How do you know when you've seen enough gardens for one day?
When you are standing in a beautiful Chicago garden, a Zone 5a garden which is very close to your own Zone 5b garden, and you ask no one in particular, "Can I grow that in my garden?"
And you answer your own question. Yes.
Every flower, every shrub, every tree that I saw today, except of course for those that are grown in a greenhouse and taken out just for the summer, I can grow in my own garden.
It's "horticultural overload" at its finest, this Chicago Spring Fling, from the up close inspection of flowers, like this Blue Dogbane, Amsonia sp., to the long range view of fabulous gardens like the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park, pictured below.
Plants and flowers are wonderful, but when combined as they are in gardens like the Lurie by masters of garden design, they become inspirations for the gardener.
Stepping back like this and seeing these gardens, taking them in on their grand scale, inspires at least me to put more thought into designing a garden, and not just planting flowers and plants that I like.
By tomorrow morning, I'll be all rested and ready to see more. Will someone please remind me that yes, I can grow all the plants I see in Chicago in my own garden?