Recently the Chicago Botanic Garden was reopened to the public. You’ve got to make a reservation for a specific time slot, as they are controlling the number of people who can be present at any given time. So last Thursday Judy and I got a pass to enter at 5 pm, for our first visit of the year.
We started off as we usually do, walking through the Heritage Garden and on to the English Walled Garden. It was like a reunion with an old friend, though the usual lavish displays of annuals were somewhat muted. This was understandable, given the limitations imposed by the pandemic.
Still, we enjoyed our stroll through the English Walled Garden.
We then walked toward the bridge that takes visitors to Evening Island.
Evening Island is where they have the Carillon Bells. During a normal summer, there are Carillon concerts several times a week.
This large pond is referred to as the Great Basin. The views across the Great Basin are one of the most exciting features of the Chicago Botanic Garden, especially when the Crabapples are in bloom.
On the way out of Evening Island we enjoyed walking through this dappled glade planted with Pennsylvania Sedge (Carex pennsylvanica) under the Crabapple Trees.
We stopped to admire the Martagon Lilies, one of the few Lilies that grow well in shade.
I’ve got a few of these in the Back Garden, but they don’t look anything like this. Maybe in a couple of years when they are matured.
The final and most satisfying part of our stroll was through the Dixon Prairie. The prairie flowers peak in July, but there were plenty of Echinaceas in bloom. I would say these are Pale Purple Coneflowers (E. pallida), except they don’t look pale enough. So maybe they are just Purple Coneflowers (E. purpurea) blooming a bit early.
In any case, as we walked along the edge of a small rise, we appreciated how the purple flowers seemed to make a path pointing upward to the blue, blue sky.
We hope to visit the Chicago Botanic Garden again soon. Obtaining a time slot was very easy. If you want to visit, here’s a link: https://www.chicagobotanic.org/parking_timed_entry
This sounds awful, but we kind of enjoyed the greatly reduced crowds during our visit. Not that this is a trade-off we would ever wish for. In any case, have you revisited any newly opened public gardens recently?