Wednesday, August 22, 2018

A Tour of Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago

Visit to Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago

We just returned from an incredible amazing trip to the Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago Illinois.   This was our first trip here and I can't believe we have not visited sooner.  This post will have to be in two parts as there are so many photos and I could turn it into three but will condense into two.  I cannot say enough good things about this place.  It was truly magnificent.  
 There are several houses at the conservatory and you wind your way through them oohing and aaahing the entire time.  Everywhere you look is perfect.  
 The conservatory is free to the public, which just means to me that they have wonderful donors and a wonderful support system and it shows.
 The beds are loaded with plants of all sizes, specimen as well as smaller sized plants throughout.
 The way they have laid out the beds clearly took lots of time, thought and planning and it shows.   The houses are clean, there are no dead plants anywhere and everything is happy and healthy.
 It is always fun for me to see plants that we use here in Austin in other climates- here is the Pride of Barbados, an old favorite of many here in Austin.  We have several planted outside the nursery, Vivero Growers,  in fact that continue to impress year after year.  
 The houses were so peaceful and tranquil- you could spend the entire day here.
 I loved this- a tribute to Aretha in one of the ponds.  She had just passed away when we were in Chicago and they wasted no time in organizing a beautiful tribute to honor her.
 The Desert House- oh my gosh.  There were so many things here that we so exciting to see.  
 Several large specimen items that we were both familiar with as well as a wonderful array of unique and rare cacti and aloe.
 The houses were approx. 25-30 feet high if that gives you any perspective as to how huge some of these were!!!
 The good ol' Yucca rostrata.  Couldn't not include him- another popular plant in Austin.
 I mean look at that!!!
 Everywhere you looked- and again, see how clean and healthy everything looks!
 Along the edges of the house were elevated beds filled with aloes, agaves and succulents.
 I posted about half of the photos I have from this house alone.
 We were so impressed.  We have visited conservatories all over the country and have never seen anything like this.
 My personal favorite of all the Kalanchoe family, here in massive specimen form.
 Everything was clearly happy.
 I was impressed at how well maintained everything was- that is not an easy task.  
 We have this Opuntia in our trough at the nursery, no where near as large as this!!
 I liked this combo- one I love the Oxalis in general, but also great color combo!!
 The Palms were so impressive.  This house was one of the taller houses. 
 Just perfect!
 Love this- the espalier apple tree with boxwood.  Perfect.
 More photos from the Desert House, it might have been my favorite house.....
 I loved all the combinations and pairings.
 Perfect Barrel Cactus planted alongside King Ferdinand and Queen Victoria's.
 Look don't touch.... these spines never come out.....
I hope you enjoyed part one of my tour.  Above is a rare yucca.  So much to see- definitely worth a visit!

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