Plants and Gardening

So You Want to Buy Your First Houseplant

Soil has spilled all over my kitchen floor. It happened while I was dumping another withered plant—this time, a sad collard green—from its pot into the trash. The mess, and the funeral, is for a good cause though.

Today, I bravely enter new territory: My neighborhood garden center, where I will adopt my first, fledgling plant family. You might remember my pledge to become a better plant parent from the first post in this series. Now, my adventure begins.

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10 Cool Plants in the Nature Play Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Regenstein Learning Campus is home to an incredible variety of experiences. The Nature Play Garden gives kids and kids-at-heart opportunities to explore: splashing in the runnel or running up and down the rolling hills.

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Cool Crops for Fall

Garlic for cool crops

Now that the leaves are turning and the days are growing shorter, if you’re tempted to pack away your gardening gloves…don’t!

At the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden, we’re as busy as ever. Our cool-weather crops include brussels sprouts, spinach, and toscano kale. Fall is a great time to grow vegetables—insects die off, weeds wither, and moisture is plentiful. If you don’t have much space, remember that you can grow vegetables in containers, window boxes, and hanging baskets.

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Summer Bulbs

Spring is done and we’ve finally moved into summer bulb season! The annual beds have been replanted with sweeps of dahlias, cannas, caladium, and begonias to showcase these nonstop workhorses of the summer garden.

Caladium bicolor ‘Raspberry Moon’, Begonia ‘Million Kisses Honeymoon’ and Cretan brake fern (Pteris cretica) light up the shade under the Selkirk crabapples.

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Hardy—yes, we said hardy—gladioli

Each fall, we sing the praises of fall allium and autumn crocus blooms. This year, however, a special mention must be made for the glorious gladiolus! Especially the delicate, 4-inch, salmon pink flowers of the salmon gladiolus (Gladiolus oppositiflorus spp. salmoneus).

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What is happening in the evaluation garden

Liatris ligulistylis

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.

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Dreaming of spring color

bulb garden

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.

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Sunshine and titan arum relatives at the Garden

Sunshine is the latest corpse flower at the Chicago Botanic Garden to bloom.

A member of the Aroid plant family (Araceae) from Sumatra, it has a number of titan arum relatives at the Garden from around the world.

Sunshine the titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum) in the Sensory Garden

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