Around town finds a couple of virtual Earth Day visits

 

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL (J Jacobs photo)
Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL (J Jacobs photo)

 

Of course we try to employ good recycling practices year round but we’re also used to helping out in volunteer clean-up groups on beaches and rivers on Earth Day.

Started in 1970 by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson,, WI, to encourage conservation and environmental awareness, Earth Day became an internationally observed day with a variety of related activities in 1990.

Typical Earth Day activities have generally been canceled in 2020 to avoid getting and spreading the Covid-19 virus. However Earth Day is still April 22 so think recycle but also take a couple of moments to virtually visit two of the Chicago area’s largest nature centers: The Chicago Botanic Garden in north suburban Glencoe and the Morton Arboretum west of Chicago near Lisle. They are sharing what’s blooming, garden tips, stay-at-home Earth Day activities and views of their grounds.

Visit Chicago Botanic Garden Earth Day and Smart Gardener sites for some activity ideas. Then go to ChicagoBotanic/Gardens for a live feed to see what’s in bloom.

At the Morton Arboretum look for Virtual Bloom Report and then go to Virtual Tours via Google Arts and Culture.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Around Town revisits orchid show

 

Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show (J Jacobs photo)
Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show (J Jacobs photo)

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.

Bright bromeliad complements delicate orchids in entrance to the Chicago botanic garden show. (J Jacobs photo)
Bright bromeliad complements delicate orchids in entrance to the Chicago botanic garden show. (J Jacobs photo)

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.

Blue glass paths hardly noticed during the day light up at night as blue pipe like glass seems to drip down from above. ( J Jacobs photo)
Blue glass paths hardly noticed during the day light up at night as blue pipe like glass seems to drip down from above. ( J Jacobs photo)

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.

The Chicago Botanic Garden features color and form in its 2020
The Chicago Botanic Garden features color and form in its 2020 orchid show. (J Jacobs photo)

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.

Jodie Jacobs

Annual Orchid Show goes modern and brilliant

Chicago botanic Garden Orchid show focuses on color. (J Jacobs photo)
Chicago botanic Garden Orchid show focuses on color. (J Jacobs photo)

 

The Chicago Botanic Garden’s annual Orchid Show takes on another dimension in 2020.

“We’ve done destinations. This time it’s more modern,” said Visitor Events and Programs Coordinator Sara.Harlow.

Titled “Brilliance,” the show also calls attention to orchids’ colors. “Color is important because it is part of the survival strategies of wild orchids so they can reproduce,” Harlow said, referring to how color attracts pollinators.

When visitors walk in to the exhibit in the Garden’s Regenstein Center, they will see towers of colorful orchids in the Nichols Hall, gorgeous groupings with bromeliads at their base and interesting pipe ensembles above and around them in the area leading to the greenhouses. The bromeliads add even more color.

The exhibit continues around to the left in a semi-circle of greenhouses. On the way to each greenhouse, the corridor’s walls tell stories about the importance of color and offer more orchid information. The greenhouse walls along the corridor display charming metallic circle planters filled with artistically arranged orchids.

Orchid Show at Chicago botanic Garden goes modern with lights. (J Jacobs photo)
Orchid Show at Chicago botanic Garden goes modern with lights. (J Jacobs photo)

What visitors will see during the day are sun-lit orchids seemingly planted along colored stones, orchids filling towering frames and orchids hanging from the ceiling between colorful tubes of light.

However, those rivulets of stones really cover lighting circuitry that will create a different dimension during special evening hours, according to Harlow.

“Visitors should also try to come at night We are doing After Hours Thursdays. It will look different,” she said.

To learn more about the orchids in the show from Cattleya to Cypripedium visit Chicago Botanic/Orchid Species.

The Orchid Show is at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe (just east of Edens Expressway) through March 24. General hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. After Hours goes until 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Feb. 14. For tickets, parking and more information visit Chicago Botanic/Orchid.

Jodie Jacobs

Around Town: Two shows are way more than flowers

 

Chicago Flower & Garden Show Market place. (Photo courtesy of Chicago Flower & Garden show)
Chicago Flower & Garden Show Market Place. (Photo courtesy of Chicago Flower & Garden show)

Think Spring. It’s time after chicago’s rough winter to think about blooms and maybe adventure. The blooms can be found at two Chicago shows. Adventure of the fantastical kind will be discovered at one of them.

Flower & Garden Show

Now that Spring is officially here with the marking of the vernal equinox  we can be thinking of what to grow on our rooftop, around the patio, in the yard or  in our window boxes, or how to expand or improve out landscape.

The ideas are all laid out in several gardens at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show at Navy Pier through March 24, 2019.

There’s even a kids activity garden, water features, sculptures, cooking demos and how to grow your own produce including hydroponic systems.

Also don’t miss the Racine Zoo/Stein Garden section of animal encounters and how to attract birds.

The Chicago Flower & Garden Show is produced by Flower Show Productions in collaboration with the Get Growing Foundation – a non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating the next generation of gardeners.

Navy Pier is at 600 E. Grand Ave.,  Festival Hall A & B Chicago. For more information visit Chicago Flower.

 

 

Flower Show Journey

Journey to outer space as you walk through Macy’s On State, the downtown Chicago store, March 24 to April 7 for an innovative, fun  Garden Show.

Its about color:  blue hydrangeas, white calla lilies, Prince of Orange philodendron. It’s about an orchid forest. And it’s about creatures including aninhabited cavern.

But before entering the store,  get an idea of what’s going on inside by looking at the windows at the corner of State and Randolph Streets and also State and Washington Streets.

Go upstairs to the 5th floor Kids Department for fantasy florals and characters by Homewood Suites.

Check out the events that begin on Supernova Sunday. They range from nail designs, aura readings and spaceship building to glitter freckles, interesting lipstick applications and dance performances.

Monday’s feature is “Flowers of the Universe” presented by the Adler Planetarium from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday features roaming galactic characters from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday has “Modern Floral Design” from noon to 2 p.m.

For the full listing visit Events. Macy’s downtown store is at 111 N. State St., Chicago.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Surround yourself with beauty

Be surrounded by beauty at the Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid show (J
Be surrounded by beauty at the Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid show (J Jacobs photo)

Luxuriate in tropical warmth while strolling among orchids hanging from trees and meander among palms and lush foliage. It’s Orchid Show time at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe through March 24, 2019.

The theme this year is the tropics so signs tell where to find orchids and the different species. The show is nice and informative, but really visitors go to enjoy orchid beauty.

Some folks also go to buy an orchid from vendors on weekends or to get orchid advice from a member of the Illinois Orchid Society some weekends but particularly March 9-10.

Others time their visit to coincide with music on Tuesday and Thursday. To find out when to go night or day and about other show activities  visit Chicago Botanic Orchid.

DETAILS: The CBG Orchid Show goes through March 24. Garden admission is free but there is a parking fee and there is a charge for the Orchid Show but not later during the Illinois Orchid Society’s stint. The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe.. For tickets and other information call call  (847) 835-5440 or visit CBG.

Jodie Jacobs

Related: Two Indoor Fab February Shows 

 

Five things to do Presidents’ Day weekend

 

The Weyard Sisters (Caitlan Taylor, Caroline Chu, and Emma Ladji) in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of Short Shakespeare! Macbeth. (Liz Loren photo)
The Weyard Sisters (Caitlan Taylor, Caroline Chu, and Emma Ladji) in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of Short Shakespeare! Macbeth. (Liz Loren photo)

Saturday

Shortened Shakespeare

See the 75 minute “Short Shakespeare! Macbeth” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Saturday at 11:00 a.m., Feb. 16. It will continue Saturdays through March 16, 2019. Chicago Shakespeare Theater is on Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. For tickets and more information visit ChicagoShakes/Macbeth.

 

Seussical: The Musical

Dr. Seuss’ creative genius is on stage at the  Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences Feb. 16 at 10 a.m. The show continues through March 31, 2019. The theatre is at 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. Created by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (the Tony Award-winning team behind the acclaimed musicals Ragtime and Once on this Island), the production combines more than 14 Dr. Seuss stories. For tickets or more information call (847) 634-0200 or visit Marriott Theatre

 

Orchid in Chicago Botanic Garden Greenhouse. (photo by J Jacobs)
Orchid in Chicago Botanic Garden Greenhouse. (photo by J Jacobs)

Sunday

Orchids at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Warm up with the Chicago Botanic Garden’s annual Orchid Show, called “The Tropics” this year. The show is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For tickets and other information visit Chicago Botanic.

 

Monday 

Story Time

Chicago Botanic Garden holds Story Time for ages 2 to 5 on Mondays through March 25, 2019, including Presidents’ Day March18. Story Time goes from 10 to 11 a.m. in Lenhardt Library. Afterwards, get a bingo card to go find objecgts in the garden and greenhouses. No drop offs.A caregiver must be present.  The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, just east of the Edens Expressway. For more information visit Chicago Botanic or Story Time.

 

 

Hall leading to the Grainger Theater has fascinating space images. (J Jacobs photo taken of one of the hall's images)
Hall leading to the Grainger Theater has fascinating space images. (J Jacobs photo taken of one of the hall’s images)

Chicago Museum Campus

Go to the Chicago Museum Campus. All three of the museums on the Campus, the Adler Planetarium, Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium, have free general admission for Illinois residents on Feb. 18, 2019. (Free days’ general admission does not include special exhibits and shows.)

 

Adler Planetarium

The Adler Planetarium is at the far east end of the Museum Campus at 1300 S. Lake Shore Dr. General admission is free to Illinois residents Feb. 18-21. For more information on what to see and admissions visit Adler Planetarium .

 

The Field Museum

At the Field, all of February is free to Illinois residents. There is a lot to see that does not require a special exhibit ticket. The Field is at 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr. at the west end of the campus. For more information visit Field Free.

 

Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd is in the middle of the Museum Campus at 1200 S. Lake Shore Dr Free admission for Illinois residents is Feb. 18-22. For more information visit Shedd Free Days.

 

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

 

 

Around Town: Two indoor fab February shows

 

Two shows that are completely different but always brighten February winter days and nights are the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place and the Orchid Show at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Both start the second weekend in February.

 

Chicago Auto Show has three test tracks. (Photo courtesy of Chicago Auto Show 2017)
Chicago Auto Show has three test tracks. (Photo courtesy of Chicago Auto Show 2017)

 

Chicago Auto Show

It’s understandable that the Chicago Auto Show has to be held at McCormick Place. It is the largest of its kind in North America. That means there is space to space to show off new cars, experimental cars, antique cars and accessories and to test drive some cars (different makes on different days. Visit Interactive Displays to learn about the test tracks.

Details: The Auto show runs from Feb 9 to Feb. 18, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. except closes at 8 p.m. Feb. 18. Admission is $13 adults, $7 age 62 and older and ages 7-12 and free to age 6 and younger if accompanied by an adult family member. McCormick Place is at 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago.

 

Orchid in Chicago Botanic Garden Greenhouse. (phto by J Jacobs)
Orchid in Chicago Botanic Garden Greenhouse. (photo by J Jacobs)

Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show

Go at night after work. Go in the morning to take photos. Go to get orchid advice from experts. And go to buy an orchid. But for sure go to be surrounded by more than 10,000 orchids hanging from trees in the greenhouses and lining the rooms and corridors of the Regenstein Center.

The theme this year is “In the Tropics.” So let orchids transport you to South Pacific islands or the Amazon’s rain forests.  Bromeliads and birds of paradise add color to the show’s lush landscape.

To find out when to go night or day and about other show activities and bonuses visit Chicago Botanic Orchid.

Details: The CBG Orchid Show runs from Feb. 9 through March 24. Garden admission is free but there is a parking fee. The show’s cost is Adults $12 (members $10), ages 3-12 $10 (members hildren $8). The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 60022. For tickets and other information call call  (847) 835-5440 or visit CBG.

 

Jodie Jacobs

 

Stinky Spike almost ready to leave

Spike the a corpse flower is in the semitropical greenhouse at the Chicago Botanic Garden the last weekend of April 2018. (Photos by Jodie Jacobs)
Spike the a corpse flower is in the semitropical greenhouse at the Chicago Botanic Garden the last weekend of April 2018. (Photos by Jodie Jacobs)

 

Head over to the Chicago Botanic Garden before Spike, a nearly seven-foot tall flower, is moved from the semitropical display greenhouse back to its production home on the grounds.

Called the corpse flower because of its rotting garbage odor when it blooms, Spike’s real designation is Amorphophallus titanium (titan arum).

Spike fully opened to show off its huge flower with burgundy fringe (spathe) and emitted its telltale smell on April 26.

But even though it is now closing and the odor has mostly dissipated, a bit of colorful fringe can still be seen. And, after all, a flower this tall, the largest corpse flower to bloom at the Botanic Garden, is still a site to behold.

“It certainly is something to see. You can still see the burgundy color of its spathe and then turn around and read about it in the posters,” said Botanic Garden outdoor floriculturist Tim Pollak.

“It’s never going to close tightly,” Pollak said. He thought Spike might stay on display through the weekend and possibly move on Monday or early next week.

When moved, it will go dormant then start the cycle over from having its corm (bulb) repotted  to leafing out and regaining the energy needed to bloom.

“Next time it will be big, the corm will be big. This weight was over 100 pounds. Then in three to five years it may bloom again.

With Mother Nature, you don’t know. Spike did try to bloom in August, 2015 but didn’t seem to have enough energy to open.

See this corpse plant in the leaf stage in the tropical greenhouse at the Chicago Botanical Garden.
See this corpse plant in the leaf stage in the tropical greenhouse at the Chicago Botanical Garden.

To see what a corpse flower looks like when leafing, go next door to the tropical greenhouse. The plant looks like a tree and has a number, not a name.

“We don’t name them until they flower,” Pollak said.

Of the 14 titan arum plants in the Botanic Garden’s collection, Sprout, Sunshine, Alice, twins Sumatra and Java and Spike have been named.

However, there are relatives visitors can see when visiting the Botanic Garden such as the anthurium in the tropical greenhouse.

OK, they are not quite so big but we can get anthurium from nurseries and we can find another relative, the Jack-in-the-Pulpit, in the wild.

For more information on Spike visit CBG/Spike. For Chicago Botanic Garden parking and other information call (847) 835-5440 and visit CBS.

Enjoy

Jodie