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Chicago Sun Times
Chicago Sun-Times
25 Mar 2023


NextImg:Where to enjoy spring blooms around Chicago, a garden lover’s guide
Nothing signals springtime like the return of budding trees and wildflowers. Florals for spring might not be groundbreaking, but they are timeless and make us happy.

Whether you’re looking to bask in the beauty of beautiful blooms or consider yourself a serious horticulturist, there are plenty of opportunities around Chicago to admire and learn. Here’s a look at some of them.

Inside the Garfield Park Conservatory.

Inside the Garfield Park Conservatory.

Provided

Garfield Park Conservatory

When: Through May 14.

Where: Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave.

The Garfield Park Conservatory’s “Spring Flower Show: Bees Knees” explores the relationship between bees and flowers. Staff members show off the blooms and hives from the conservatory’s beekeeping program. Tulips, daffodils, honey: It’s maximum spring.

More info: Admission is free, with donations accepted. Advance reservations are suggested.

Spring Woods Walk

When: Beginning Sunday.

Where: Chicago Botanic Garden’s McDonald Woods, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe.

You’ll get to see budding trees and scenic flowers and maybe get a chance to spot some of the more than 100 migrating and resident types of birds that pass through in the spring. What’s more, optional, guided 45-minute tours teach visitors about seasonal challenges facing the area.

More info: Tickets $9.95, parking $8.

‘Life Under a Log’

When: April 16.

Where: Oak Park Conservatory, 615 Garfield St., Oak Park.

The Oak Park Conservatory teams with the Trailside Museum, Field Museum and Illinois Master Naturalists to put on this annual kid’s festival about animals. This year’s theme “Life Under a Log” focuses on amphibians and reptiles. Kids can meet the “Frog Lady,” see snakes and other creatures up close and learn about the lives of the cold-blooded.

More info: Free, but advance tickets are required.

Inside the Lincoln Park Conservatory.

Inside the Lincoln Park Conservatory.

Provided

‘Cooler by the Lake’

When: Through May 14.

Where: Lincoln Park Conservatory, 2391 N Stockton Dr.

The conservatory’s spring flower show takes advantage of cooler-toned flowers, such as cineraria and snapdragons, to match Lake Michigan. Look for nods to lakefront staples such as passing boats and the iconic Chicago Harbor lighthouse.

More info: Free, but advance registration is required.

A person working with seedlings.

City farms often host classes and workshops for gardeners in advance of growing season.

Manuel Martinez / WBEZ

Volunteer with Urban Growers Collective

When: Beginning in April.

Where: Urban Growers Collective farms, various locations in Chicago.

The Urban Growers Collective is a group of Chicago farms providing opportunities for Black and Brown urban growers to fight food poverty and help make high quality, affordable food more accessible. Starting in April, the collective will offer drop-in volunteer opportunities — great ways to help the community and learn how to prepare beds, plant, harvest and engage in sustainable farming.

More info: Urban Growers Collective operates eight farms in the city, including locations in Grant Park, Roosevelt Square and Altgeld Gardens. Find a full list here.

Seeds, Soil, & Springtime Gathering

When: April 1.

Where: Plant Chicago, 4459 S. Marshfield Ave.

The nonprofit Community Food Navigator is throwing a springtime gathering to celebrate the new growing season. Bring your own seeds to get started on planting. Containers and soil will be provided. There will be music, food and booths staffed by urban agriculture groups.

More info: Free.

Morning Bird Hike

When: April 8.

Where: Plum Creek Nature Center, 27064 Dutton Rd., Beecher.

Late-winter birds are lingering, and early spring arrivals are arriving. Plum Creek Nature Center is offering a guided tour with a chance to spot some of them.

More info: Free, but advance tickets are required.

A couple stops and takes photos of the cherry blossoms in Jackson Park in April 2021.

A couple stops and takes photos of the cherry blossoms in Jackson Park in April 2021.

Tyler LaRiviere / Sun-Times

Jackson Park Cherry Blossoms

When: Blooms appear sometime from late March to early May.

Where: Jackson Park, 6401 S. Stony Island Ave.

Jackson Park is home to more than 160 cherry varieties. The trees remain in bloom for just three to eight days, but just when the blossoms arrive varies and is anybody’s guess.

More info: Free.

Tails on the Trails

When: May 7.

Where: Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle.

On select days, dogs gain access to the Morton Arboretum, and you can check out the trees with your canine and wander the arboretum grounds with other dog owners. There will be an on-site Pet Expo, which will feature pet stores, adoption opportunities and information on animal shelters and organizations.

More info: Admission to Tails on the Trails is $5 per dog, in addition to arboretum admission of $16 for ages 18 to 64, $14 for 65 and older, $11 for children 2 to 17 and free for kids 1 and younger. Members get in free.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is putting on one-day workshops on improving your gardening, with Windy City Harvest staff members and other experts providing materials and offering demonstrations.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is putting on one-day workshops on improving your gardening, with Windy City Harvest staff members and other experts providing materials and offering demonstrations.

Chicago Botanic Garden

Windy City Harvest Workshops

When: April 29 and May 13.

Where: Farm On Ogden, 3555 W. Ogden Ave.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is putting on one-day workshops to teach amateur urban farmers how to improve their gardening. Windy City Harvest staff members and other experts will provide materials and offer demonstrations.

More info: Tickets $75

University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners of Lake County

When: May 20.

Where: University of Illinois Extension, 100 S. Highway 45, Grayslake.

At the University of Illinois’ annual plant sale, green thumb enthusiasts can peruse nursery-grown plants that aren’t easily found at garden stores. The sale includes herbs, tomatoes and other veggies as well as native plants, new cultivars of perennials, grasses and pollinator-friendly plants. You also can pick up secondhand items such as garden tools, decorative containers and gardening books.

More info: Free.