While balcony container gardeners enjoy their small-space urban gardens, sometimes a few container plants on an apartment balcony above a busy street just isn’t peaceful enough. Balcony gardeners might not be able to have a peaceful, large garden, but there are public gardens and arboretums near every major city. Don’t just fawn over pictures of luxurious gardens, get out there and enjoy a day at a public garden! You may even bring some gardening inspiration home to your own balcony container garden.
If you live in or are visiting the Chicago, Ill., area, why not visit the Garfield Park Conservatory?
- The 4.5-acre Garfield Park Conservatory, the fifth largest conservatory in the United States, is located in Chicago's Garfield Park. It includes six greenhouses and two grand exhibition halls (Aroid House, Children's Garden, Desert House, Fern Room, Horticulture Hall, Palm House, Show House and Sugar from the Sun). The City Garden, Demonstration Garden and Monet Garden are located outside.
- Construction on the conservatory was completed in 1907. It is designed to resemble the haystacks of the Midwest. After being neglected for many years, its restoration was complete in 1994.
- The conservatory has about 2,000 species of plants on display, including 40 different palm trees, 150 ferns and 600 cacti and succulents.
- Take a guided tour of the conservatory with a guide who can tell you about the plants, history and more about the conservatory's unique plant collection. Some are free, and some require a small fee. Check the website for the current tour schedule and to see how you can register for another tour.
- Like many public gardens in the United States, such as the Atlanta Botanic Garden, Missouri Botanical Garden and the Desert Botanical Garden, there is a Dale Chihuly glass piece on exhibit. You can see the glass artwork in the Aroid House pond. The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance was able to purchase a piece that was a part of the Chihuly exhibit at the conservatory from 2001 and 2002.
- Holiday Flower Show, Sweet Saturdays and farmers markets are just some of the special events that take place at the Garfield Park Conservatory. Classes are also available.
- Rooms in the Garfield Park Conservatory can be rented for special occasions.
Garden Quick Info
300 N. Central Park Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60624
Open daily from 9-5 pm (open until 8 pm on Wednesdays)