An Early May Walk Through the Chicago Botanic Garden
Last Saturday morning, after finishing my class at the Chicago Botanic Garden, I walked outside and realized that it was a perfect day. Perfect days have been few and far between this spring, so I called Judy and asked her to come up and meet me so we could take a walk and enjoy the garden together. Oh, and I asked her to bring the camera.
The first thing that had us exclaiming was the tulip display in the Esplanade near the entrance. There were a mix of three tulips with a purple color theme. The three were the dark purple ‘Havran’, the medium purple ‘Passionale’, and ‘Shirley’. This last tulip is white with a purple blush. I really like this type of color arrangement with several variations on the theme of a single color.
After the Esplanade we went to the Bulb Garden. Many of the tulips here have not yet opened. Those that have, for some reason, were mostly pink, not my favorite color for tulips. Even so, the bulb garden was lovely, filled with blooming Narcissus, fritilaries, etc.
From there we wandered over to a woodland garden which, though unnamed, is actually one of our favorite areas in spring. At this time of year, there are ferns, bluebell false forget me not, and daffodils among the birches and evergreens. When we were there the bleeding hearts were not yet in bloom, but by now they will have added many arching stems of dangling pink flowers to the blue and yellow.
This garden is planted on a steep slope. From the path at the top, you can see down to the lagoon.
Onward. We walked across the bridge to Evening Island, which is really a collection of several gardens. At one end there is a small hill topped with a Carillon. Carillon concerts are given on summer evenings, something we have always meant to go to. One piece of advice: do not stand at the base of the Carillon when it starts ringing. I have learned this through personal experience.
From the Carillon hill, you can see across sunny fields of flowers to another small hill at the other end of the island. Grape hyacinths make a blue carpet at the feet of a hedge of bright yellow forsythia. Per my earlier post, I admit this is a setting where forsythia looks really good, but I still wouldn’t plnat it in my own garden.
We walked along a path lined with crabapple trees. The crabapples are also planted along the water on the opposite shore. When they bloom it is a glorious sight. I’d think there’s another week or two before that happens.
Leaving Evening Island on the second bridge, there are more crabapples, daffodils, and false forget me not.
Before heading to the parking lot, we walked along the English Walled Garden, admiring the yellow magnolia (Magnolia acuminata).
Finally, we had to head home. After almost three hours, there was still a great deal we had not seen. Even so, we had done enough gawking, and there was serious gardening to be done at home!
Have you taken any great walks so far this spring?