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As originally reported by Pam Jokerst in the October 2015 Water Word:
This year’s annual SLWGS trip was by carpool and caravan, not by bus. The weather was cool and overcast, but spirits were warm and welcoming. Twenty members and friends met at the interesting Cass Bonsai Gardens in Edwardsville, IL to begin the adventure with a tour and short demonstration about beginning bonsai.

After lunch and conversation in Springfield, IL, we headed to Davidsan’s Japanese Maple & Granite Farm where there were many greenhouses full of beautiful and hard-to-find trees and plants as well as grounds full of granite fountains and art pieces. To close out the day, we visited the ponds of two of SLWGS’ members who are founders of the Land of Lincoln Water Gardening & Koi Society, the Munters and the Chevaliers.

Many thanks to these gracious hosts for allowing us to visit them. The day ended with many new friends being made.

Stop1: Cass Bonsai Gardens in Edwardsville, IL.

Milton gave us a tour of his family business and gave a short demonstration on beginning bonsai. Everyone enjoyed searching through the greenhouses for the perfect specimen plant (or several) to take home, along with the perfect pot.

The most beneficial information was gleaned from many one-on-one talks with this bonsai aficionado who truly loves his work.

Stop2: Davidsan’s Japanese Maple & Granite Farm.

Davidsan’s Japanese Maple & Granite Farm is another family-owned business grown for the love of what they are doing. We walked the grounds longing to take home a new granite fountain, mailbox or art piece for our gardens. The many greenhouses were full of beautiful and hard-to-find trees and plants. Many of us made purchases, which the club will hopefully see on a tour
next season.

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Stop3: Keith & Connie Munter’s Pond.
Keith & Connie Munter’s pond is perfectly situated on the hillside next to their home and deck, overlooking a pool and patio with pergola. Their lovely butterfly koi were swimming gracefully around the lilies.

Stop4: Dan & Mary Anne Chevalier’s Pond.

Dan & Mary Anne Chevalier’s pond contain many colorful Japanese koi from our auction. But the piece-de-resistance for this trip was Dan’s collection of fabulous bonsai placed atop pedestals around their home and gardens. This was a must see after visiting the bonsai farm earlier in the morning.