Q: How long does it take to make an Enchanted Cigarden?
A: The better part of 2 days. It takes as long to prepare the box as it does to create the garden inside!

Q: Where do you find the boxes?
A: There has been renewed interest in cigar smoking lately, leading to the opening of many smoking rooms. They, as well as beverage stores with large humidors, and some good old-fashioned neighborhood pharmacies, are the greatest source. Many have been collected on trips to islands.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for the Cigardens?
A: Three things happened at about the same time: I was painting the wall behind my brother's miniature train set-up (aren't I a good sister?) to look like farmland, cityscape, industrial park, etc., I decorated an old cigar box as a place to keep buttons, and the Chicago Botanic Garden opened its English walled garden, which I wanted to zap down to miniature size to see first thing every morning. I thought of the materials my brother used in his train village, and the decorated box I had made, and built my first Cigarden. Serendipity!

Q: Do you have an art background?
A: I hold a B.F.A. from the University of Illinois

Q: Where do you get your ideas for the gardens you create?
A: Many are out of my imagination, but some are inspired by places I've been or pictures I've seen.

Q: They all seem to have such an ethereal quality. Where does that come from?
A: I think it's because I'm so enamored of old black and white movies. They all had a certain dreamlike quality to them, compared to movies today.

Q: What is the poem on the inside of the lid?
A: It is from The Lord Created A Garden, by Dorothy Gurney.

Q: They are all so beautiful, I can't decide. Will you help me pick one?
A: Nope. Go for it.