A one-time walk-through at “Brilliance,” the Chicago Botanic Garden’s orchid show, had lifted the mood when the show opened on a cold, winter day. But going back for a second, more leisurely stroll meant finding delightful orchids clustered low under and along the garden’s regular greenhouse inhabitants and orchids seeminly glowing in the March sunlight.
How the orchids look in varying sunlight, but also the artificial light turned on during Orchids After Hours, (Thursdays March 5-19) is no accident. Called “Brilliance’ this year, the show is about color.
To complement the orchids’ hues, the garden has added bromelads in the entrance walkway, blue pipe-like glass forms in the center greenhouse’s shady walk, a bright magenta chandelier-like glass over that greenhouse’s water feature, hanging metal circular planters outside the greenhouses’ walkways and chrome-style reflecting ball-halves along a walkway.
The effect is stunning day or night. But a good way to see the show is to return at night when river-like blue stone is lit from below and the greenhouses’ lights pick up other colors and reflections.
To enjoy the orchid nightscape with special beverages, consider coming for Evening With Orchids March 11 that features beer and spirits tastings.
If you are a morning person, Tuesdays and Thursdays feature Morning Music in the Nichols Hall that range from guitar to jazz to classical.
For orchid advice and orchid displays visit on March 14-5 when the Illinois Orchid Society Show is at the garden.
However, if after seeing the gorgeous array of color inspires some home plant décor, know that many of the orchids in the show are available to members and the public at reduced prices during the afternoon of the Post Show Sale March 26, four days after the show closes on March 22.
The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe, just east of Edens Expressway. For Garden ticket and other information call (847) 835-6801 or 835-5440 or visit Chicago Botanic.