How-To

How to Press Flowers in Four Easy Steps

The bright blooms of summer 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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.