Herbal Travels: Chicago Botanic Garden

| 5/19/2009 12:37:46 PM

It's truly a pleasure writing for The Herb Companion for the last three years. Incidentally, I also regularly contribute to two sister magazines of Ogden Publications–GRIT and Natural Home. To date, I've written over 1,000 published articles, including features on gardening, green living, travel, home design, sustainability, healthy cooking and good eating.  You can reach me at lstarart@gmail.com. 

I wish you could experience the English Walled Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois. It's particularly lovely in the spring and early summer. Blooming wisteria drapes over rows of trellised classical columns. Flowering fruit trees shimmer in the breeze.

And then there are herbs. Within this enchanted garden's six distinct "rooms", you'll delightfully discover herb plantings at every turn. In the English-gardening style, herbs are not segregated but thrive among flowers and shrubs. For example, hardneck garlic and triple-curled parsley sprout up near Canterbury Bells, Butterhead lettuce and Night-scented stock. Peek inside the classical urn and you'll observe Rowleaf oregano and cilantro along with California poppy and Tassel hyacinth.

A sign in the Checkerboard Garden requests: "Please step on stone paths, but not on the newly planted baby thymes." Sure enough, looking down you'll find woolly, creeping and lemon thymes serving as ground cover between the bricks. All of this can provide wonderful inspiration for your own garden.

Photo credit: Chicago Botanic Garden photo by Robin Carlson.

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