Friday, November 9, 2012

Part 3: Visiting the Chicago Botanic Garden in Late October

Today we will finish our virtual visit to the Chicago Botanic Gardens with a stop in the Japanese Garden. I have never before seen a Japanese garden and was enthralled with the serene beauty of it all.
It is a paradise for all to see and enjoy. The evergreen trees are pruned in a style called 'cloud pruning'. It is a horizontal type of pruning that completely changes the way an evergreen looks.
The migrating Canada Geese also enjoyed the garden. Some of the islands (and I believe this was one of them) are off limits to visitors. These two islands are only for visiting birds. How nice is that? The birds are left undisturbed to stop for a bit on their migration paths and the visitors to the gardens can enjoy them from afar such as what I was able to do. It's a good thing my camera has a great zoom to capture these birds as they were a long way away.
Okay, we leave the Japanese garden and wander on the nicely paved paths. I am for some reason fascinated with the pointy evergreens. I think it is because I like that wow factor. Sometimes gardens can get boring so when you put in a sky scraping pointy evergreen that is not too overwhelming but which raises the bar a bit the garden gets exciting!
This area is the Dwarf Conifer Garden. Our guide (we rode a tram and since we were the only ones aboard we got a good overview of the gardens) told us that many visitors were not utilizing this giant staircase to go up into the conifer garden. The garden staff decided the solution was to plant some conifers in the staircase by taking out some rocks and creating planting pockets. The hope is that people will be more apt to climb the stairs.
The Rose Garden was splendid! It is the best I've seen. The roses were all massed nicely and looked extremely healthy. Mr. Fix-it and I endeavored to smell quite a few of the blooms. Many of the hybrid teas had no scent but we found one that was a true rose smell. The name of it was 'Tiffany' and it was a lovely pink rose.
This is not 'Tiffany' but I wanted to show a shot with both rose hips and blooms in the picture. The rose hips and blooms made for an interesting rose bush and was yet another reminder we visited at the end of the garden season.
We will finish our visit to the Chicago Botanic Garden in the Heritage Garden. I was most curious about this huge and rather intimidating yet beautiful bronze sculpture. Can you guess who it is? It is a sculpture of Carl Linnaeus. Linnaeus is the father of binomial nomenclature-the naming system we use to name all of our plants. He is a very important man in horticultural history and no self respecting gardener would not know his name-though they might not know how handsome he was! Maybe it was just the sculpture:) This garden pays tribute to the world's botanical gardens. Around Linnaeus is a wild and jumbled disorder of plants (figuratively more than literally) and as you spread out from this sculpture the plants are organized by country of origin. I loved looking at each and every one of the countries and where all the plants came from. For instance, I knew that Hydrangea arborescens and Hydrangea quercifolia were both native to the United States. I also knew that Hydrangea paniculata was not but I never gave it any thought about where this hydrangea came from. It comes from....Asia!

My favorite plant in the Heritage Garden at this time of the year had to be a cool milkweed called Gomphocarpus fructicosus, aka Milkweed. This milkweed is not native to the United States though. It is native to South America. The pods were the coolest pods ever.

And lastly my traveling partner. Not only is he my best friend, and husband of many years, but he is a partner in the truest sense of the word. We are equals and enjoy being together so very much. Our children are all grown up and this was the first weekend away for just the two of us. We had a super wonderful time on our weekend in Chicago just doing our thing and not rushing here and there and trying to see everything. Sometimes travelers just need to slow down and enjoy the journey. I am very grateful we were able to do this on our weekend away....

in the garden....

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. Hi

    I enjoyed a lot the Wheels of Time Museum and the Chicago Botanic Gardens posts! What fun you had in Chicago! I was interested in the miniature farm in the Wheels of Time museum. The diorama was really lovely! Lots of gorgeous cars. Love that post!! The pine trees in the Japanese garden look handsome and well taken care of. They remind me of the ones growing at the plaza in front of the Imperial Palace. The pines there are the most well taken care of in Tokyo! Thank you for sharing all those beautiful photos with us!!

  2. Wonderful pictures!! I really like the Japanese garden pix. It looks so serene. I'm glad you and Mr. Fix-it were able to spend such a nice weekend together.

    1. Thanks Christy! You guys are going to have meet sometime. We'll have to get together with the hubbyies one time! B. and Rog would hit it off I am sure. Have a great weekend working in the garden....

      It was nice seeing you and B. last night.

  3. I loooooooove Japanese Gardens! I wonder if I could change mine to one... hmmmm...

  4. Hi, love the visit to Chi-Town Botanical. I've been there a few times myself, but having moved to east central Georgia, I need to learn a lot about gardening down here. From Wisconsin originally, the fall/winter makes gardening much different.
    I'll be reading your blog on a regular basis, and if there are some you'd suggest, I'd truly appreciate the heads-up on 'Georgia Information'.

    1. Hi Richard and welcome to In the Garden! I can definitely see where gardening in Wisconsin would be very different than gardening in Georgia. What a big change! You can check my sidebar for some blogs. Another resource is a garden blog directory called Blotanical. There you can search blogs by location so you can find exactly what you are looking for. My co-poster Skeeter is in the Augusta area. She often posts on Georgia related things like McCorkles and trips in the nearby area. Right now we are slowing down a bit with our gardens but come next spring there will be tons of Georgia interests on here. Thanks for reading AND commenting to let us know what you are interested in!

  5. I think this is a garden I would truly enjoy. Your photos really sold the trip for me.

  6. Tina you captured the beauty of this garden and I have enjoyed the trip through all the wonderful gardens. Your recent posts remind me that I must get away more and visit other places...I hope once I have entangled myself from my current job in Aug that I can travel to gardens all over these great United States. This is one I will definitely put on the list...beautiful and peaceful!

  7. Although I wouldn't want to have one personally, I love visiting Japanese gardens. They are so peaceful. And I liked your thought about putting a pointy evergreen where things are a bit boring. I have a spot that now I realize needs just that!

  8. What a gorgeous garden, and I particularly enjoyed the Japanese theme. Next visit to Chicago must include a stop there. Nice photo of your husband too! I just reviewed a novel set in Tennessee featuring Monarch Butterflies. It's Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. It has your name written all over it. I'd love to hear your reaction from a local perspective.

  9. Thank you for the tour, I have enjoyed all three posts, and since it is Veterans Day I want to thank you for your service to this country.

  10. Isn't the Japanese Garden amazing? I always think of how much time goes into pruning the trees and shrubs to get them into these shapes, not to mention the patience required for this type of garden to mature. I agree that the moment you step into this place, a certain peace comes over you. Thanks for such a great tour, Tina--I don't think I even explored the area around the Linnaeus statue, so I learned something new today.

  11. I love these pictures girl. The first one looks so pristine as if a professional golf course! I love Japanese Gardens and find it difficult to believe this is your first one viewed! Wow, where have you been girl. Spending too much time in your own garden and not enough time enjoying other gardens. Ha, just joking but now that all the little ones are no longer little ones, maybe you and Mr Fixit can enjoy more pleasures such as this one. A Great journey you have taken us on with these gardens….

  12. I envy your trip to this botanical garden. What a treat and thanks so much for sharing it with us. That first photo is so tranquil.

  13. Nice job documenting my favorite gardens in the area. Next time you are in the area, you have to visit some of my other favorites - Anderson's Japanese Garden in Rockford, IL (spring or fall), Cantigny Gardens in Winfield, IL (spring, summer and fall) and The Morton Arboretum in Lisle for fall pics.