Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cantigny Gardens and My Garden #Chicago

I love visiting public gardens, and fortunately we have a lot of them here in the Chicago area. The Cantigny Park in Wheaton, IL, just an hour west of Chicago, has gardens and a house museum (golf course too) that I have been visiting since I was a child. 
Robert R. McCormick Museum at Cantigny
This past Saturday was the second time I had been to Cantigny in as many months, and hopefully it won't be the last time this summer. 
The park was decided on for a picnic and then we figured we could check out the gardens and hopefully squeeze in a tour of the home. 
Fence around the formal gardens

Not sure why, but compared to this time last year it seemed like they have begun to let the gardens go a bit. There were definitely less flowers, less variety, and parts of the garden were untended or overgrown. Still it was nice to see the gardens again at this time of year, and we caught the final tour of the day. The final tour only included the East wing, which consists of the library, but I think it is the best part of the house. 

There are several different gardens, including the Rose Garden, where 55 different varieties of roses are grown, including the Chicago Peace Rose which was discovered growing in the garden several years ago. 

Next to the rose gardens is the idea garden, where everything from a water garden to vegetable and herb gardens are growing. There are so many new ways to garden and plan out that I always come away with ideas. 

I have yet to share any summer pictures of our gardens. With so little rain, it has been a struggle to keep everything flourishing, water bans are in place and the rain barrels are empty. Still, there is plenty to look at, and because almost everything is picked for its ability to grow in the shade. 

I know a lot of people have mentioned the absence of butterflies in their area, but we seem to have an abundance of them here. The more the purple coneflowers multiply, the more butterflies stop by!

How's your garden growing? 

If you are in the Chicago area and want to learn more about Cantigny, visit 
I think I will talk a little more about the history and war museum located here, because it is very interesting, in the future. Also, there is a very large event on the 4th of July here, that is free, and a French market, Old Tyme Baseball series, and tons of concerts that I am looking forward to.