Flowers have always been an important part of Chicago's cultural and natural heritage. One of the city’s many nicknames is Urbs in Horto, which is Latin for “City in a Garden,” describing its transformation from a flat marshland to a city full of green spaces. A perfect example is Grant Park in the business district (Chicago’s version of Central Park) that is often referred to as “Chicago’s Front Yard.”
Chicago has a rich history when it comes to flowers, and there are many stories and legends about how they came to be an important part of the city's culture. One of the most popular is about Abraham Lincoln, who is said to have been a great lover of flowers. According to legend, Lincoln often took walks in the city's many parks and gardens, and would often stop to admire the beauty of the flowers and plants he encountered.
Another popular story is about a woman named Maria Martinelli, who is said to have been a passionate gardener. Martinelli lived in Chicago in the late 19th century, and was known for her beautiful flower gardens, which she maintained with great care and attention to detail. Her gardens were said to be a source of inspiration for many of the city's residents, and helped to spark a love of gardening and horticulture that continues to this day.
NATIVE FLOWERS IN CHICAGO
Chicago is home to a variety of native wildflowers, including the black-eyed Susan, wild columbine, and wild phlox. These flowers are an important part of the city's ecosystem, providing food and habitat for wildlife. Another popular native flower in Chicago is the native violet. This small flower is often found growing along the banks of streams and rivers, and has a sweet, delicate scent. It is also an important source of nectar for bees and other pollinators, making it an important part of the city's food chain.
Don’t miss Fleurs de Villes VOYAGE, presented by Porsche from May 3-7 at 900 North Michigan Shops, a visually stunning shopping destination residing on the north end of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. Experience fresh floral mannequins and spectacular installations celebrating the cultures, people and heritage of destinations around the world, created by some of Chicago’s favourite florists. Highlights will include a Mexico-inspired mannequin supported by Inspiro Tequila, a Bermuda Mannequin supported by Tourism Bermuda, an India Mannequin supported by Modern Luxury Weddings Chicago and a London Guard mannequin supported by Aster Hall.
Vote for your favourite mannequin for a chance to win a luxurious staycation at The Ritz-Carlton Chicago, with stunning views of Lake Michigan, Michelin-star dining, world-class amenities, and an unbeatable location on Magnificent Mile.
A popular destination for flower lovers is the Garfield Park Conservatory. This historic glasshouse, located on the west side of Chicago, is home to a wide variety of tropical and subtropical plants, as well as several lush gardens, including a fern room, a Palm House, and a Desert House. Check the calendar on their website for regular art exhibitions.
The Lincoln Park Conservatory is another must-visit Chicago destination for those who love flowers. This beautiful greenhouse, located in the heart of Lincoln Park, is home to a wide variety of exotic plants, including orchids, bromeliads, and ferns. Visitors can also enjoy a number of beautiful outdoor gardens, including a Victorian Garden, a Mediterranean Garden, and a Japanese Garden.
For those who prefer a more natural setting, the Chicago Botanic Garden is a great option. This 385-acre garden, located on the north side of Chicago, features 27 display gardens, including a Rose Garden, a Waterfall Garden, and a Model Railroad Garden. Visitors can also enjoy the beauty of the garden's numerous lakes and streams, and see a wide variety of wildlife, including birds, butterflies, and dragonflies. In March, it hosts an annual orchid show showcasing 10,000 flowers.
Millennium Park is home to Chicago’s “secret” urban garden, Lurie Garden, which is a four season garden providing an urban oasis throughout the year. Not to be missed is the dramatically lit 15-foot hedge and the foot bridge that divides the gardens into dark and light sides.