May 29, 2012

A weekend of roses

White Rose

For Memorial Day weekend, SB and I headed to the windy city for a mini-break. Since visiting the Morton Arboretum last summer, I’ve had my eye on the Chicago Botanic Gardens, on the north side of the city. I’d heard that because of their proximity to the lake, they have a special microclimate, allowing plants 1 or 2 zone warmer to thrive.

This spring has been so strange, I’m not sure I really noticed that the gardens were much ahead of my gardens at home, but there was plenty to be inspired by in their highly sculpted landscape. I now need poppies, after seeing a whole field of icelandic poppies in full bloom. Also, we need to train some climbing roses on geometric trellises, to decorate our yet to be built fence. I’m already looking forward to returning to the Botanic Gardens later in the summer.

Last week we put in a new garden along the side of the garage and planted our herb garden. As I laid the seeds in the ground, I thought about how optimistic the act of gardening can be. It is all about the belief in the future potential of these little seeds. After visiting the Botanic Gardens, I was thinking about how gardening is also about dreaming of colors, shapes, textures and smells. Gardening, a future fantasy for all the senses.

Speaking of the future, on Sunday, we had a planned surprise visit to one of my favorite gardening friends, Rosey Cheeks, to celebrate the soon-to-be birth of her second child. I cut it very close with my blanket gift, sewing in the ends on the car ride to Chicago. The honeycomb blanket had a photo shoot in the botanic gardens before starting its journey with Rosey and family.


  1. If you were closer, I could give you some poppies – there are a bunch growing in my garden that I didn’t plant that I mistook for something I HAD planted (which is why they survived weeding). A week ago, they bloomed that unmistakable red and revealed their hand. Last weekend I had to get rid of some (but not all!) to make room for vegetables. Gardening is not just about belief in the future but in enjoying the beauty of what fate hands you.

    Comment by M. — May 31, 2012 @ 2:33 am

  2. That is true, there is the unexpected happiness of gardening as well. I’ve been so busy planning new gardens lately, that there has been less of the magical surprises and more about beating back the weeds. I think poppies will be an addition for next year.

    Comment by Marijka — June 11, 2012 @ 11:53 am

  3. I love the honeycomb blanket and our little one will treasure it! Funny to see it at the botanic garden :)

    Comment by Rosemarie — June 13, 2012 @ 10:02 am

  4. That blanket did a lot of traveling. It started out in SanFrancisco and ended in Chicago.

    Comment by Marijka — June 13, 2012 @ 10:42 am

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