Friday, January 28, 2011

A winter trip to Chicago Botanic Garden

On Jan 19th, we were scheduled to attend the MidAm trade show. Being that I didn't want to get up at 4am to make it to the show site by 8:30, we decided to go on Tuesday the 18th and stay overnight. So what to do during the day? Go to Chicago Botanic Garden of course!  Although the temperature wasn't too bad, the wind was cold and made it hard to stay outside for very long.  I did brave the cold for some shots of the dwarf conifer garden, but mostly these are greenhouse pictures.  Enjoy the photo tour!

First stop: Dwarf Conifers!  I have a great love of dwarf conifers, but I haven't concentrated on gardening with them very much.  Mainly because I know my "disease" will make me spend way more than I should on them!  Here are some that I thought were nice and may add to my gardens some day.  Some of them aren't dwarf at all, but they are nice specimens.

Larix decidua 'Cherry Valley' and Abies concolor 'Compacta'

The tag was buried for the weeping larch, not sure which one it is.  Also didn't see a tag for this cute little spruce.

 Picea engelmannii 'Bush's Lace' is a great spruce with pendulus branch tips.  Very elegant and worthy of garden space.  Xanthocyparis (Chamaecyparis) nootkatensis 'Pendula' does great in the midwest.  I don't know why gardeners are afraid of this plant. 

I didn't get a tag for this one either, but it appears to be Picea orientalis.

The garden has 3 greenhouse biomes that are beautifully planted.  The first one we visited was the arid house.  I didn't take notes on what the varieties were, mostly for my benefit so I don't seek them out!  I don't have room in my house for more plants!


Next up is the tropical house.  Again no notes taken, in fact there were a few things that I would have like to find more info on but I couldn't find tags.

No there isn't anything wrong with this Colocasia, that's how it grows!

Last stop, the semi-tropical hosue.  Still no notes, but readers may recognize more plant material here.  Some plants here are even quite hardy, to zones 6 or 7.  This house features some nice topiaries, including a massive dinosaur covered with Piper nigrum, Black Pepper.  Very cool.  Also featured was a bog-garden with some nice carnivorous plants.



  1. I absolutely love the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Have you ever made it to the Garfield Park Conservatory? It's not in the best neighborhood but the 4 acres of conservatory completely make up for it!

  2. I have not gotten there, I will have to check it out some time. I unfortunately don't get to public gardens very often.


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