooking with Herbs 101” session and “Compost Happens” by the Linn County Master Composters. Look for more on those, including one of Willett’s herb recipes, later on this blog.

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Brucemore Garden and Art Show

   Art enthusiasts and gardeners are invited to the Brucemore Garden and Art Show from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sat.  Aug. 23.

   More than 60 artist and garden vendors will share their expertise by showcasing unique products with inspiring presentations, compelling displays, and pertinent information. Vendors and organizations, including Barb’s Fine Art, King’s Material, artist Tara Moorman, Willowglen Nursery, and the Linn County Solid Waste Agency, will be represented at booths and display areas around the heart of the Brucemore estate.  The festival features pottery, painting, jewelry, sculpture, glass, textiles, and more.

    Free compost will be distributed. Food is available throughout the day by on-site vendors.

    Demonstrations and lectures on a variety of garden and art topics will occur throughout the day.

The stage schedule is

    10 a.m. –  Linn County Master Composters on the importance of composting

    11 a.m. –  Shannon Ramsay of Trees Forever, relationship people have with their natural environment

    12 noon – Lori Willet, Hy-Vee dietician, healthy cooking using herbs

    1 p.m. – Brucemore Cutting Gardens Flower Shop staff, floral demonstrations

    2 p.m. – “Why Art Matters” panel of local professionals


     Additional educational opportunities will be available throughout the vendor space.  Visitors will be able to participate in ongoing demonstrations by the Linn County Master Gardeners in the formal garden; see many plant vendors and horticultural organizations with unusual and standard specimens; and interact with the Brucemore gardeners as they provide information about the estate’s historic gardens and plants.

    The 2008 show will include activities for families and children with Iowa Art Works (formerly the Art Vault) providing opportunities for kids to create their own masterpieces.  Under a new name, the Iowa Art Works offers the same opportunities as last year for creating mosaic pots and scratch art in addition to new projects this year.

    The 26-acre estate surrounding the Brucemore mansion is a showcase in itself, including manicured lawns, formal gardens, a duck pond, the restoration of the original prairie landscape design conceived by O. C. Simonds, and historic structures, including the 1915 Lord and Burnham greenhouse. The Brucemore estate provides the perfect backdrop for the Garden and Art Show: steeped in history and alive with inspiration.

    Tickets may be purchased at the gate. Admission is $6 per person. Children 10 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Parking is off-site. Shuttle service is available from Washington High School throughout the day. Handicap parking is available on-site by entering the First Avenue gate only. No pets, coolers, or outside food are allowed during the event. The Brucemore Garden and Art Show is sponsored by Penford Products, Quaker Oats, and the Linn County Solid Waste Agency. For further information on The Brucemore Garden and Art Show call (319) 362-7375 or visit the Brucemore website at

 Brucemore is Iowa’s only National Trust Historic Site and is located at 2160 Linden Drive SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 


   I plan to attend the garden show and hope to post photos online afterwards – Cindy


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