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      07-21-2015, 04:19 PM   #1
M_Six
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A magical place, a profound loss, an incredible gift

In 1963 Professor Wesley Whiteside, a botanist at Eastern Illinois University (EIU), learned of a 5-acre tract of land for sale sitting astride a stream just east of Charleston, IL. An auto junkyard had been proposed for the site. Professor Whiteside bought the land instead and over the next 52 years he brought a magical garden to life. I've been here a half dozen times and I'm awed every time. It seems to go on forever. The stunning variety of plants and birds and insects is hard to believe. Plants that should not exist in this area thrive at Whiteside garden. Professor Whiteside built a reputation as the premier day lily expert in this part of the US. Botanical gardens from all over sought his advice and plants. His skill is evident when you see hundreds of day lilies in bloom at this time of year.

Professor Whiteside passed away Saturday evening. I was there with the Grand Prairie Butterfly Club on Sunday for a planned outing. It was sad walking around knowing Wes was gone. But it was a joy knowing that Wes had willed his entire property to EIU to be used as a living biology lab for EIU students. I plan to be involved with this project if possible and come back here often. It truly is an amazing place. RIP, Wes. And thank you.


Whiteside Garden
by Mark J Photography, on Flickr


Professor Wesley Whiteside
by Eastern Illinois University, on Flickr


Whiteside Garden
by Mark Johnson, on Flickr


Whiteside Garden
by Mark Johnson, on Flickr


Whiteside Garden
by Mark Johnson, on Flickr


Whiteside Garden
by Mark Johnson, on Flickr


Whiteside Garden
by Mark Johnson, on Flickr


Whiteside Garden
by Mark Johnson, on Flickr


Whiteside Garden
by Mark Johnson, on Flickr


Whiteside Garden
by Mark Johnson, on Flickr


Whiteside Garden
by Mark Johnson, on Flickr


Lily Pads
by Mark Johnson, on Flickr


Lily Pads
by Mark Johnson, on Flickr


Whiteside Garden
by Mark Johnson, on Flickr


Whiteside Garden
by Mark Johnson, on Flickr


Whiteside Garden
by Mark Johnson, on Flickr


Whiteside Garden
by Mark Johnson, on Flickr
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      07-22-2015, 09:24 AM   #2
allachie9
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A lovely story, well told and beautifully illustrated.
I bet old Wes would have appreciated it, well done Mark.
RIP Wes.
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      07-22-2015, 09:43 PM   #3
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A sad time, but what a wonderful gift to leave behind!
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      07-23-2015, 06:11 PM   #4
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This is a sad yet amazing and wonderful story. Love it.
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