How to Create a Winter Container

I love my container gardens in the growing season, but what’s the best way to brighten your doorstep for the longest season of all: winter? The answer is the easiest kind of container gardening, even for the black thumbs among us. The key is knowing how to create a harmonious design that doesn’t blow over in winter’s first blizzard. I attended Kathryn Deery’s winter containers class at the Garden last year and this is what I learned:

Pick Your Potion

Botanical cocktails that look like scientific potions were front and center during pur previous Science After Hours event. Mix up your own potion at home with these fun botanical cocktail recipes. 
Herbal experts Nancy Clifton of the Chicago Botanic Garden and Kasey Bersett Eaves, owner of Vivant Gardening Services in Chicago, teamed up to create delicious mixers for cocktails. You can easily make these cocktails at home.

How to Move Plants to a New Home

Quick poll: Does the word “moving” trigger your anxiety?How about “moving more than 100 plants”?Former Chicago Botanic Garden horticulturist Tom Weaver recently moved to Minnesota to start a new chapter. Along with his husband and dog, he brought his plant family, a love he has nurtured since childhood. “My mom makes fun of me because I knew the Latin names of plants before I could read,” he said.

Protect Spring Plantings When Cold Returns

It’s that time of year when the sun finally comes out and temperatures go up, allowing you to get some outdoor planting done. But beware the fickle Chicago spring. Perfect gardening days are sometimes followed by colder temperatures that can wreak havoc on your newly installed containers. Here at the Garden, we’ve just begun installing our spring annual displays, but we have to protect them from colder days on the horizon. Horticulturist Heather Sherwood shared some of the things she’s doing to protect plants that the home gardener may want to do as well.

The Power of Plants: Botanical Weightlifters

There are things I look forward to seeing every season. In spring, I watch for “mighty plants” that emerge from the ground with enough force to heave the soil above ground. These botanical weightlifters—the bulbs, grasses, and other emergent plants—pushing up soil that was compressed by a blanket of snow never fail to impress me. I am in awe of the strength of plants.