In other seasons, people tend to breeze right by conifers in favor of, say, roses that scent summer evenings or crabapple trees that flower in the spring. But in winter—especially after a dusting of snow—pines and other conifers are the plants that shine.
Plants and Gardening
Sometimes, it’s bright red holly berries that turn my head on a winter walk. Or, on a quiet day, it’s the sound of pine cones popping open to spread their seeds.
The gorgeous colors and geometry of dahlias always turn my head when they’re in bloom in my home garden from June through October. Recently, I decided to revisit an old goal and bugaboo of mine—learning to overwinter the tubers so I can plant them again and enjoy the blooms next year.
As a long winter approaches, I’m thinking ahead about comfort plants—ones that lift your spirits. As senior horticulturist for the Regenstein Center Greenhouses at the Chicago Botanic Garden, I talk to a lot of people about indoor plants. I get that you want potted plants that are easy to take care of (hello, spider plant). But there are other reliable ones with a bit more charm to help brighten the days ahead. Here are my recommendations:
Summer-blooming lavender is everywhere these days—in botanical cocktails, in aromatherapy mists, on fruit salads. The National Garden Bureau, in fact, has named 2020 “Year of the Lavender,” based on the plant’s texture, scent, beauty, and versatility.
Perhaps you noticed the spiderwort, with its striking royal blue flowers, in the Dixon Prairie as part of the perimeter walk of the Garden, which takes place through June 23. Or did you say cow slobbers? Whatever you call it, Tradescantia ohiensis is just one of the prairie plants that has a unique story to tell.
Take a break from the news and ease your stress with soothing plants that bring calm, comfort, and peace of mind. These plants are said to have many benefits beyond their beauty.
How to relax in nature, even when you can’t get away? Daydream, according to the American Heart Association. Start a bucket list. Even just the thought of escaping into the natural world can be rejuvenating and take you away from the stresses of everyday life. We started a bucket list for you, focusing on some of the natural wonders in the plant world. We know, oh, just a few plant geeks here at the Chicago Botanic Garden. So we asked some of them: What plant would you most like to see in the wild?
There’s nothing quite like a fresh start to the new year. For gardeners, this is a great time to set goals and to think through plans for the year. We asked our dedicated team of horticulturists at the Chicago Botanic Garden to share their goals and advice for gardeners everywhere. Chester Jankowski, Jr., senior horticulturist
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?