You might know Chicago as the "Windy City" or the "City of Broad Shoulders," but one of our city's most appropriate nicknames is the "Garden City." Indeed, our city's seal states clearly Urbs in Horto, Latin for "garden in city." As springtime rolls around, the reason for this flowery nickname is evident: everywhere you turn, you'll see gardens big and small, in our backyards, on our parkways, even on our balconies and rooftops! Here are three places to find the best blooms in Chicago.
Every spring, Macy's on State Street bursts and blooms with the spirit of the season. During the annual Macy's Flower Show (March 22 - April 4, above), expert florists adorn the entire store with gorgeous flowers from around the world, creating a shopping experience like no other. A wonderful array of free workshops and related events rounds out the flowery fun. This year's show, Art in Bloom, will usher in spring with a lovely in-store garden filled blooming with inspiration and creativity. Highlights this year include an edible flower tasting, a performance by Loyola University Chicago's premier female a cappella group "The Silhouettes" and vase painting with One Strange Bird. Free to the public, Macy's Flower Show will be open during regular store hours. For more information and a full schedule of events, visit visitmacyschicago.com
One of the best places in the city to catch spring blooms is at Lincoln Park Conservatory's Spring Flower Show (through May 10, above). The beauty of spring is in full bloom here - and the glass-paned conservatory will protect you from the occasional rainshower. Located just next door to both The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and the Lincoln Park Zoo, the conservatory is a wonderful place to catch your breath after a busy day. This year, you'll be able to see the direct descendants of the great Azaleas that once bloomed at the World's Colombian Exposition of 1893!
The Chicago Flower & Garden Show at Chicago's Navy Pier (March 14-22), is an experience for the senses, a place where gardeners gather ideas and inspiration among blooming perennials, annuals and trees at Navy Pier. Whether you're looking to expand your veggie patch or even just add a few pots to your patio, the beautiful gardens here - all designed by local landscape designers, builders and suppliers - will give you realistic solutions for all your gardening, greening, floral and home-related needs. Top horticulture experts will share insights at workshops and seminars throughout the event and top Chicago chefs sharing their expertise on creating sumptuous dishes using natural and home-grown ingredients. Visit chicagoflower.com for updated event info and a full schedule of workshops and seminars.