Chicago Botanical Gardens

Pfui. Blasted! I’m bummed out. Why, you might ask? I was hoping to see Spike bloom.

For those of you who haven’t heard, for the past few weeks, Chicago has been waiting to see when a Titan Arum or Corpse Flower was set to bloom for 24-48 hours. And it was set to stink somewhere between Limburger cheese and a corpse. The Chicago Botanical Gardens were going to stay open until 2am the day it bloomed. Sadly, the Chicago Botanical Garden reported Saturday night that Spike’s not going to bloom. Not enough energy. Boo to this fall weather. Yeah, you fall weather.

I hadn’t set out to be obsessed with Spike. I had read reports of it with some interest but that was it. However, it so happened that we decided to go to the Chicago Botanical Gardens since I had never been. I’ve been to the parking lot because of Ravinia but that’s it.

I loved it. I can’t believe I waited as long as I did. It’s a treasure and I can’t wait to go back. I’m even contemplating going out there for some awesome shots  in our wedding outfits after the wedding.

It all began by walking through the beautiful bridge onto a vista with a giant pond and weeping willows. Everything was humming with late summer joy. The lily pads were in full bloom with magenta and purple flowers. Monet surely would have painted these flowers.

Water Lillies

There was even a bonsai tree show. One exhibit was a tiny forest! Inside there was an exhibition of Japanese flower arrangements. Some arrangements had poems and sayings next to them. Here’s an illicit photo of one of my favorites. (Illicit since I missed the sign about not taking photos until after the fact).

Bonsai ForestFlower Arrangement

Then we found Spike in the greenhouse. When we visited him, he was already taller than me. He was also fairly wide too. He looked like something out of The Little Shop of Horrors. He was magnificent. And thus began the obsession. While I didn’t get to see Spike in his (her?) stinky glory, I’m pretty happy to have seen Spike. He really rocked my world for a little bit.

Spike!

Then we decided to go off to check the outdoor gardens. The rose garden was our first stop. We just missed the peak of the summer; the roses were on their way out. But there were many still in full bloom. One rose was the closest I’ve ever seen to a Tudor rose; well, it’s yellow and red. We also stopped by the English walled garden with its manicured hedges and little ponds.

Almost Tudor Rose

The best was the Japanese gardens. There are three gardens, two for people and one restricted to the Immortals (and staff). To get to the gardens, you have to cross a picturesque bridge. There was even a little Shinto house that you can look into. We couldn’t have chosen a better day to wander the gardens.

Island of the Immortals

And there’s a wonderful waterfall on a hill. You can wander up and down the hill with vistas of the Japanese gardens. Amazing.

I can’t wait to go back. I feel that I need to go several times of the year to see how it all changes. And see the next Titan Arum bloom.

That’s all for now!

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