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, Illinois, area, why not visit the Chicago Botanic Garden?
- The 385-acre garden has 25 display gardens and four natural areas.
- Some display gardens include: Fruit and vegetable Garden, Japanese Garden, Bonsai Garden, Esplanade, Evening Island, Model Railroad Garden, Waterfall Garden, Skokie River and Native Plant Garden.
- The Model Railroad Garden (admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children) includes 18 model trains that travel more than 22,000 miles each season around the garden. Try to find all 50 miniature American landmarks in this special garden.
- There are nine islands in the Chicago Botanic Garden, which are surrounded by lakes.
- As of January 2011, the Chicago Botanic Garden had 2,459,224 plants in its collection, including 13,613 trees and 24,251 aquatic plants.
- Guided tram tours can take you around the gardens, or you can explore on your own with a downloadable guide map.
- Visit the Lenhardt Library to view the botanic garden’s special collections, which includes 110,000 volumes of books, periodicals, videos, slides, nursery catalogs and more.
- Check Chicago Botanic Garden’s website often for special events, including Heirloom Tomato Weekend, Kite Festival, Bonsai Show and Sale, special dinners and other festivals and events.
Chicago Botanic Garden Quick Info
1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, Illinois 60022
Free admission (check website for special gardens and exhibits admission prices)
Parking is $20 per car ($0 for members; $7 for senior citizens on Tuesdays)
Open daily from 7am-9pm