Monday, June 8, 2009

More Fling

*With Flingers*

Some blog readers may be tired of posts on Chicago Spring Fling already. I would imagine that each of us may have unique readers who may not visit other garden blogs and they might appreciate the chance to see more of Chicago's charms.

Our second day of Fling began with a truly scrumptious lunch buffet at Andie's restaurant. We had skipped the morning tour of the Bayless garden. After lunch the bloggers wait for the tour bus to pick us up for the next stop on the itinerary.

A visit to the home of Carolyn Gail, one of the CSF organizers and fellow garden blogger at Sweet Home And Garden Chicago. We had come to her home in a historic Chicago neighborhood,

In search of the perfect pink peony.

In a small urban garden a formal statue can give the feeling of a grand estate.

Here Carol of May Dreams Gardens poses for the camera, smiling a joyful smile.

I loved her pond. It was simple and to the point in a square wood frame, yet still provided a nice focal point and great interest with the large koi and single waterlily. It looked eminently doable, more so than the expensive elaborate rock waterfall and pond affairs that look so enticing.

Another wonderful idea of Carolyn Gail's were these faux stained glass windows. After the bloggers left, her windows must have been covered in sticky fingerprints because no one could believe they were fake.

The next stop of the day was the Ginkgo Organic Gardens, an all volunteer community garden that donates all of its produce to a local food bank that caters to low income HIV positive people in the community.

There was a pesky rabbit living in the garden hence the cages around the raised beds. This is one of 68 community gardens assisted by a non-profit land trust in Chicago. NeighborSpace secures the land permanently and helps with bureaucratic issues like insurance and access to water among other things. They don't do rabbits it seems.

While not the prettiest of gardens, this garden impressed me the most. I even thought the space could have been better utilized. There was room for more raised beds. What impressed me so were the volunteers who for a chance to garden, socialize and get some fresh air would dedicate themselves to helping feed the less fortunate. Bad blogger did not get the names of the two young men who talked to us about this garden, but they were maybe thirty somethings, not retired folks with plenty of time on their hands. That was impressive.

Next up was the Lincoln Park Conservatory, a glass house filled with tropicals. Been there done that. I used to live in a perfect greenhouse climate.

The collection was quite impressive and well maintained and if I lived in Chicago I would be sure to visit the conservatories often or get a job in one.

One room was filled with orchids and bromeliads.

There is a picture of this orchid on Tropical Embellishments.

The Lincoln Park Zoo was right next door so we wandered in and kept going until it was time to head back to the tour bus. We saw the rear end of snoozing lions and this masked bear from South America.

The gorillas and chimps were inside even though it was a nice day out. He looks kind of sad and it was a little distressing to see him watching hundreds of people file past and look at him on display. Then I thought of the perhaps millions of essentially house bound humans confined to smaller spaces and without even a garden to go outside to. Maybe he doesn't have it all that bad.

This segment of the Chicago Spring Fling ends with the pink flamingos.

Uh oh. Now I am imagining a flock of pink flamingos in the roadside vegetable garden. At what point will I get to charge a dollar a car to passing tourists?


Frances said...

Well, you could charge a dollar now, just to see Uncle Ernie. Sorry we missed the large glass house, but the butterflies called. And the urban food gardens were one of the most impressive of the whole trip. There was plenty of room for more beds, it seemed. Andie's was the stuff of dreams, wish it was in my little town, I would never cook again. :-)

Carol Michel said...

I'm not tired of reading spring fling posts! Seeing it through the eyes of my fellow garden bloggers is quite interesting.

Can I copy that picture of me onto my facebook page? I look happy because I'm in a garden, of course!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I haven't tired of reading the SF posts. The same gardens and sites have impressed everyone in a different way. I have even seen things that I missed even while touring the same places. If RB can charge for a tour of his garden you should also be able to, after I visit of course. tee hee

Christopher C. NC said...

Frances, I wish an Andies was here in Waynesville too. That was awesome food. Uncle Ernie would have to be the enticement for a visit since he can be seen for free. I have found him on the internet.

Carol, the full size image should be in your inbox by now. Hughes satellite slowly managed to send it out.

Lisa, you would get the garden blogger discount, free for life.

Glad y'all aren't bored with CSF. There is one more to go, the Garfield Park Conservatory and gardens.

Pam/Digging said...

I look forward to seeing the Garfield Conservatory through your lens and words, Christopher.

Siria said...

Hi Christopher! Although I am not a blogger and was not at the CSF, I have really enjoyed your post along with others I have read. It is fascinating how you all were at the same place and managed to get a different view of things. I look forward to your next post on the Garfield Park Conservatory and gardens. Also...I hope you are giving garden blog reader discounts too! :)

chuck b. said...

Yeah, I keep my eyes out for statues that would be appropriate for my small garden. Still waiting...

It's fun to see all the gardeners out in the real world.

Cindy, MCOK said...

Since I didn't make it to Garfield Park, I'm looking forward to your post on it. It's on my list of things I must see next time, along with the garden at the Art Institute and the lily pond at Lincoln Park.

That's a great picture of Carol!

MA said...

Christopher! I sure did enjoy meeting you. Look forward to reading more of your posts. You're a great photographer and gifted observer.

Gail said...

Christopher, Hello! I had a wonderful time at SF and can keep hearing about it...especially since I went to the butterfly house with and missed the Glass House and Lily pond. The Carolyn Gail windows are on my to try this technique list! I promise, none of the sticky fingerprints are mine! gail

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I enjoyed your take on Saturday's activities. It's wonderful how we each noticed and emphasize different aspects of the same visits. I used to love visiting the Pink Flamingos when I lived near Lincoln Park. They always seemed a little surreal in Chicago.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I loved Andie's. It was a splendid place for this gluten and dairy free girl to eat. I don't know if I'll ever tire of reading CSF posts. Yours was a great overview of that day. What a cute photo of Carol.~~Dee