How To - Dried Flowers


Garden Stories


Peachy Blooms

How to add Pantone’s ‘Peach Fuzz’ to your plantings

Think about a sweet, fuzzy summer peach, a hue between pink and orange—that’s “Peach Fuzz,” Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2024.

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Corn Husk Dolls

Simple Corn Husk Doll People in cultures all over the world have been making dolls from natural materials for centuries. 

These directions are a simple variation of a doll made from corn husks, which is a traditional craft of Native Americans. Corn husks are the leaves that cover and protect the corn cob. You can use the fresh green husks removed from the cob, but for this doll, we will use dried husks, which can be purchased from any grocery store that sells corn husks for tamales. 

You will need: 

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Worm Composting: Part 3

I started vermicomposting (composting with worms) in April for Earth Day. It has been four months and my worms have generated some nice castings (worm poop) from the food I fed them. My compost is ready to harvest!

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The secret to long-lasting cut hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are a coveted late summer bouquet, but the cut flowers never last long—we set out to discover how to get enduring blooms.

The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Marketing Team ran an experiment to test an overly dramatic hypothesis: cut hydrangeas wilt within an hour or two of putting them into a vase of water.

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Tips for Managing Your Worm Bin: Part 2

Worm Composting

Now that you have a worm compost bin, here are five tips for maintaining it so that the worms are happy, it does not smell bad, you don’t get fruit flies or other pests, and you get some nice compost for your yard or houseplants.

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Easy Vermicomposting for Beginners: Part 1

Are you looking for an easy way to help the planet? Consider composting your food waste. Composting with worms, also known as “vermicomposting,” can be an easy and fun project for your whole family that also teaches children about nature’s cycles.

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How to dry flowers, from A to Z

Dried Flowers

Gardeners know it takes time and effort to cultivate a plant palette that blooms throughout the seasons. Each flower brings so much joy and satisfaction, but the blooms never last as long as you would like. My first urge is to take pictures. But there is another way to preserve this ephemeral beauty: drying flowers.

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Naturally Halloween

While stores can’t keep Halloween and fall decorations in stock this year—supply chain issues or maybe gremlins—we’ve got some DIY ideas. With a little help from nature, you can go Insta cool or full-on Martha Stewart. Capture the spirit of the season by using mostly found objects, materials you might already have, and some embellishments.

Here are some projects that I’ve worked on over the years. These ephemeral projects celebrate what’s happening now in gardens and then fade as the wonders of the next season take over.

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Insta-improved Photos!

Simplicity is critical in creating a striking Instagram photo. Here are some tips to help you reduce distractions and bring focus to your pictures.

The most important thing to keep in mind when photographing for Instagram is that your photo will be viewed at a relatively small scale. Your composition needs to grab the viewers’ attention as they scroll through their feed. Nature is full of beautiful detail, intricate patterns, and delicate textures. However, keep in mind that once a picture is posted, the subtlety and tiny details of the subject matter may be lost.

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So Classy: Spring Wreaths Made from Flowering Branches

Budding and flowering trees and shrubs—redbud, plum, spirea, almond—are among the great joys of spring. Under the calm and creative eye of Field & Florist’s Heidi Joynt, we learned to turn those branches into lovely, living wreaths in a perfectly timed class at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Heidi Joynt demonstrated how to layer in curly willow cuttings and delicate flowering branches like bridal veil and bridal wreath spirea.


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How To Grow a Tea Garden

I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker—tea has always been my drink of choice. So, what better way to enjoy my favorites than by growing my own tea garden?

And you can, too!

Herbal tea gardens are a great because they’re easy to cultivate, and there are many herbal varietals to choose from. Plus, you can get incredible, fresh flavor when you brew your own.

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Create Your Own Horticultural Therapy Containers at Home

It’s finally starting to feel like spring in Chicago, which means it’s time to get those home gardens up and running.

In the Horticultural Therapy Department, we’re in the process of setting up our off-site gardens at facilities all over the greater Chicago area. These gardens come in all shapes and sizes and fall on a wide spectrum of costs. For today, we’re focusing on how to create your very own home horticultural therapy garden—or perhaps more accurately—your own home horticultural therapy containers.

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Five Seed-Starting Secrets

It’s always a fun day with a community vibe, as Chicago area gardeners gather to swap seeds, stories, and green-thumb tips. 

sunflower with seeds

Panache sunflower (Helianthus annuus ‘Panache’)


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The Science (and Language) of Beer

Although I’m a scientist by trade, I’ve also joined the ranks of home/craft beer makers, and have done a fair bit of brewing myself.

Despite seemingly endless beer varieties, beer making boils down to just a few basic ingredients. So what’s really happening during the major steps in the brewing process? And what do all those colorful beer-making terms mean?

Step 1: Choosing the grain

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Goodnight, Roses

Putting roses to sleep for winter

In early November, many of the roses that bloom twice per year (called remontant, or repeat-blooming) were still putting on quite a show in the Krasberg Rose Garden. Even that late in the season, the garden looked exceptionally lush—canes were tall, bloom was heavy, and November’s cold-but-not-freezing nights kept the last of the season’s flowers going through Thanksgiving.

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Pumpkin Seed Math Games

If you carve a pumpkin for Halloween or make a pumpkin pie from scratch, you’re going to have a lot of pumpkin seeds. You can put them to good use by turning them into “dice” and playing math games this fall.

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Spring Lawn Care for Homeowners

With spring’s arrival, one can’t help but daydream about greener pastures, or in my case, lawns. Now is the time for spring lawn maintenance.

The main purpose of spring lawn care is to get the turf through the summer months. Cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial rye grass, and the fescues need to develop a strong root system to survive summer’s heat and dry conditions. There are a number of things you can do to ensure that your lawn gets off to a good start in the spring. Listed below are some things to do in April and May.

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Growing a Bean in a Bag

Garden blog followers may remember that in “How to Train Your Plant” I demonstrated a way to grow a bean seed in a plastic bag to test geotropism. I started working on that project around Thanksgiving week last year. At that time, I started a few bean bags just to see what would happen. I kept one seed growing in the bag all winter, adding water as needed.

The bean plant grew for five months, leaning toward the window in my office.

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Valentine’s Day Wishes

From ancient China to Greece, Europe, and finally the New World, the tradition of sending messages as a gift of flowers has flourished over the centuries. Popularized in the Victorian era, when public display of emotion was frowned upon, great effort and detail went into the choice of flowers presented in a bouquet. Each flower chosen had its own well-known meaning concealed in its size, shape, color, and even the way it was presented — by hand, singularly, or in a group. Even the number of blooms was important.

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Simple Seed Saving Method for Tomatoes

When farmers’ markets wind down, many of us want to preserve the bounty of this year for the next. Why not save save seeds from your last tomatoes so you can grow them yourself next year?

1)    Make sure to save the seeds from an open-pollinated or heirloom tomato. These seeds will reliably reproduce the “parent plant.”

2)    Choose a ripe, disease-free tomato; one past being edible is best.

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Photographing Orchids

Compared to photographing flowers outside, photographing in the Greenhouses is much more challenging and darker than you think.

Photographing Orchids

With a limited depth of field, I chose to focus on the "face" I saw in this orchid. Photo ©Carol Freeman

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Spring Activities for Horticultural Therapy

Although it may not look like it, spring is on its way, which means it’s time to start prepping for the anticipated spring planting season. This is a great time of year for horticultural therapy contracts. Everyone is itching to start planning and prepping for a successful horticultural therapy outdoor garden program, and our excitement level is right there with them.

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How to Plant a Glass Jar Terrarium

Don’t let those glass jar terrariums intimidate you. Tim Pollak, outdoor floriculturist at the Chicago Botanic Garden, offers a step-by-step guide to creating a one-of-a-kind terrarium filled with your favorite plants and personal touches. Need a little more direction? Follow along on the video below and get a few extra tips for success.

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Planting Bulbs in Containers for Winter Blooms

Why wait until spring? Plant a bulb container for a preview of blooms to come.

In this video, the Chicago Botanic Garden shows how to create a bulb garden in a pot for winter forcing so you can enjoy a preview of spring in the midst of winter’s chill. Forcing is the act of putting plants through a cold period in order to stimulate blooming during an atypical time of the year. By potting up your bulbs now, you’ll be able to enjoy a spring garden in your living room in ten weeks.

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Caps Off for the Mushroom

Interest in mushrooms is, if you’ll excuse the expression, mushrooming, as growing numbers of people seek food from local, sustainable—and even foraged—sources. Thanks to a vibrant network of farmers’ markets and an expanded offering of mushrooms sprouting up in the produce section of grocery stores, most of us can lay our hands on an interesting variety of mushrooms without heading out on a mushroom hunt in the woods.

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Seed Pools and Jacuzzis

Have you ever spent days tending to seeds only to find that they rot shortly after sprouting? If you want your seeds to grow into big healthy plants, you should take the precaution of treating them to prevent fungal and bacterial diseases.

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A circle, a ring, a wreath

Circle, Ring, Wreath

This is a BIG wreath—great for an outdoor wall.

Flint. Dent. Sweet. Flour. Pod. Pop. Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden horticulturist Lisa Hilgenberg celebrated these six major types of corn—and beautiful heirloom varieties with names like ‘Blue Jade’, ‘Glass Gem’, and ‘Golden Bantam’—in a seasonless sunburst.

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Creating Blooming Dish Gardens

Create a miniature landscape in an open, shallow container: a dish garden! Gather small foliage and flowering plants together in a decorative container—like a basket or saucer—for a versatile display you can enjoy throughout the year.

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Baby, it’s Cold Outside!

Many years ago, I took a college class called “The Natural Environment in Winter.” It was January, and we met outdoors for about three hours—regardless of the temperature. I showed up at the first class wearing jeans, a medium-heavy jacket, a sweat shirt, gym shoes, cotton socks, and gloves, but no hat or scarf. (Hey, I was a city kid.) The ink in my pen froze and I couldn’t take notes.

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Make a Mini-Terrarium Holiday Ornament

For one December session of our Plant Explorers after school program at Chicago International Charter School—Irving Park, the students made living ornaments for the holidays.

This tiny terrarium project can have a calming influence on a potentially hectic holiday, because green and growing plants make us feel more relaxed. It requires you to find some live moss, but it makes an extra special decoration for kids—and adults—who love plants. 

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Seasonal Treat: Pumpkin Fudge

If you’re ready to start a new tradition (enough already with the pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin cookies), consider this recipe for bourbon pumpkin-pecan fudge. The bourbon gives the fudge a bit of a kick (and who doesn’t need a little jump-start during the holidays?).

The recipe is simple enough to get the whole family involved. Think butter…pumpkin…toasted pecans—what’s not to like? And what better way to celebrate the season than to spend time together, break fudge together, and give thanks that you’re able to do so?

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Repotting Orchids, Part 2: Paphiopedilum

Paphiopedilum, or lady slipper orchid, is another popular orchid with collectors: it prefers high humidity and indirect light, faring best in eastern early morning light. But how do you ensure early success?

Just as we learned in our first video, Repotting Orchids, Part 1: Phalaenopsis, it’s always best to repot your orchids shortly after purchasing them—the sphagnum moss in which they are sold provides too much constant moisture for the plant, and can damage the delicate, epiphytic root system.

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Repotting Orchids: Phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis, or moth orchid, is called the “gateway orchid” for beginning collectors: it requires very little care, and yields great rewards with blooms that last up to three months! Early success with a moth orchid leads growers to try other species and, finally, to orchid addiction. But how do you ensure early success?

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Cornucopia 101

It’s a big week for cooking, for getting out the china, crystal, and silver, and for setting a holiday-worthy table…but have you thought about a centerpiece yet?

A cornucopia, or horn of plenty, is a classically beautiful, easy, and crowd-pleasing way to pull together a centerpiece without a lot of fuss or expense.  I taught a fall cornucopia class at the Garden, and I had the pleasure of appearing on WGN-TV with tips for making an edible fruit-and-vegetable cornucopia. This week, I thought I’d share a few tips that both cornucopias have in common.

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Wearable Indian Corn

I always look forward to seeing Indian corn in the market and finding it in autumn decorations. Indian corn—in its range of hues from blue to deep maroon to oranges, golds, and yellows—extends the colors of the season long after the tree leaves have faded and been raked away. It is one of November’s icons, reminding us of the cultural and botanical history of the continent.

“You call it corn; we call it maize.”

Or so the 1970s TV ad for Mazola margarine told us.

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D.I.Y. Mustards

What’s the oldest thing in your refrigerator? Chances are that it’s the almost-but-not-quite-empty jar of mustard.

Conditioned by decades of backyard barbecues, brightly colored squeeze bottles, and grab-’em-by-the-handful packets, Americans are at last tuning in to the taste of homemade condiments.

The time has come for homemade mustard—and you won’t believe how easy and tasty it is.

Start with the Basics

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Star Appeal for the Holidays

You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to fashion this charming star-shaped wreath from branches, raffia, zip ties, and a little duct tape.

Heather models the finished star wreath.

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Fight your Winter Blues!

As I stepped out of my house this morning, I thought: “I can smell winter.” It’s that subtle shift that you feel as the days click on, and we are led farther away from the beloved fall season.

The days continue to get shorter, and the sun doesn’t seem to shine quite as bright so naturally; moods shift, and energy becomes muted. I have a number of friends and family members who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. Its abbreviation says it all: lackluster moods, low energy, and even mild depression.

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Three easy, harvest-inspired Thanksgiving centerpieces

With just a bit of effort, you can make your holiday table warm and inviting—and a worthy backdrop for your meal.

Nancy Clifton, former program specialist at the Chicago Botanic Garden, shared some easy, crafty ideas harvest-inspired centerpieces.


A Festive Look

Here’s how you can make Thanksgiving-themed floral centerpieces like a pro:

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These Greeting Cards Will Spice Up the Holidays

Handmade greeting cards make people feel loved. Here is a fun and festive way to show friends and relatives that you care about them. It’s a great project for kids who need something to do. (It’s also a way to use up some of those 20-year-old spices that are languishing in your kitchen cabinet!)


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How to Make a Pumpkin Volcano

My 2-year-old son is a little too young to carve or paint his own pumpkin this year, so creating a “pump-cano” was the perfect fall fun activity for him.

This is an entertaining and simple activity for children of all ages and a great way to extend Halloween celebrations during the first week of November with leftover jack-o’-lanterns. It’s also a great time to remind kids that pumpkins are plants that grow as a vine. Along with squash and cucumbers, pumpkins are part of the plant family Cucurbita.

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Why your grandmother’s apron is suddenly cool

Have you noticed anyone foraging mushrooms lately? Building campfires? Baking bread? In these disorienting times, there’s a growing movement to embrace such pursuits as a way to get centered, to lead a more simple, slower life.

It has been called #cottagecore, but really it is more than that. It’s a throwback to a rustic aesthetic. That could mean thrifting, DIY, or repurposing gently used items. Here at the Chicago Botanic Garden, we’re all about fuss-free pursuits—plants, nature crafts, plant-based meals...we had you at plants, right?

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How to Press Flowers in Four Easy Steps

Bright blooms never last long enough for me—but I’ve found an easy way to preserve the color and beauty of favorites. Lately, I’ve been pressing flowers to give them a second chance to be appreciated—ranunculus, chamomile, and more.

The process is straightforward, using things you have around your home. And it’s easy enough that you can do it with kids.

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How to Train Your Plant II

Blog followers will remember that in the first “How to Train Your Plant” post, we demonstrated how plants respond to the gravitational pull of the earth. Geotropism is difficult to overcome, but that didn’t stop me from trying to make a plant grow sideways through a maze. You can try this activity at home.

You will need these items:

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The Basics of Pickling Peppers

Are you staring at the glorious color wheel of peppers at your local grocer or farmers' market and salivating over your peppers growing at home?

If so, you are a pepper lover, and while you hold yourself back from buying every type you see on the shelf, you also know that this feeling is fleeting.

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Best. Plant labels. Ever.

One of the best things about visiting (and working at!) the Chicago Botanic Garden: you get great ideas for your own garden.

I put one of them to work in my new "all vegetable" front yard garden this weekend.

Horticulture program specialist Nancy Clifton faced the challenge of labeling dozens of different heirloom tomato varieties in containers. Her solution was simple and elegant: gather up the paint stirrers and get out the chalkboard paint!

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Photosynthesis Made my Rock Candy

Join me in contemplating the sweetness of plants. 

All sugar comes from plants. All of it. Plants are the only thing on earth that can make sugar, and plants are made of sugars. Even plant cell walls are composed of a substance called cellulose, which is a compound sugar. Sugars from plants are the basis of our food chain.

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Finding Beauty Outside, Naturally

The world could use a little more beauty right now. Why not help create some in nature? Try your hand at ephemeral nature art. It’s simple and relaxing, and something the whole family can do.

Ephemeral art uses found materials and is created and left in the environment. It is temporary and evolving. The materials can include anything you find outside, such as sticks, bark, leaves, flowers, sand, shells, etc.

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Dividing Aloe

My Great Aunt Lila used to say that plants bring out the goodness in people. Her house in the Hudson Valley was full of exotic tropicals and orchids that she cared for meticulously. And yet she was always ready to give them away when anyone showed an interest in one, which for me was every visit. She would carefully divide an established plant that she had nurtured for decades, wrap up a chunk of the roots in a wet paper towel, and send me home on the five-hour drive holding a new precious plant in my lap.

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Leave Room for Blooms

Have you eaten a flower today?

Americans are getting more comfortable with the idea of edible flowers. But how—aside from sugar-candied flowers for bakers—do you use them? We asked horticulturist Nancy Clifton, who brought five really fresh ideas to the table.

Today’s blue plate special: flavorful greens finished with blue flower petals.

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Make a Grapefruit Bird Feeder

My daughters love fresh grapefruit—and birds. So we decided to keep the rind and make a bird feeder. This is a fun, easy project.

The grapefruit sections have been cut and eaten; the rind is ready to become our bird feeder.

To make a grapefruit bird feeder, you will need the following:

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Make a Bird-Nesting Bag

Spring is here, and the birds are returning from their winter homes. Some birds fly through the Chicago area to their nesting habitats up north, while others return and stay in the area.

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Growing Plants in Martian Soil

The Martian: Many of us watched and loved the movie. Some of us read the book. A few of us got inspired to use the story to teach plant science to students.

The Martian by Andy Weir tells the fictional story of NASA astronaut and botanist Mark Watney, who becomes stranded alone on Mars and has to figure out how stay alive until the next NASA mission returns to rescue him. He plants six potatoes and successfully propagates a crop of potatoes in Martian dirt fertilized with human poop.

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How to Make Mushroom Spore Prints

Mushrooms reproduce by making billions of spores that spread and grow into new organisms. You can take advantage of this phenomenon to make a beautiful print on paper.  

How to Make Spore Prints

All you need are some fresh, open mushrooms, paper, and a bowl. You can use mushrooms found growing outside or buy them from the market. When selecting mushrooms for spore prints, look for these things:

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Science Activity: Albino Plants

Leaves are green. There are very few exceptions in healthy living plants, and most of the exceptions are partially green with red, yellow, orange, or white patterns; or they look white, but upon closer inspection they are actually whitish, bluish-green, and not pure white. The pigments that give all leaves their color are essential for the plant’s ability to harness energy from the sun and make sugars in the process we know as photosynthesis.

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Egg-cellent Adventure

Dye-ing for nature-based fun? Forgo the food coloring and kits, and go for naturally safe, naturally kid-friendly, and naturally beautiful “homemade” egg dyes instead. Dyes can be used on hard-boiled or fancy blown-out eggs. Most of what you need is probably already in your own kitchen and pantry.

Natural Egg Dye-ing

The tools you’ll need to create your own egg dyes

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Painting with Veggies

We discovered a fun way to encourage the Garden’s Camp CBG campers to try a salad. Many kids turn up their noses when they hear the word, but after painting with food, our campers are eager to “dig into” their creations.

For little ones, this project is easy and fun to do with a grown-up and provides opportunities to identify colors and start learning about plant parts. Older kids can use new kitchen tools (with adult supervision) and discuss what is really a fruit or a vegetable. 

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Bottle Cap Bouquets

Miniature flower arrangements offer a charming and whimsical gift for mom, grandma, or anyone special. A nice feature of these tiny bouquets is that you can show off the beauty of small flowers that always sing backup to showier blossoms in large arrangements. Also, you can use aromatic herbs with small leaves as filler greens to add a pleasant scent.

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Planter Puzzler

Looking for a fun and novel table decoration for a special event? Here’s an idea. We turned our table decorations into a game.

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DIY Living Plant Wall

From time to time, we need to replant the Living Wall at the Grunsfeld Children’s Growing Garden. That leaves us with four empty walls. So we get creative and make an “alternative” living wall. 

These burlap pocket planters contain alyssum, lettuce seedings, grass, and coriander.

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Forcing Branches to Bloom Indoors

If you are longing for spring blooms as much as we are, you might like to try forcing branches to bloom indoors. Spring-flowering trees and shrubs form their flower buds in late summer or fall before the plants go dormant for the winter. The buds can be forced into bloom indoors in late winter or early spring.

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Easy Peas-y: Planting Pea Seeds with Little Sprouts

Plant, water, and grow! Whether you are a parent, teacher, or caregiver, teaching children to plant seeds is a simple and authentic way to help them engage with nature. It’s an activity that the littlest of sprouts can do “all by myself,” or at least with minimal help from you.

Planting Peas with Little Sprouts

Growing future gardeners in the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden

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Making Rainbows

Add a little brightness to your family's day—play with food, make rainbow dough—and get in some nature play, too. Ready to turn ☹️ into?

Nature Rainbow Scavenger Hunt

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Fun With Mud

What better way to celebrate spring and keep kids busy than with mud?
All you need is a muddy buddy, a few basic supplies, and a sprinkling of imagination to try these fun, nature-based ideas at home.

Mud Cupcakes

Remember making mud pies as a kid? We’ve given this classic a makeover. Shrinking to a smaller, more manageable cupcake size keeps the mess down while still allowing kids to explore and experiment. There's no right or wrong way to do this. The only rule is no eating the cupcakes!

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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.

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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 or new plants.  Here are some of the things that the home gardener may want to do to protect plants.

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How to Photograph Holiday Lights Like a Pro

Here’s what you should know about taking pictures at Lightscape at the Chicago Botanic Garden. It’s a great chance for photographers of all abilities to practice shooting after dark. And with a little time and effort, you’ll get some cool pictures of holiday lights—one of my very favorite subjects.

Photographing Lightscape

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Pick Your Potion

Botanical cocktails that look like scientific potions;were front and center during our 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.


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Creating Hypertufa Troughs at the Garden

One of my signature projects at the Chicago Botanic Garden is designing and building the hypertufa troughs for the Heritage Garden spring display. While our greenhouse staff spends their winters growing the unique and beautiful plants that we feature in the troughs, another team is hard at work making the troughs.

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How to Train Your Plant

Why not try growing some plants indoors? Better still, why not experiment with your plants to understand them better?

In this activity, you will confuse a bean sprout and train it to grow in any direction you want. Sound like fun?

You will need:

  • a gallon-size zip-top bag
  • paper towels, preferably 2-ply (if they are single-ply, double them)
  • a pinto, lima, or kidney bean (try whatever you have) soaked in water overnight

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Make Peony Blooms Last Longer

Using peonies as a cut flower for floral design is easy, with a few tricks to preserve the health of your plants and flowers.

Peonies are the queen of the garden during their blooming season. From late spring through early summer, there is a beautiful abundance of color and shapes blooming, depending on the variety. Finding a variety that is also fragrant adds to the reward of growing this exquisite flower.

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Keep Cut Lilacs Fresh Longer with These Tips

Lilac cuttings

For many people, lilacs are a sentimental flower.

My mother planted many lilacs on our farm in Kansas. The scent carried across the yard as I played. When my husband and I started our family, planting a lilac in our garden was a priority so our children will have the same heavenly memory of the fragrance and flower.

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Fruit and Veggie Prints

Mealy apples, sprouted potatoes, and wilted celery, oh my! These may sound like candidates for the compost bin, but don’t toss them out just yet. Even if they aren’t fit for consumption, some fruits and veggies might be good for making prints. For younger children, this activity provides ample opportunity to practice color, fruit, and vegetable identification and hone their gross-motor skills. Older children may be interested to know that different foods come from different parts of the plant.

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Tips for Your Fall Container Gardens

Are your summer container gardens in need of a fall makeover? Good news! There are many fall-flavored plants that will provide you with texture, form, and long-lasting colors in both flowers and foliage.

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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.

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No Bake 'Gingerbread' Ornaments

The ever-creative Nancy Clifton is putting the finishing touches on her fun and fragrant project. She’s making more than 400 wreath and garland decorations from a no-bake “faux dough” made of just two all-natural ingredients, cinnamon and applesauce. Nancy is a horticulture program specialist and popular Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden teacher.

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