Lydia Home 4On a recent Saturday, three Nature’s Perspective staffers, led by John Ciesielski, headed out to Lydia Home, a children and family services organization located in the northwest side of Chicago, to donate materials and work on their fenced 50′ x 50′ vegetable and flower garden. The group joined forces with Lydia’s garden coordinator Imelda “Mel” Gonzales and two of its young and enthusiastic residents to install a wood chip path, add compost to the beds and lay stepstones. The 32-degree weather and frozen ground did not deter the crew, who completed the work just before the first big snowfall arrived two days later. “This will give them a headstart next spring,” said John.

Lydia Home Garden PlanNature’s Perspective’s design team donated the design last winter, and developed the Lydia garden to showcase its recently installed koi pond. The new garden will feature sitting areas, an ornamental wrought iron grape arbor, a gazing ball, pole bean teepees and ornamental trees at the corners for visual interest.

Lydia Home 3The various beds will contain vegetables, herbs, fruit, raspberries and cut flowers which Lydia residents hope to sell next year at the local farmer’s market, helping them gain valuable skills and developing their love of gardening.

Donations are welcome to help bring this garden to fruition. Keep checking our blog to view the evolution of this very special garden!


Founded as an orphanage in 1916, Lydia has become a successful alternative to state-run foster care and family assistance agencies. Based in Chicago, this organization serves children and families in need, providing a diverse range of programs, from residential treatment to foster care, counseling to parenting classes. Most of its services are supported entirely by private contributions, and volunteers play a vital role in keeping its ministry strong. For more information, visit