Monday, March 19, 2012


It was a sunny, Spring and yes I said Spring, kind of day.   The temperature was to reach  somewhere in the 80's.  A group of gals that had shared our garden trip to
England back in the fall, would meet and be inspired with our very
own Chicago Flower and Garden Show, followed by lunch at Riva's.

There was something for every taste and style from a
garden point of view.  This was one of the first displays and I
really loved the rustic inspiration it gave to me.  There was a
company who would make shutters, doors and columns that
appeared to be worn and quite vintage.  They were all new and just
made to look like they were worn and used.  Brilliant!!! (and extremely
well done.)

Pathways intertwined and went every which way bringing your
eyes to still another idea.

Old iron gates (or were they?) intertwined in this exhibit making you
feel really in the moment  and as if you might be abroad.

More of this 'old' look but contrasted so beautifully with the
chosen landscaping.

Then in a distance I spotted this pergola which I really took
a liking to.  We had a pergola installed at the end of the season
last year and this year I wish to have indoor/outdoor fabric applied
at each end.  In the center of our pergola is our hot tub.  This one had
an outdoor fireplace and really had created another living space for the
spring and summer months.

Loved the room-like feel of this pergola and the seating that was
created beneath the pergola.  Perfect for my hot tub area at home.

There were lots of walls created with boulders and very
colorful plantings put into the ground en masse which of course
makes for the best statement of color and texture.

This pergola was more jungle-like.  In fact, that is exactly how
I felt when I got under it.  It was cool, but just a little too rustic
for me.  All of the pergola structure had been made from logs and
the trunks of trees.

Beyond the log type pergola was a great outdoor fireplace.  Now,
this I could do!!!

Outside of the pergola was a great planted area with Boxwood
and Azaela

At a distance I spotted a structure that made me feel like I could
have been in Ireland.  Could it have been a potting shed?

Grass roof and all and the most magical entrance .  .  .

I almost felt I might find a leprecaun down these steps! (and most
certainly I had been transported to somewhere on the outskirts
of Dublin!)

As we moved onward I was attracted to this gazebo and the
contemporary statuettes of children playing leap frog.  As we
edit the spring and summer areas of our backyards, this is certainly
a true addition in every sense of the word.   It was surrounded by a
wonderful collection of hosta plants.  I am a big fan of hostas and
have added about two or three differenct species every year to my
shade garden.

Though not sure, I believe this was a Black Trumpet, which
is another shade loving plant,which had been interspersed
with the Hostas.

The Riva Restaurant had decided to open the outdoor area only two
days before.  It was hot and oh so wonderfully unbelievable to sit out-
side and enjoy a lunch of crabcakes with an Asian salad on the side.  Mid-
March in Chicago should have been cold and damp and here we were
eating outside after the Garden Show.   Amazing!

Behind us, our wonderful Lake Michigan which always freezes
in the Winter. . . . . not this year!

We all left inspired as to what we would do differently in our
gardens and certainly wondering when we would meet again!


Gatsbys Gardens said...

I thought it was a very worthwhile show this year with lots of ideas the home gardener can use.


Mary Anne said...

Eileen: I enjoyed the show very much and will repeat the pergola treatment of indoor/outdoor fabric at each corner of our pergola. I wioo also have our carpenter add the seating that was shown at the pergola. Did you go on a warm day? I actually got sunburned sitting outside at Riva's!!
Loved having you stop by!

✿ⒹⒺⒺ✿@ A Lapin Life said...

Oh wow! The flower and garden show looks like it was amazing. It's almost like summer there. Thanks for the tour.


Mary Anne said...

Yes Dee, spring has arrived in Chicago. I have had a little apprehension toward its early arrival, but I think it may be here to stay. The temperatures have been crazy high for Chicago with days in the mid-80's and it continues. . . .ox m.a.