On a Saturday in mid-May, I went with a group to the Chicago Botanic Garden. I have always loved the gardens there–it’s a very large property with many beautiful flowers and plants. I’ve been there several times with my family, but not too frequently in recent years. When I saw that there would be a meetup at the garden I jumped at the chance to go even though it was difficult for me to get there. The garden is not terribly accessible by public transportation, unfortunately, but I was lucky enough to convince my mother to pick me up from the train station and drive me to the garden to meet my friends.
The day was very chilly and wet, but that didn’t dissuade me at all. I simply picked a dress that I thought would be less-likely to suffer any damage if I were caught in the rain (no prints that might bleed or fabric that might be water-stained) and wore my ugly black coat over it. My family hates my infamous ugly black coat, but it is decently warm and extremely waterproof, so I rely on it when the weather seems liable to downpour. As the day went on I was very glad to be wearing it, as I would have otherwise been fairly soaked from the constant mist.
The walled gardens are so lovely. They feel like they belong in a fairy tale!
After assembling in the entrance to the garden we headed out to look at the flowers. It was a nice time of year to go–most everything was blooming, but most flowers didn’t seem too wilted. We were too early for the rose garden, though~ I hope I’ll still get a chance to see it this year. ♥ Despite the chilliness, everyone was willing to soldier on and explore.
We investigated the indoor greenhouses first, because they were warmer. There were some really lovely cacti in the desert area. I always forget how pretty cacti can be. After that we looked at the beautiful bonsai displays, which are arranged in the courtyards outside of the greenhouse building. The bonsai at the garden are on rotating display, so I always see something new every time I visit.
The Japanese gardens have this little house which provides a view of the rock garden, which you are not allowed to enter.
The garden is arranged on islands, with most of the gardens on the large main island, but several surrounding islands with other gardens. We visited the Japanese garden, which was very picturesque even with the somewhat-gloomy weather. I love seeing some of the architectural elements in that garden–there are several small houses and many statues. There’s one house that overlooks the water, and it seems to be a place where demonstrations are sometimes held, but I’ve never seen any. I always hope that one of the times I go there I’ll see something happening in that house.
We wandered through the waterfall garden, another one of my favourites. Waterfalls are so interesting. It is connected to the dwarf conifer garden, which we continued through as we kept looking in the different gardens. Then we went to the walled gardens, which are my ultimate favourite~ I love the arrangement of the plants and walkways, and the use of walls and gates seems to make things more private and beautiful. I had lots of fun taking pictures of lolita in the beautiful setting. I brought the fancy DSLR that I have been borrowing, so they turned out much nicer than my point and shoot could have managed, particularly on such an overcast day.
I know that some people are unfortunately missing from this group picture, but it’s still a good representation.
I did cause a bit of trouble at one point. There was a break for lunch, which I didn’t bring or plan for, so instead I snuck off to explore a bit away from the group. I probably should have told someone, because instead it was thought that I was missing or lost~ I am sometimes too good at causing mischief…
The carillon is one of my favourite parts of the garden. Somday I’d like to see one of the concerts~
I ought to have waited and then I would have had plenty of time to explore on my own! After everyone was done looking at the beautiful plants that the garden had to offer, they decided to head to a market for dinner. I didn’t have my own car, and I had made plans to be picked up at a certain time, so I couldn’t really try to stow away with anyone else or I would have inconvenienced my mother–and it was very nice of her to agree to ferry me back and forth in the first place.
Instead, I wandered around through the vegetable garden and orchard. There wasn’t a lot of produce to see at the time, but there were a few sprouts and some beautiful lettuces. It started to rain more intensely at that time–so much that I had to put the camera away so that I wouldn’t risk it getting soaked–but that was just in the nick of time~ My chariot arrived just when it was getting too inclement to stay outside. ♥
I hope that we’ll go back to the botanic garden again. When the seasons change, everything changes there! It’s almost like an entirely new place the next time you visit.