A first person report from the Chicago Botanic Garden
By Bob Kipfer, May 31, 2012
We spent an afternoon at the Chicago Botanic Garden http://www.chicagobotanic.org/. Very enjoyable, especially their Native Plant garden. The gardens are free and located 12 minutes North of my daughters house in Evanston. It is in an isolated area, with $20 parking a mile off the highway, so “free” is a rather loose term.
We made a point of going to their sensory garden which was like most of the rest of their gardens, lots of trees and shade, asphalt paths and well cared for with good signage. The “sensory” was explained in standard terms but the sensory part was few and far between. The sign describing “sound” said to listen to the sounds of the birds and running water but the predominate was I-94 a mile away. They did have a water feature that caused a little babbling sound. There were several plants such as fragrant sumac which you were invited to touch and smell, the main difference from the rest of the garden.
Since we were interested in plant ID, we did a lot of touching and smelling all over the gardens. They used native plants more extensively than most gardens we have visited.
Bob Kipfer is a member and past president of Friends of the Garden. He is also past president of the local chapter of the Springfield Plateau Chapter Missouri Master Naturalists and is a member of many other groups. Bob and his wife Barb write a very interesting blog for the Springfield Plateau Chapter of the Missouri Master Naturalist. Viewand follow it here> http://springfieldmn.blogspot.com.