My membership at the Chicago Botanic Garden is the one membership that I use most regularly, unlike the one I have for the local gym that I feel obliged to purchase for the sake of my health but is used far less than it should, or the one for the zoo that only seems to get an airing when the grandkids visit.
There’s always something new to see at the Garden and every season weaves its own special kind of magic. If I lived just a little nearer I would probably be there every day. As it is, I visit as often as I can and always come away with lots of pictures.
In the early months of the year, a visit to the greenhouses helps to keep the winter blues at bay. After a walk from the car park in the bitter cold of a Chicago winter, the warmth of the greenhouses is very welcome and the orchids and other flowers and plants help to brighten a dull day.
In the spring the Garden bursts into bloom and visitors are treated to a spectacular show of flowers especially in the area of The Esplanade and The Heritage Garden.
Later, in the summer, The Rose Garden is seen to its best advantage and the heady perfume of hundreds of roses fills the air.
Another feature of summer in the Garden is the butterfly display. Airy creatures that are so elusive in the wild are right there at our fingertips to admire and photograph.
As the months go by and the year winds down, there is still plenty of color in the Garden. Enthusiastic gardeners will have been making notes throughout the year, getting ideas and forming plans for their own gardens. Others just come to gaze in awe at this jewel in its North Shore setting.
Autumn provides a final splash of color in the Garden before we find ourselves back in the grip of winter. But not to worry! There’s always next year to look forward to.