Public Gardens in Chicago?

sanctified(Zone 5)June 4, 2011

I posted this in the MidWest forum but it doesn't look like that group is posted in much.

I'm going to Chicago next week for some R&R and was hoping for some suggestions of gardens to visit. Its my first visit and I have only done a little research of the city.

I already plan to visit the bit parks, millennium, navy pier, ect. but was hoping you green thumbs might be able to suggest a few places that are out of the way, or less touristy. I am particularly interested in gardens with architecture (pergolas, trellis', gazebos). I am staying near wacker and michigan but imaging I will be all over the city.

I am in the process of designing my yard now and need some help with the creative juices. Thanks for your replies.

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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

What a pity: you'll miss Taste of Chicago by a couple of weeks.

Morton Arboretum, if you'd like to see a large arboretum. It's pretty far out in the suburbs. I've been there, but so long ago it doesn't count.
http://www.mortonarb.org/

Garfield Park Conservatory was renovated recently. It's located in a bad neighborhood; I wouldn't go there without getting current advice (which mine is not; I haven't lived in the Chicago area for several years).
http://www.garfield-conservatory.org/
However, a GW member visited there a couple of years ago and took the L:
http://outsideclyde.blogspot.com/2009/06/garfield-park-conservatory.html

If you happen to be on State Street and see a large red-brick building with large copper-blue leafy things atop the roof and several giant sculptured owls -- and sheer surprise compels you to cry aloud, "What is that building?" -- it's the (relatively new) main library. [Tourists and people going to/from the Taste are often in that area, and I have heard this a good few times over the years -- always the same phrase.] Here's a photo with a couple of the L trains:
http://www.factmonster.com/us/history/harold-washington-library-center.html

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 10:24AM
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gonativegal(zone 5a)

I live near Garfield park and have never had a problem with going through the neighborhood but if you are worried make the trip there by way of 'Green Line' El train from downtown which lets you off right across the street from the conservatory. The train is secure. This place is fabulous and best of all it is free unless you would like to make a small cash donation which they always welcome.

Also, Lincoln Park has a decent conservatory (and zoo) as does the collar suburb of Oak Park - both are accessible by public transportation from downtown and also require no admission charge.

I like the arboretum but it is way far out in the suburbs and if a group of you are going it can get a bit pricey as they charge about $10 per head. The Chicago Botanic Garden is a little closer in Glencoe about 20 miles north of downtown - admission is free but if you get there by car (which is pretty much the only way to get there unless you take a taxi from Metra train station which you could do which is not too far away) the parking fee is $14.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 10:40PM
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