As I write this letter, we are on the cusp of a new season. Winter’s tight grip is weakening, but its hold on our lives—and our landscapes—remains tight. As I continue keeping gloves tucked into my pocket, there are trees and shrubs at the Chicago Botanic Garden that also are not yet ready to shed their winter leaves or fruits. Like each of us, they await their own signal that winter has ended.
Yet in these final days of our long midwestern winter, I am delighted to report there are signs of spring everywhere! Throughout the Garden, magnolia flower buds are growing plumper and fuzzier every day. Along the West Flower Walk, green tips of early season daffodils are pushing beyond their warm blanket of mulch. And small, delicate buds on cornelian cherry trees are alerting us to their future golden glow.
Each of us has our own event that tells us that spring has at long last arrived. For me, not until I see thousands of crocuses abloom in Evening Island lawn do I feel that spring is finally here. This year, the delight of seeing the crocuses will be increased by also being able to see our new Trellis Bridge and the redesigned Bernice E. Lavin Evaluation Garden.
I hope you will and tell me which flower or special event tells you that spring is here. I also hope you will visit the Chicago Botanic Garden often in the coming weeks. I don’t want you to miss the more than 168,000 spring-flowering bulbs our talented and hardworking horticulture staff have planted throughout Garden, including 28,000 tulips in the Crescent Garden and more than 3,000 tulips, iris, anemone, and more in the Green Roof Garden.
After our long, cold, and snowy winter, I anticipate the many pleasures of spring, including seeing you during a walk in the Garden, where spring brings a smile to the face of everyone who visits.
All the best—and have a very happy St. Patrick’s Day!