Plants and Gardening

What is happening in the evaluation garden

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.

Dreaming of spring color

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.

My Juneteenth Garden

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.

Celebrating Oaks on Arbor Day

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

Bonsai pots hold more than plants

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. 

Crop Planning

Even when snow is falling and temperatures plummet, I’m working on my backyard vegetable garden. I might not be harvesting tomatoes and zucchini yet, but I am still strategizing and prioritizing so I can squeeze the most out of the upcoming growing season.