As a Chicago gardener, I can’t wait for a charming array of flowers to take over the city. I’ve already spotted colorful tulips at neighbor’s houses and weeping willows making its transition to the sunny climate. I’m sure our cosmos and tiger lilies are eager to decorate our backyard garden, just as a renewed membership to a botanical garden will decorate our days in this season of blossoms.
There is one note worth mentioning: no matter where you are in Chicago, beautiful flowers can and will be seen all over, in the smallest of neighborhood spots and in the most majestic of places. All one has to do is master the art of flower viewing, which simply translates to keeping your eyes open for the beautiful things in life.
So, where to start?
In the search for lovely flowers, some well-known places to start are The Lurie Garden in downtown Chicago, The Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Garfield Park Conservatory in Garfield Park, The Morton Arboretum in Lisle and Cantigny Park in Wheaton.
You must remember though, sometimes the best places for those newborn or sibling shots amongst flowers can be right in your backyard. Think community gardens: schools, sidewalks, parks, restaurants. Here are a few gardens we love:
3501 N. Kilbourn Ave., Chicago
Kilbourn Park features native Illinois flowers and delicious edible plants. Perhaps the Garden Buddies program, its annual plant sale or its harvest festival featuring hands-on crafts, organic gardening demonstrations and cooking demonstrations will inspire your family to take flower-watching to the next level: gardening!
1425 N. Damen Avenue, Chicago
Spread across 10,000 square feet of space, is a home to beautiful blooms, birds and pollinators. This neighborhood garden allows for daily walks, pictures and hands-on activities through the Wicker Park Garden Club.
100 Linde Ave., Wilmette
The harmonious temples inspiring unity in humankind are surrounded by gardens featuring Chinese juniper trees and two dozen varieties of flowers, including magnificent arrangements of more than 10,000 tulips.
5491 S. Shore Drive, Chicago
This is the place to truly understand wildflowers. As you take a stroll the woods, you can gaze at the ferns, woodlands and wildflowers, all while spotting a variety of butterflies and birds which lead to the oasis’s 42 garden plots.
3111 E. 77th St., Chicago
This is beautiful garden, whose heart lies in the history of its creation dating back to the depression era, is home to beautiful blooms and paths that will leave you amazed.
To find your local community garden visit: chicagocommunitygardens.org.