It is now officially spring, snow has melted, buds are budding, and it seems like a good time for an overview of recent developments.
So most of the garden still looks like this, but there are green bits emerging and even a few flowers.
Actually, the Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis and G. elwesii) are already past their prime.
Here and there are a few small clumps or individual Crocuses.
Rabbits murdered my dreams of big drifts of Crocuses throughout the garden. You can see how they have grazed here on the tender new Crocus shoots. If you look closely you will see a slice of Irish Spring soap, which I have distributed around the garden near my Crocuses (after the small massacre depicted here), Tulips, and Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica). Some of my readers swear by its effectiveness as a rabbit deterrent. We shall see.
In terms of blooms, Lenten Roses (Helleborus orientalis) are the story of the day. I’ve moved from skeptic to booster when it comes to this plant. The early blooms make me happy, and the foliage is nearly indestructible.
My only criticism is how their flowers face downwards, with very few exceptions.
But for that probem, there is an easy solution: just cut the flowers, bring them indoors, and float them in water.
Now, as to the Lurie Garden. Our post created a certain amount of controversy. In fact, we were contacted by Donna LaPietra, Chair of the Millenium Park Foundation Board. (Actually, we had met Donna twice in 2018 when her private garden was opened to the public – see here and here.)
Donna assured us that a new Head Horticulturist was about to be hired. Sure enough, yesterday the Lurie Garden announced the hiring of Kathryn Deery, who comes to this position from the Chicago Botanic Garden. Donna informed us that more staff will be hired and programs restored, though not the membership program.
Judy and I remain dismayed by the termination of the former staff, given their dedication and the superlative quality of their work. Even so, we congratulate Ms. Deery on her new position, and hope to see the Lurie Garden progress under her leadership.