Reflections on a season of blooms in plant evaluation garden The Chicago Botanic Garden dedicates an entire garden to plant evaluation. But have you ever wondered how it works? As we move into early fall, the Hibiscus will rebloom sporadically at the Garden’s Bernice E. Lavin Plant Evaluation Garden, but their big show is at an end. This applies more broadly to the other plants in the evaluation garden too.
Plants and Gardening
Have you driven past a woodland or prairie lately? Many of these open spaces boast blankets of gold sunflowers, the native plants that for me signal the approach of autumn.
Even as the leaves start to turn in shades of scarlet and gold, we are thinking ahead to nature’s other big show—spring color. This year, the annual Woman’s Board Fall Bulb Sale is online only. You’ll be able to shop at your leisure for hundreds of varieties of bulbs imported directly from growers in Holland. The members’ presale, with discounted prices, starts September 1; the public sale is September 9 to 25. Order pick-ups are October 9 to 10 at the Chicago Botanic Garden, where you can take in the fall color.
In commemorating Juneteenth this year, we invited Chicago writer Tequia Burt to write about the importance of African American heirloom seeds. Every year in my garden, I grow at least one African American heirloom crop, partly to commemorate Juneteenth.
Oh, we love Netflix’s blockbuster series, the steamy period romance Bridgerton. But we’ve barely noticed all the sex and scandals in the show’s depiction of early nineteenth-century London high society. Nope, we’re too busy looking at the wisteria.
It might be the coconut scent of Nemesia ‘Sunsatia Lemon’ that turns your head. Or the hot magenta blooms of Linaria ‘Enchantment’, which looks like a mini-snapdragon. Whatever it takes to get you to stop and feel spring in the Buehler Enabling Garden.
On the virtually treeless plains of Nebraska almost 150 years, ago a day was set aside to celebrate and appreciate trees—Arbor Day. This year we have selected the genus Quercus, the oaks, as an exemplar of why trees are important to us and our environment. Quercus rubra standing tall at the Garden
When looking at different bonsai trees, you might notice the stylized beauty of their shapes and textures. A lot of thought and work are put into raising bonsai trees and pruning them just so, but for many bonsai artists, their containers are just as important as the plant itself. “The pot and the soil have a relationship just as much as the tree and the pot have a relationship. The tree-to-pot relationship is aesthetic and functional too,” said Chris Baker, curator of bonsai at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Even when the Chicago Botanic Garden was buried in snow, our horticulturists would look for signs of spring and trade tips—did you see that winter aconite blooming underneath the crabapples? Spirits are high as early blooms emerge, well ahead of the first day of spring on March 20.