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Spring isn’t progressing very quickly outside, so we stopped by the production greenhouses to find out how spring is growing behind the scenes. Tim Pollak, outdoor floriculturist, was excited to show us what it takes to grow thousands of the spring annuals and vegetables that will soon be planted outdoors.

Tim told us we are growing 73,000 spring annuals and vegetables this year to be planted outside in the gardens in April. If you like pansies and violas, you are in for a treat, as we’ve planted almost 30,000 of them! A lot of planning goes into scheduling when to start seeds, thin them, transplant them, and harden them off to be ready when each horticulturist needs them. The production team of more than 50 staff members and volunteers makes it all look easy, but I’m guessing with this harsh winter, it hasn’t been easy.

Just one of the wows visitors will see this spring are the hayracks that hang over the bridge from the Visitor Center to the main island. Staff members and volunteers just recently spent 12 hours planting them with 1,200 plants. They will grow safely in the greenhouses until the weather gets warm enough to bring them outside. Can’t wait!

Click on the video link above or watch on YouTube to learn all about getting ready for spring!

©2014 Chicago Botanic Garden and my.chicagobotanic.org

We recently toured the Garden with Boyce Tankersley, director of plant documentation, to see what’s in bloom this summer in a few display gardens: Landscape, Native Plant, English Walled and the West Flower Walk. Here are some of the plants we found.

Landscape Garden

The perennial border in the Landscape Garden

 

Queen of the Prairie in the Native Plant Garden

Queen of the Prairie (Filipendula rubra) in the Native Plant Garden

 

Dianthus barbatus 'Rose Magic' in the English Walled Garden

Pinks (Dianthus barbatus ‘Rose Magic’) in the English Walled Garden

 

Daylilies in the West Flower Walk

Daylilies (Hemerocallis) in the West Flower Walk

Watch the video above for the full tour. Though we couldn’t take you to each one of our 26 display gardens, you can find out more on our What’s in Bloom highlight page each week — twice a week during the summer bloom season — to learn more about the different plants in bloom.

Then, come out to see them in person for the full experience. Download our GardenGuide app from iTunes or Google Play to enhance your visit with even more information about the plants and gardens that surround you.


©2013 Chicago Botanic Garden and my.chicagobotanic.org