Garden News

Chicago Botanical Gardens and Flower Fields

map of Chicago botanical gardens

After a long Chicago winter, everyone is itching to throw open the door and spend some time outside. Warm spring days give way to bikers pedaling along the Lakefront Trail, people picnicking along the lake, and walkers lining the 606. However, these aren’t the only ways you can spend time outdoors!

As temperatures warm and the sun shines brightly upon the bean, colorful spring flowers burst into bloom. If you want to spend a day amidst these flowers, you’re in luck! Chicago has numerous flower fields, botanical gardens, and conservatories that are filled with plants and blooms. After a visit to one of these places, you’ll be ready for flowers to keep blooming all year long.

1. Chicago Botanic Garden

orange, red, and yellow flowers and a tall sculpture at Chicago botanical garden

Drive time from Downtown Chicago: 30 minutes
Hours: open every day of the year, but hours change with the seasons, so check the schedule before visiting

Located just north of Chicago in Glencoe, the Chicago Botanic Garden is filled with a wide variety of gardens and exhibits. You can stroll through a bulb garden, English oak meadow, Japanese garden, native plant garden, and much more.

While the various gardens change with the seasons, the garden also hosts rotating exhibitions and events. Look for the Ephemeral Spring Wildflowers event in April and Gardening for Hummingbirds in May.

If you want to become more involved or learn something new, you can enroll in a certificate program in areas including photography, botanical arts, and garden design. If that sounds too serious, you can sign-up for a one-time class to learn about subjects such as native ground covers and bonsai care.

2. North Park Village Nature Center

Drive time from Downtown Chicago: 25 minutes
Hours: open every day except major holidays, 9 AM-4 PM

North Park Village Nature Center covers 46 acres in the northwest side of the city. With forests, prairies, wetlands, and savannas, the city-owned center contains a habitat for a wide variety of plants and wildlife.

Since the plants change with the seasons, you’ll likely spot something new each time you visit.

3. Lincoln Park Conservatory

Drive time from Downtown Chicago: 10 minutes
Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 10 AM-3 PM

Located inside a public park, the Lincoln Park Conservatory holds thousands of tropical plants inside a Victorian Era glasshouse. Visitors can stroll through the Palm House, Fern Room, Orchid House, and Show Houses as well as catch seasonal events like the Spring Flower Show.

Along with the conservatory, the area also boasts the outdoor Formal Garden, which is an excellent place for relaxing. The area also contains the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, which is a popular venue for weddings and other special events.

Although you can’t pick any of the flowers at the Conservatory, it may inspire your next flower delivery to Chicago.

4. Garfield Park Conservatory

green plants and large palm trees at Garfield Park conservatory

Drive time from Downtown Chicago: ten minutes
Hours: Wednesday 10 AM-8 PM, Thursday – Sunday 10 AM-5 PM

A true Chicago gem, the Garfield Park Conservatory consists of glasshouses filled with thousands of plants as well as acres of outdoor gardens and green space. As a bonus, it’s free to the public!

Visitors can gaze up at towering trees in the Palm House, look at cacti and succulents in the Desert House, and catch a rotating display of flowers and plants in the Show House. Each spring, staff prepare for the Spring Flower Show by planting tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths.

The Conservatory also blends landscape art with works by famous artists like Chihuly as well as pieces by local student artists.

5. Art Institute of Chicago South Garden

Drive time from Downtown Chicago: zero minutes
Hours: open year-round

Located on top of an underground parking garage near the Art Institute of Chicago, the South Garden is a public space open to the public. It was designed by landscape architect Dan Kiley and contains square planters filled with trees, flowering bulbs, and a water feature known as the Fountain of the Great Lakes.

6. Lurie Garden

Drive time from Downtown Chicago: zero minutes
Hours: daily from 8 AM-9 PM

Located in the southeast corner of Millennium Park near downtown Chicago, Lurie Garden is a bit of a hidden gem. The garden exists as a way to show how horticulture and gardens can exist amidst urban areas.

The garden changes with the seasons. If you visit in the spring, you’ll be able to spot perennials such as wood anemone and windflower as well as bulb flowers like tulips and daffodils. As spring gives way to summer, you’ll be able to spot flowers such as black cohosh, yarrow, milkweed, and astilbe.

Nettle Creek Lavender Farm

Drive time from Downtown Chicago: One hour and fifteen minutes
Hours: changes with the seasons, check before visiting

With u-pick flower fields and lots of lavender products, a visit to the Nettle Creek Lavender is a great way to spend an afternoon. If you want to pick your own flowers, June and July are the best times to visit.

If you don’t find the flowers you’re looking for at the farm, you can always check out other options for Evanston flower delivery.

Von Bergen’s Country Market

Sunflower fields

Drive time from Downtown Chicago: one hour and twenty-five minutes
Hours: change with the seasons

Located near the Wisconsin border, Von Bergen’s Country Market is the place for sunflowers. With a sunflower maze, sunflower festival, and plenty of sunflower fields, you’ll be able to get your fill of these gorgeous flowers.

Along with sunflowers, you’ll also find a small petting zoo, farmers’ market, and other types of u-pick flowers.

Harvest Tyme Family Farm

Drive time from Downtown Chicago: one hour
Hours: vary with seasons

During the summer months, the farm features u-pick flower fields, where you can find cosmos, zinnias, black-eyed Susans, and more. You can also stroll through wildflower fields or the farm’s sunflower fields.

Along with flowers, you can also enjoy tasty treats like donuts and lemonade.

Thompson Strawberry Farm

Drive time from Downtown Chicago: one hour
Hours: PYO sunflowers every day 10 AM-6 PM, July – October

While Thompson Strawberry Farm offers plenty of sweet, juicy berries, they also fill their fields with bright sunflowers. By paying a $12 admission fee, you’ll be able to pick six sunflowers as well as wander through the sunflower maze and wildflower patch. If six flowers aren’t enough, you’ll be able to purchase more.

Richardson Adventure Farm

Drive time from Downtown Chicago: one hour and fifteen minutes
Hours: availability varies on the season

Richardson Adventure Farm keeps flowers blooming spring through fall with both a tulip festival and a sunflower festival! Sometime during April or May, five acres become awash in color as more than 300,000 tulips burst into bloom. The farmers have designed the area with solid blocks for photos as well as a mixed-variety u-pick area.

A few months after the tulip bloom, you can return to catch the sunflowers. With 25 different varieties, a u-pick area, and a sunflower maze, it’s easy to spend hours amidst these gorgeous flowers.

Deer Grove Forest Preserve

Drive time from Downtown Chicago: minutes
Hours: year-round, sunrise to sunset

With close to 2,000 acres of land and miles of trails, the Deer Grove Forest Preserve is filled with lush flora. Its varied habitat makes it a great place to search for wildflowers during the spring through fall. The preserve contains forest areas where you can find Dutchman’s breeches and wood anemone. You may also spot the Illinois state flower, the violet, (just one of all 50 official state flowers).

It also contains meadows and prairies where you can look for flowers like coreopsis and bee balm. Since the preserve is working hard to establish these areas, resist picking the beautiful flowers. Instead, order a bouquet by searching for flower delivery in Naperville.

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