Staff Blogger: Loretta Wilken, Lakeside Chautauqua Master Gardener/Groundskeeper


If you’ve recently strolled along the west end of Second Street in Lakeside, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the explosion of yellow blooms against a shiny dark green carpet. You may have also noticed that they have traveled across the road and are even popping up outside of the fence. These plants are Lesser Celandine, Ranunculus ficaria. They’re a visual feast for the eyes, but this buttercup family member comes with a definite word of caution.

Lesser celandine is a spring ephemeral that produces short lived blooms early in the year and can completely disappear in late spring, early summer. It is a non-native plant introduced to North America in the mid 1800s. It is considered an invasive plant by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and cannot be sold or distributed in Ohio.

The plants have somewhat heart shaped, dark green leaves with yellow blossoms about 1” wide with 7-12 petals. Underground tubers store the energy produced by the leaves in spring for the following year’s growth. You will see at the base of the foliage small football shaped bulbils. These grow new plants and are easily transported by foot traffic. The plants form a tight mat of foliage 4” to 5” tall that chokes out native spring ephemerals such as trillium, mayapples, Dutchman’s breeches and Virginia spring beauties.

Read More

Staff blogger: Rev. Dr. Charles Yoost, Director of Religious Life & Church Outreach


Read Psalm 30

We have often heard it said, “God will not give you more than you can handle.” Mother Theresa is reported to have said, “I know God will not give me more than I can handle. I just wish God didn’t trust me so much!”

We who have been coping with quarantines, ‘Stay at Home’ orders and all that these directives imply can relate to Mother Theresa’s statement. Add to that the constant concern we have about those on the front lines, family members and friends diagnosed with the virus, mounting statistics on deaths worldwide, and the fact that decisions in so many areas of our lives are seemingly beyond our control. Frustration, irritation, discouragement and depression are very real for most of us these days.

Read More

Staff Blogger: Loretta Wilken, Lakeside Chautauqua Master Gardener/Groundskeeper


Pockets of blooming hyacinths lovingly tucked into gardens, stretches of daffodils, whimsically decorated beds of early spring color – these are all delightful signs of spring. They’re a calming source of visual delight and sometimes small surprises.  

Homeowners share their Lakeside Love through these sometimes small, sometimes abundant treasures throughout their community. They’re often the most photographed areas simply because they mirror the heart and soul of Lakeside.

As a Lakeside Gardener/Groundskeeper, I especially appreciate all of the time, resources, sweat and love that goes into planning, financing and maintaining all of these beautiful private residence gardens. Each season brings different delights. Each day that goes by I find some new beauty that catches my eye.

Thank you, Lakeside, for bringing your “A” game and accidently making my job a treasure hunt.

Staff blogger: The Rev. Dr. Charles Yoost, Director of Religious Life & Church Outreach


Read Psalm 13

During this time of “sheltering in place” and quarantine, have you found yourself living the five stages of grief that Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and others say we all experience when we face loss?

First, there is denial. When I first heard the news, I couldn’t believe what I was being told. Surely it can’t be that bad! Then there was anger. We Americans are not used to being restricted and told what we can and cannot do. Who does Governor DeWine think he is? He cannot stop me from doing what I want! Then there is bargaining. Ok, I’ll wear a mask if that’s what it takes to escape the worst of it.

Has depression set in? A friend recently wrote on her Facebook page, “I am feeling it. A lot of anger about not seeing people, especially my grandkids. Anxiety that my loved ones will become ill. My mom is 90, and my youngest grandchild is 3. Fear that food will run out.”

Read More

Staff Blogger: Ellen Venema, Rhein Center Assistant Coordinator


There’s truly an art to selecting and arranging words. The rhythm, alliteration and imagery of our choices may provide another level of interest and meaning. We can create moods, set scenes and build characters with paper and pen (or computer and fingers…) and a little careful thought.

One of the more vivid ways of creating art with words is through poetry.

April is designated National Poetry Month. As we move towards warmer and more pleasant weather, spend some time outside, and let your thoughts drift. Send them down through your arm to a waiting pencil, and wax poetic on what you see, hear and feel.

Poetry, in general, requires no specific rules. It may rhyme; it may not. It may count syllables; it may not. It may be rhythmic; it may not.

Through the centuries, people have written and studied many defined types of poetry, but there are endless possibilities yet to be created.

Described and demonstrated below are a few of the shorter established styles, with a little Lakeside flair. May they inspire you.

Read More