Visit Chicago Illinois
Visit Chicago Illinois
Butterfly Display at the Chicago Botanic Gardens

The Botanic Gardens of Chicago

1000 Lake Cook Road

Glencoe, IL 60022

(847) 835-5440

Written by Julie Greiner
Brush off the cabin fever and catch spring fever at the Chicago Botanic Garden where there are acres and acres of bloom during the annual "Spring Blooms festival, April - June. The Garden hosts numerous flower shows and sales throughout Spring Blooms, including the Illinois Orchid Society's special 50th anniversary spring show and sale in April, and the Northern Chicagoland Rose Society annual rose clinic and sale. Other Spring Blooms activities each Saturday include storytelling, guided garden and nature walks and musical performances.

History of the Botanic Gardens of Chicago

With the Chicago Horticultural Society being founded in 1890 - a vision was also founded to establish
300 acres for parks and a garden. Unlike most botanic gardens, which develop from established private estates, the Chicago Botanic Garden is entirely man-made, on a marsh lowland site between Dundee and Lake Cook Roads. The facility is owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and managed by the Chicago Horticultural Society. The Chicago Botanic Garden formally opened to the public in the spring of 1972. Since opening, the Garden has become a major cultural landmark and a world-class botanic garden with 385 acres of
Great Chef Series at the Chicago Botanic Gardens
23 specialty gardens serving 800,000 visitors and 45,000 members, the largest membership of any public garden in the United States. It is the second most-visited public garden in the Country and has incorporated extensive research programs for adults and children, an internationally recognized horticultural therapy program and facility rentals into curriculum.

Composition of the Botanic Gardens of Chicago

The Garden is a living museum which covers 385 acres and features 23 specialty garden areas including the Rose, Fruit and Vegetable, Waterfall, English Walled and Bulb gardens; a three-island Japanese Garden; the Circle Garden showcasing seasonal annuals; prairies; lagoons; the 100-acre Mary Mix McDonald Woods; and the
Buchler Enabling Garden. Nine islands on 75 acres of waterways and six miles of shoreline are distinguishing features of this Garden on the water. This living collection is composed of more than 1.8 million plants and represents 2,500 plant types.

Botanic Garden Announces 2002 Great Chefs Series

The Great Chefs Series will open on Saturday, May 25 in the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden with Doug D'Avico of Trattoria No. 10, Chicago. He and other nationally-renowned chefs from the Chicago area will prepare recipes with garden-fresh ingredients at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays
Model Train Railway at the Chicago Botanic Gardens
and Sundays through October 6th. The open-air kitchen and amphetheatre are the perfect setting for chefs to create their finest garden recipes. Last year alone, nearly 10,000 people of all ages were entertained by 40 noted Chicago-area chefs.

Miniature Model Railway of Chicago Botanic Gardens

The Garden's Jr. Railroad exhibit was designed and built by award-winning landscape architect Paul Bussee. The garden scale model trains navigate through miniature scenes of America's most treasured sites in a 7,500 square foot garden railway exhibit. More than 1,700 feet of track support 10 distinct railroads representing the history of American railroads. Included are: Bob O'Bozo's Bell Circus, Napa Valley
Spring Bulb Blooms at the Chicago Botanic Gardens
Wine old-time passenger, Burlington Northern mixed freight, Amtrak passenger, CXS freight, Burlington Northern-Sante Fe freight, logging, Rio Grande freight, scenic narrow-gauge railroad and cog railway. A functioning Old Faithful Geyser, merry-g0-round and Ferris wheel, seasonal crops on the farm, 10-foot handmade railway trestle, tunnels and long mountain grades are special features in the exhibit. Throughout the exhibit are vignettes of tiny people and animals, giving it a storybook feel that one will love exploring again and again.

One of the ways that the Garden is able to maintain such an active and diverse offering for visitors is by utilizing the resources of volunteers. The Garden currently has over 800 volunteers who are involved in all aspects of the Garden. The 385-acre Chicago Botanic Garden is owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and managed by the Chicago Horticultural Society. The Garden is open every day of the year, except Christmas, from 8 a.m. until sunset. The Garden is located on Lake Cook Road in Glencoe, one-half mile east of the Edens Expressway. Admission is free, select event fees apply. There is a charge for parking.

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Last Updated: September 23, 2015