Plants and Gardening

Reflections on the Island Beyond Your Reach

If you’ve visited Lightscape, you probably noticed some striking transformations at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Following the illuminated trail, perhaps you stood to admire the distant and beautiful Elizabeth Hubert Malott Japanese Garden. You likely saw a lit-up island floating in the lake, and if you looked closely, you might have noticed that there’s actually no way to get to that island. Did you wonder why that is?

Fruit Pursuit Game

Why Pumpkins Are Fruits and Other Cool Botany
Think you know what a fruit is? Most people think of fruit as being sweet or tart, juicy or crunchy, or peel-able like a banana—but none of that matters, botanically speaking (and that’s what we speak here at the Chicago Botanic Garden). The way botanists see it, fruits are made by flowering plants and contain seeds. So pumpkins are fruits. What about tomatoes? Yep. Feeling groovy on the fruit-or-not question now? Take the Fruit Pursuit quiz below.

Gardening Lessons from the Polar Vortex

You may have noticed that the Garden closed for two consecutive days on January 29 and 30, due to the recent polar vortex for the safety of our staff and visitors. But the extreme subzero temperatures weren’t just hard on humans, they were also hard on some plants. Tom Tiddens, Supervisor of Plant Health Care, said it could have been worse if we hadn’t had an insulating blanket of snow on the ground.

Propagation: Multiplying Your New Plant Family

There comes a time in every plant parent’s life when you begin to think about expanding your family. Are you ready for more plant children? Should you reassemble the crib? How will your houseplants feel about having siblings… er, clones?Aside from the internal struggles, enlarging your plant collection by propagation is a relatively easy—and inexpensive—undertaking. It also makes a thoughtful gift over the holidays or as a homegrown housewarming present.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving: Holiday Plants

Looking for a feel-good, beautiful, reasonably priced gift? Plants are all that and even on trend—see #plantsmakepeoplehappy; it's an Instagram thing. Here's a quick guide on which plants to buy—as a gift or for yourself. Make sure to get them to their destination safely by wrapping them head to toe at the store and getting them back indoors as soon as you can.