I love my container gardens in the growing season, but what’s the best way to brighten your doorstep for the longest season of all: winter? The answer is the easiest kind of container gardening, even for the black thumbs among us. The key is knowing how to create a harmonious design that doesn’t blow over in winter’s first blizzard. I attended Kathryn Deery’s winter containers class at the Garden last year and this is what I learned:
Plants and Gardening
Ever seen a plant lure and “swallow” an insect? Now’s your chance to see carnivorous plants in action as part of the fun of Bees & Beyond, which features pollinator-themed gardens, cool topiaries, and more through September at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
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.
We have a problem. My cat is eating my plant.
Despite the fact that my prayer plant has inhabited my apartment for over a year as part of my Plant Parenthood journey at the Chicago Botanic Garden, my cat’s small, albeit mischievous brain has only just now discovered that she can, in fact, eat it. The leaves turned all ratty and shriveled, and now the plant is dead.
Inspired by In the Tropics: The Orchid Show and want to grow your own orchids? We’ll help you choose which ones are right for you.To get started, drop by the Orchid Show, which runs until March 24, and note the ones that catch your eye. Then come to the Post-Orchid Show Plant Sale, where you can buy orchids at bargain prices.Meanwhile, Assistant Horticulturist Chester Jankowski provided these basics on four kinds of orchids.
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.
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.
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.
Take a peek in your closet, and you might find a long wooden broom for sweeping up dust or offering rides to witches and wizards. For broom maker John Spannagel of Hidalgo, Illinois, brooms are more than just a pantry item. They’re a labor of love, made with a special ingredient: broomcorn.
I love coming home to my quiet, tree-lined Chicago neighborhood, but one thing I miss about urban living is ample outdoor space.The back door of my apartment leads to a wooden fire escape—built after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 as a second means of exit from the building. The landing is wide enough to finagle furniture during moves, but doesn’t invite much summertime lounging or late-night stargazing. Still, I find myself dreaming of an herb garden growing in the little patch of morning sun that filters through the stairs.