Mushroom Magic

Have you noticed all the mushrooms popping up in lawns, mulch, and next to trees? We asked Greg Mueller, Ph.D., chief scientist and Negaunee vice president of science at the Garden for answers.

How Gardens Reflect the Plants and People of Asia

Acknowledging Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month If you removed Asian plants from the living collection of the Chicago Botanic Garden, the experiences and beauty we offer would be greatly diminished. Of all the different type of plants we grow here, half trace their origin to Asia, and more than one-third of all plant cultivars in our collection emanate from the same source.

The beauty of street botanists

Ever see a tree or even a weed and wonder what kind of plant it is? We’d love for you to stumble across the answer—right in front of you. Inspired by a movement by French botanists, my 5-year-old daughter and I decided to become street botanists for the day. We would identify plants in the neighborhood and write their names in chalk on the sidewalk.

The Gift of Gardening

Teaching Children and Grandchildren Valuable Lessons, One Seed at a Time Parents and grandparents are often children’s first and most important teachers. For 15 years, I have had the pleasure of teaching families with young children at the Chicago Botanic Garden. It is a gift to work in a garden with children because there is so much about gardening that we can use to help them grow.

Find a Sit-Spot in Nature

Sit-spots are pretty much what they sound like—a place outside where you can sit and reflect. We use them often with little ones in the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Nature Preschool. The dedicated places are a mindful way for people of any age to check in with and be present in the natural world. Choosing a Spot

How to tell someone: You rock

Here’s a quick, creative way to let mom or a special someone know that you care—make a kindness stone, just because. You may have seen kindness stones around your neighborhood. After my daughter and I recently painted some rocks, I was putting them around a flower bed in our front yard when a woman walked by. She said, “I love those—every time I see one on my walk, I take a picture and post it. Do you mind?”

Daffy for Daffodils

More than 200 years ago, English poet William Wordsworth came upon the happy sight of daffodils in spring—and was inspired to write one of the most beloved nature poems in the English language. The poem, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” is a reminder of the ability of the natural world to lift spirits. Wordsworth wrote the poem on April 15, 1802, after a walk in the Lake District of rural northwest England. On the walk, along the water’s edge, he spotted golden daffodils swaying in the breeze.