Step Back and See the Gardens

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?


  1. The purple garden almost looks like a Monet painting....BEAUTIFUL. Sounds like you had a great day.

  2. Lucky you having a weekend of looking at gardens. The weather looks perfect.

  3. It's wonderful to get inspiration from great gardens. Have fun flinging.

  4. and to think we saw it all together! You might want to fess up...I heard you say, "Can I grow this in my garden?" and I am thinking, "What is SHE THINKING??!!"... this is HER zone!. Wait, she is zoned. Too many gardens, too much fun. Indy's fun meter has been pegged.

  5. Tomorrow is a new day...and we'll get "zoned" again on plant overload!

  6. Yes, stepping back and taking it all in does give one something to think about. I get that from the beautiful gardening blogs that I visit. Lovely purples.

  7. Carol, I felt the same way, a bit overwhelmed by the magnitude of all the plants at the Chicago Botanic Garden. SO much to see and try to absorb.

  8. Yes Carol, you can grow a lot of what you saw in your own 5b garden in Indiana just like I can and do in my 5b garden high in the mountains of NC.

  9. I saw the Lurie garden and Millenium Park a couple of years ago and it was wonderful, but is even fuller and more beautiful now!

    You went to Chicago and say you can grow anything you see, Carol...heck, I don't have to travel far to be frustrated... just visiting Deborah Hornickles, ESP's or Zanthan gardens in warmer parts of Austin means seeing lovely plants that won't make it in my NW Austin garden.

    Glad you're all having fun!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  10. Wish I could have been there with you all, but I'm home digging up the dandelions and the ground ivy and the couchgrass that grows while I'm away working all week...With you all in spirit, though. (and yes, Carol, absolutely you can grow it in your garden.
    Whatever it is.

  11. Carol, it was such a great weekend! The gardens, the bloggers and of course the food. I so enjoyed finally getting to meet and get to know you. :) The Blue Star Willow was one of my very favorites!

  12. I know I commented yesterday, but it doesn't seem to be here. Anyway, I was wondering whether you were planning to plan some dogbreath. ;-) Seriously, though, it would look good in your garden, and you KNOW you can grow it.

  13. Hey, Carol ... did you know you can grow most of those plants we saw in your garden? Now that you're over 50, I wanted to make sure you didn't forget!

    Now if you want to see some you CAN'T grow, come on down to my corner of Katy!


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