Last Saturday I met Monica from Garden Fairie's Musings at the Chicago Botanical Garden in Glencoe, Illinois. It was wonderful to meet her, and we had a great time.
The garden is set on 385 acres, and includes display gardens, wooded areas, prairies, and water features including lakes, streams, ponds, waterfalls, and fountains. Admission is free. Parking is $15.00 per vehicle, but is free to members. There are picnic areas as well as an indoor cafe, the Grille where you can order burgers and such and sit on the deck overlooking the gardens, and the Rose Terrace where you can relax with with a sandwich, salad, a refreshing beverage, or a nice, cold ice cream.
The Chicago Botanical Garden is meticulously maintained, and houses approximately 2.3 million plants, All are documented, named, and mapped. We didn't see the entire garden in one visit, but that was ok, as we took our time and lingered in many of the places we especially enjoyed. I will definitely be going back to see more at another time.
Of the displays we saw, these were some of my favorites. You can click on the pictures to enlarge them. Around lunchtime we were headed towards the Japanese Gardens, sited on 3 islands. We were getting hungry and tired, and didn't quite make it all the way there before deciding it was time to eat. Even from a distance though, they were beautiful, verdant, and tranquil.
Most of the ponds featured water lilies, favorites of mine.
The recently-renovated dwarf conifer garden was a beautiful combination of color and textures. There were several shady benches that provided the perfect invitation to sit a spell and take it all in. We gladly accepted the invitation!
Another favorite spot of mine was the English Walled Garden. I loved it! Isn't it gorgeous?
Made ya look! I was enjoying it so much, I forgot to take any pictures! This was another beautiful, shady area where we gladly accepted the invitation to sit on one of the many benches and relax, chat, and enjoy a few cool breezes and the gorgeous view.
The next several shots are from the Prairie garden. This huge expanse is a re-creation of several different kinds of prairies once common in Illinois. Of everything we saw, I'd have to say the Prairie was my favorite. It was really gorgeous, colorful, and teeming with life, including native grasses, wildflowers, and birds.
Monica, thanks again for the invitation to join you last Saturday. It was fantastic to meet you and spend the day getting to know you. Thanks for motivating me to get up to Glencoe to see the Botanic Garden for the first time since I was a kid. It won't be so long before I go up there again to see more of these beautiful gardens. What a wonderful way to spend the day!