|View from the entrance of the Garfield Park Conservatory|
Every winter, there comes a time when I need a major infusion of green. Call it "cabin fever," "garden withdrawal" or whatever you like. It's a need that can only be cured by a glass ceiling, high humidity and lots of tropical plants.
I had a particularly bad case this past weekend, prompting a visit to the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago.
This complex, built 105 years ago, is truly a treasure. How can you not like a place that includes Spider Bouquet (Clerodendrum quadriloculore), Never-Never Plant (Ctenanthe lubbersiana), Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (Brunfelsia australis), Song of India (Dracaena reflexa variegata) and Trailing Watermelon Begonia (Pellionia repens)?
|The Palm Room at the Garfield Park Conservatory|
The Palm Room, which greets visitors off the main entrance, is impressive to say the least. In addition to the various palms, there are several orchids currently in bloom including potted Cymbidiums, Nun's Hood orchid (Phaius tankevilliae) and ground orchids (Spathoglottis plicata cultivar).
|Nun's Hood orchid|
The conservatory's famed Fern Room also is open again after being devastated by a hail storm on June 30, 2011. Some parts haven't been replanted yet and won't be until the damage is permanently repaired this coming summer. It still is a tranquil retreat.
|One of two waterfalls in the Fern Room|
|The central pond in the Fern Room|
|Fishtail ferns on the mossy rocks of the Fern Room|
|Another view of the Fern Room|
There's a lot more to see, but I ran out of time. I'm sure I'll be back before spring finally comes to the Chicago area. While amaryllis, paperwhites and various plant and seed catalogs help, they only work for so long.
Where do you go when you need a green "fix" this time of year?
By Karen Geisler
|White Bird of Paradise in the Palm Room|