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*PSSST* Have you noticed?

A couple of weeks ago I noticed an unknown referrer in my site stats that feedburner provides so I followed the link and came across a site that looked remarkably like GVs but only it wasn't GVs. I tried going to the main page but only got a message to "move along" and I haven't seen anyone on GVs mentioning it yet.

I haven't said anything about it but I've finally have gotten too curious to keep it to myself. Have you noticed a website with a strange name referring people to you blog?

Tips For The Garden Blogger Pt4

For me one of the most enjoyable aspects of garden blogging is hearing what other people have to say about whatever I post about and commenting and sounding off on their boards. Whenever someone leaves a comment on my blog I try to respond right away to the comment and/or I'll reciprocate with a comment on their blog. I do it because the interactivity of blogging is what has the greatest appeal for me. I live a pretty insular gardening life, by that I mean I don't know another person in real life that does it to the point where they know anything other than common names. I had that realization not long ago when I called the extension office and tried to pronounce "Mina Lobata" over the phone. It dawned on me that I wasn't sure how to pronounce the name and that I had never actually said the word out-loud before.


And On His Farm He Had Some -Tomatillos?

I was just reading this interesting article about how the trends in immigration are driving changes in what American farmers grow and the possibility of new markets being opened up to them.

With the help from agricultural experts at Rutgers

"..The Plan is to create a blueprint that would develop a market along the East Coast--including Connecticut, New Jersey, Florida and Georgia--to link growers with ethnic markets. Farmers would produce potentially more profitable vegetables like bok choy, tomatillos and bitter gourd that be successfully grown in their own local markets. Gourmet consumers and specialty stores are also interested in ethnic produce."

I'm all for it. Just today I was doing some grocery shopping and was wishing I had an Asian grocery store closer to me so I could pick up some edamame beans. If you find yourself near an Asian grocery store stop in and pick up some Taro (Colocasia esculenta) to plant in your garden. It's a lot cheaper than purchasing plain green Colocasia corms at a garden center plus you can eat it. It's one of many plants from the grocer that can help you garden frugally.

You can read the article at the link below. Farmers See Growing Ethnic Veggie Market

Where To Buy Cacti In Chicago

Looking over the site stats for my blog that FeedBurner provides I've noticed a number of visits to my blog are from people doing internet searches looking for retailers in Chicago that sell Cacti and Succulents.

Today someone was looking for a place to buy Senecio rowleyanus in Chicago and since most people are too shy to post in the comments and ask a question if they didn't find the answer I'll take a few moments here and divulge my cactus buying locations in Chicago.


"Seeds Grow More Than Just Plants"

At the end of the last growing season I had a lot of my seeds set out in preparation for drying and subsequent storage. Unfortunately one of my family members tossed them out. I was livid because I had spent time making sure I'd get a lot of seeds, fought birds, plant snatchers and the odd foul ball from the neighbor's yard that always seemed to land directly on a flower head.

The Constant Hybridizer

I'm probably not the only one that has a secret desire to be a hybridizer of note someday. I don't want to do it because I want to be rich or famous or anything like that, I really just want a custom garden. Something unique and unlike anything anyone has ever seen before. That's why I hybridized this green rose.


How To Start A Community Garden

A few days ago I was walking past a vacant lot near my home and remembering the "bird lady" that lived on the lot when I was a kid. On the now empty lot sat a large and imposing 3 story house that I can only describe as a poor man's Victorian.


A Strange Way To Grow One

A few days before Christmas I was walking through the greenhouse of a Home Depot and I came across this new way of growing an Amaryllis. At first I couldn't believe what I was seeing it looked like the brain child of a sadistic Amaryllis grower. It reminded me of this one time when I was working in a bonsai nursery and these two older ladies walked in and walked out in a huff but not before I got an earful of how "mean" we were for growing trees in such little pots. When I saw this Amaryllis I had almost the same reaction as those two ladies some years back except I didn't yell at anyone and threaten to call the Arbor Day Foundation.

30 Saguaros uprooted in Tucson

30 uprooted saguaros found on West Ft. Lowell Road

David L. Teibel
Tucson Citizen

A Tucsonan on his way to work Friday said he found about 30 uprooted saguaro cactuses in the desert that he thinks were being stolen for sale. Some of the cactuses were on Saguaro National Park land and some on unincorporated county land, said Gordon McKinley, adding he called 911 Friday morning and met later today with a deputy sheriff and a National Park Service investigator.

Deputies were called to the area near Fort Lowell and Sandario roads around 10:45 a.m. after being contacted by the National Park Service, said Deputy Dawn Barkman, spokeswoman for the sheriff's department.
It was "obvious" someone was trying to steal cactuses from holes that were found and dirt dug out around other cactuses, she said.

(continue reading)

Before I had any interest in Cacti & Succulents I lived for a short while in Northern Arizona and when I would make trips South towards Phoenix I always found the drive to be nice and scenic and sometimes the bends in the roads were enough to make you feel like bringing a change of shorts. But the best part of living there and making that trip South was seeing the first Saguaro in the distance and smiling as the memory of a cartoon, where the Saguaro is made the butt of a joke by an anthropomorphized animal, floods your brain and makes you think of a simpler time.

To me the Saguaro is an American icon up there with the Statue of Liberty and the Hollywood sign and it's removal like this by unscrupulous individuals is just beyond comprehension. I don't think there is a punishment I would think to be too severe for them.


Tips For The Garden Blogger Pt 3

Posting photos from your garden on your blog can add to your blog what words simply fail to get across. You can upload them directly to your blog or link to them from your on-line photo album or stick them on your sidebar like my flickr badge. In this post I hope to share with you some tips that I've been taught or have picked up along the way that have helped me.

Best time for photos

Believe it or not there is a best time to take photos. Early morning and early evening are the best; avoid taking photos outdoors in the midday sun. Not only is it bad for your skin but it's at it's strongest and washes away color and blows out your photo's highlights. Early morning or early evening Sun gives you the most accurate reproduction of color and the shadows created by the Sun's position in the sky add depth and interest to your photos.

How to hold your camera


Caring For Your Amaryllis

I've been noticing a lot of searches leading people to my blog looking for information on how to care for their Amaryllis bulbs. Based on the nature of the queries that lead to my blog I'll try to answer them from my experience growing these since last year.

I purchased a few Amaryllis bulbs last year from Target after the Holidays. Because of the discounts they were less than two dollars a piece. The bulbs didn't look so great and it was to be expected after sitting in those boxes on a shelf for weeks and who knows how long they were in them sitting in a warehouse. When you bring your Amaryllis home take it out of the box and discard the soil disc it comes in. If the pot it came with doesn't have drainage holes make some or find a suitable pot. Good drainage is key to healthy houseplants. The next step is to plant it in good soil, I added charcoal and Perlite to the regular potting soil I use.

"Why won't my Amaryllis grow?"

You Can Ignore This Post

Unless you use Technorati, here's my Technorati Profile

Extreme Let Down ABC Edition

I don't usually watch Extreme Makeover Home Edition but I tuned in last night because it was helping the Noyola family here in Chicago and I had heard the home was going to be a Green Build. After watching the hour-long reality show I didn't really understand how it was "Green." I don't live a Green lifestyle but I'm fascinated by it especially in how it can be used to build affordable homes in high density areas like Chicago.

I was really disappointed by ABC and the show. Here they had the chance to showcase a lot of the things that have been implemented in Chicago. But all I saw bamboo flooring, recycled carpeting and coffee tables made from the old lumber that was in the house before they tore it out. That's it? None of those things even offset the carbon footprint made by Ty Pennington's hair. Considering how much hype the episode got here in the English and Spanish language news I was hoping that they would go all out and show us some ways that we can lower our heating and air condition bill with things like the Roof Top Garden at city hall that has received national attention.

Yes they built a nice roof top deck with some plants that will be a nice selling point in a few years when the Noyola family has to sell their home because they can't afford the property taxes because of the influx of yuppies to Pilsen. Instead of buying them all violins they should have put a garden on that roof and shown them how to grow their own vegetables and change the eating habits of those kids that are at risk for diabetes.

They could have cut out a couple of the self-indulgent scenes of Ty Pennington acting like a fool at the Sears on State and mentioned that residents of Chicago can apply for Energy Grants and Loans to offset the cost of going Green.

Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ABC could have done a lot of things that would have changed the lives of the Noyola family and the lives of a lot of residents here. Instead they payed lip service to (and ignored) the advances made here in Chicago in energy conservation and urban beautification.

Check out this site.


Maybe they thought she needed mulch?

If I woke up one morning and found 37 "used" Christmas trees stacked neatly in my backyard one morning I'd think; "SCORE!" I'd start figuring out how I could make a rustic bench and table or maybe some small trellises out of the branches and trunks and some mulch. Well honestly I'd be annoyed at first but once my brain kicked in I'd see the benefit of someone dropping off 37 Christmas trees in my backyard.

But Carol Lopez (of Allentown, PA) is different-she called the police and they told her to move them out back and the city would pick them up free of charge. But at least she had a sense of humor about it all.


"Google For Gardeners" Updated

In case you're not familiar with it "Google For Gardeners" is a customized Google Search Engine for gardeners looking for information. The key word is "information" I'm selecting sites/blogs/forums/groups that have the information people are gardening need. I got tired of weeding through lots of search results for items for sale when I was looking up plant information so I joined Google Co-op and started Google For Gardeners and started adding all of the sites I had bookmarked, so I could search them all at once and find the growing information I was looking for, it now searches 169 sites. As far as I know it's the only Google Custom Search Engine of it's kind. Although I hear some others are in the works. :)

Thanks to the bloggers that e-mailed me suggestions of sites to add. If you have a suggestion feel free to let me know and I'll see about adding it. I'll add any gardening forum/group as long as you don't have to sign up/pay to be able to read the threads. If you have a gardening blog/website let me know and I'll see about add it. I'm especially looking for sites about Organic Gardening, Plant Propagation and sites specifically about one Genus. Feel free to use it, bookmark it, link it etc. While I started Google For Gardeners it belongs to everyone who has their hands in some dirt and is looking for information. There's a search box for it on the right hand side of this blog and all the way at the bottom. You can search from there or from the home page. Either way your results will be displayed on the Google. Don't confuse the GFG's search box with the box that only searches my blogs, they're two independent things. One searches three blogs the other searches 169 sites as of today.

Here's what got added this round:

Tips For The Garden Blogger

Sometimes you take for granted what you know or you think you know. And I guess you figure since you know about it everyone else must know about it also-especially if the information is "outdated."

I came to that realization today when I was looking at my stats on the FeedBurner dashboard. I noticed several hits to my blog from GirlGoneGardening. Curiosity got the better of me so I checked and I saw that she was blogging about part of my Death Of The Garden Journal post.

So I'm going to share and old tip that saves me time and energy. If you have the Google Toolbar in your browser and you're blogging with Blogger if you press the button I highlighted in the picture attached to this entry a new window will open where a new post entry will automatically be started about the page/website/blog that you are currently on complete with links to whatever it is you're looking at and you can blog about whatever it is you're blogging about.

Keep in mind that if you're not signed into Blogger it will prompt you to do so. But if you're already signed it will be pretty much automatic and you just enter what you want to post.
(note: this does not take screen captures like the one above.)

Her post also prompted me to show my feedflares. If you look directly bellow this post you will see a series of words that may be alien to you. I only had them available on my blog's feed but because of GGG I decided to allow them to show here. Most of them are for social bookmarking sites that are all the rage now and if you are part of one (I'm on Netscape) you can use them. I also turned on the "blog this" feedflare that works just like the button above if you don't have it installed in your browser.

Feedflares are a good way to add interactivity to your blog posts. Go add them now.


The Death Of The Garden Journal.

The garden journal is dead. It passed away today surrounded by family and friends after I discovered a cool widget for blogs that is in beta that made me realize it has served it's purpose for many, many years but in this day and age there are far better mediums for recording information.

Blogs are a wonderful tool. Not only can you jot down your thoughts and upload pictures or link to videos but you get to communicate with people all over the world about your passion. People in remote corners of the world can see what is blooming in your garden and you can see what's going on in theirs'. Since Feedburner started giving out site statistics for free I've spent countless hours refreshing the dashboard and reading names from countries I couldn't even pronounce. It prompted me to add a new widget yesterday that records hits to this blog on a map.


Family found for gigantic flowers

By Rebecca Morelle
Science reporter, BBC News

The 200-year-old mystery of where one of the world's largest flowers sit in the botanical family tree has finally been solved by scientists.

To their surprise, the plants, which have a one-metre-wide, blood-red, rotten-flesh stinking flower, belong to a family of plants bearing tiny blooms.

The Rafflesiaceae were tricky to place because of their unusual features, the team reports in the journal Science.

Such traits include the fact that they are rootless, leafless and stemless.

Their giant blooms, which weigh up to 7kg (15lb) and in appearance and fragrance mimic rotting meat, attract carrion flies that pollinate them.

And the strange plants, which can be found growing on the jungle floor in southeast Asia, are also parasitic. Eschewing the process of photosynthesis, the Rafflesiaceae bed down in the tissue of the tropical grape vine, feasting upon the nutrients it provides.

(continue reading)

Plant 'vaccines' may combat viruses in crops

New York, New York
January 10, 2007 Plants
might not get colds, but they do get viruses — and viral diseases in crops cause enormous economic damage each year. New research, however, suggests that plant “vaccines,” developed at Rockefeller University, may be a new way of helping fend off viral attackers.

“Plants possess several innate mechanisms to resist viruses,” says Nam-Hai Chua, Andrew W. Mellon Professor and head of the Laboratory of Plant Molecular Biology, “but many viruses are able to overcome these barriers. Transgenic technology offers the possibility to genetically modify plants with genes encoding virus tolerance and/or resistance.” Chua’s research, published in November in Nature Biotechnology, shows that the new method can confer resistance against two turnip viruses.

(continue reading)

Rare rhododendron to be unveiled

One of the world's rarest plants is to be unveiled at the Royal Botanic Garden (RBG) in Edinburgh.

Visitors to the glasshouses will be able to see a Malaysian rhodedendron, thought to be the only remaining example of the species in the world.
The plant is one of several threatened species held in the RBG living plants collection, which curators hope will help inspire Scottish gardeners. The collection will also feature at the Gardening Scotland show in Ingliston. David Mitchell, the RBG's indoor curator, said the RBG's mission was to "explore and explain" the world of plants.
(continue reading)


400-year-old seeds found in Jamestown well

Find suggests early settlers adapted by using local food resources
By Sonja Barisic
Associated Press
Updated: 2:47 p.m. CT Jan 9, 2007

NORFOLK, Virginia - Seeds and plant remains preserved in a well at America's first permanent English settlement suggest the Jamestown colonists were not just gentlemen with few wilderness survival skills, as they are often portrayed, but tried to live off the land by gathering berries and nuts.
At least one tobacco seed — possibly representing the earliest known evidence of the cultivation at Jamestown of the cash crop that helped the settlement survive financially — was also discovered among samples from the 17th-century well.
Archaeobotanist Steve Archer will include results of his microscopic analysis of the plant matter in presentations at the Society of Historical Archaeology conference that begins Wednesday in Williamsburg.
(continue reading at

This new evidence changes how we view the people of Jamestown a little. It shows that they were able to adapt to the environment here after learning from the Native Americans which plants yielded nutritional value. It's interesting to learn that the colonists were seed savers and probably seed snatchers- like a lot of us. Maybe I won't feel so bad the next time I see a ripe seed pod in the planting of the local Target and pluck it and bring it home. Hey afterall if it's good enough for the first settlers it's good enough for me, right?

I just realized that they'd probably have an interesting answer to Carol's "Seedy Habits" meme going around the gardening blogs. I haven't posted my "Seedy Habits" because I'm pretty much a boring seed collector. I'll trade with people and I'll buy seeds from any rack I come across in a store.

Learn more about Jamestown.


Gardening Jihad

How can you not laugh out loud seeing the latest cover for the 2007 catalog fromPlant Delights Nursery? It's pretty cool that Tony Avent goesout and provides these awesome catalogs that help many a gardener get the some boring spots in our adventures in gardening.

The cover was done by Jack Pittman and beautifully illustrates the "Hot Topics" of the past year. To see the cover in all it's glory check out the website and click on the image for a larger view if you can't get your hands on a copy.

There is also an archive on the website of past issues that are sure to give you a chuckle or two like this one featuring "Hairy Potter." LOL.

Choosing House Plants: To match your decor

Decorating with House Plants can give a better impression about you than decorating with traditional things like pictures, vases and other ornamentations. House Plants make perfect accents and can make your spaces look inviting and speak volumes about your personality. If you pay attention to the growth and flowering habit of plants and choose according to your decor you'll find that your plants blend in seamlessly and minimize the cluttered look of so many house plant collections.

Rustic or Southwestern Furniture
If your home furnishings consist of natural, unvarnished woods and lots of knotted pine and dark metal. Take these plants into consideration to compliment your decor without the kitsch factor of a Pinata.

Choosing House Plants: By Light Availability

It's tempting to run into a greenhouse and pick up the flowering plants that are set up front as impulse buys-I know I have been there. But when choosing a plant-in particular one that you will grow indoors-you'll find you have better success with houseplants if you buy according to the amount of light you can give your plant. Choosing your plants based on the amount of light you can give will increase the odds that your plant will survive the transition to your home. Here are some light and plant suggestions based on my experience.


Seed Starting: The Baggie Method

In addition to the starting seeds using a Ghetto Greenhouse you can also start your seeds using the "Baggie Method." Starting from seed using the Baggie Method is a simpler and perhaps cheaper alternative to making your own mini-greenhouses. You won't need soil or containers to start with, what you will need is a plastic sandwich bag (reusable) and some paper towels. From experience I'd recommend using the thickest paper towel you can afford, I suppose you could also use newsprint but only the black and white section of your newspaper. Instead of throwing away those paper towels you may use to dry your hands- set them aside and use them with this method.


Plant Propagation: Succulents by leaf cuttings

Over on the Cacti & Succulent forum I participate in the questions on how to propagate succulents comes up often. And like a lot of things that have to do with gardening it seems to be shrouded in mystery for the beginner and even for some people who have experience with growing houseplants.

I made it onto GardenVoices

I just spent the evening catching up on some movie watching and decided to surf the internet because I have no desire to fall asleep. Imagine my surprise when I see that I'm on GardenVoices...well sort of. A few posts below I blogged that video I found on YouTube of that man attempting to eat a Cacti and it was reblogged by Gardening Tips 'n' Ideas which was then reblogged by OldRoses onto GardenVoices.

and that's why the internet and blogs are such a great thing. One person sees something of interest and then other people notice it and pass it around until everyone has seen it. Now if I could only find a video of a Barak Obama trying to snort a Christmas Cactus during his college years and maybe I could be internet famous. Thanks for the link to my post in your entry Stuart.


How I roll.

I came across a post on the GW houseplant forum asking how many multiples of the same plant did people have in their collections. Off of the top of my head I have:

Adenium Obesum: 8
Euphorbia Obesa: 6
Ceropegia Woodii: 2
Echeveria: 6
Gasteria: 3
Schlumbergera: 5
Orchid Cactus: 2

Other Houseplants
Amaryllis bulbs: 9
African Violet: 3

Perennials/ Bulbs
Allium: 2 (Schubertii, Cernum)
Tulips: 3 (Queen of Night, Flaming Parrot and various X)
Echinacea: 4 (White Swan, Magnus, Tom Thumb, Double Decker)
Heuchera: 2 (Crimson Curls, Heuchera X 'Crown Jewels')
Hemerocallis: 3 ('Fairy Tale Pink' 'Siloam Fairy Tale' and various X)

Tender Bulbs/tubers
Gloriosa Superba: 4
Zantedeschia: 6
Colocasia: 5
Vood Lily: 6

I'm sure there are more but I can't think of many now. Are there some plants that you really like and have more than one or one variety growing?

Blogging Tip

If your curious about who links to your blog you can do a search on Google by typing in link:(your url here) and it should display sites that link to you. If I start the url with www I get no results but if I remove them I get results displaying some of the links here. I came across this link to my blog, but I have no idea what they're saying. But I'm thinking the laughing and eye roll emoticon aren't a good thing.



Garden Sedum Self-Propagation In The Garden

Propagating existing plants in your garden is the easiest way of expanding your garden. Sometimes, the propagation of plants just happens on its own. When this happens in my garden it is almost as if someone is issuing me a reminder as a reminder that gardening isn't rocket dentistry.
Perennial garden sedum rooting from stem

In the fall of 2006 I purchased a perennial sedum for the garden and it was trampled. Instead of picking up the pieces and throwing them I just turned some soil over on them and forgot about the broken pieces of the plant. In April 2007 while doing some spring cleaning in the garden, I happened to unearth one of the stems as I laid on the ground watching some bugs go back and forth through the garden.

One Cacti, one idiot.

Here's a video from YouTube of a very stupid man attempting to eat a Cactus as if it was an apple. My favorite thing about this video on YouTube is the comment by Kostomike who says; " I feel bad for the cactus. What did it do to deserve that?" LOL.


This blog is "burning"

Well I like many other bloggers have made the switch to the new Blogger and I have to say I really love how easy it is to use. The drag and drop features are a thing of beauty for someone like me who couldn't build a site if my life depended on it. My big pet peeve with Blogger is that they didn't introduce multi-profile blogs under one dash board with this upgrade. But I guess I can live with it.

I also joined the Google Co-op and started up the customized search engine Google for Gardeners. I hope to make it into a great resource for finding information by people who have sites/blogs/podcasts about gardening. I'm tired of looking for information and having most of my results being retail related. So I'm weeding out retail sites and keeping it mostly restricted to sites by the little guys. If you know of a site that fits that description feel free to contact me or leave me a message letting me know about them so I can add it. You can also feel free to link Google for Gardeners from your site/blog and encourage other people to use it.

But I think the best update I made was signing up with FeedBurner. If you're a blogger or podcaster or admin-you have to sign up. It's a free service that helps with the distribution of your content and collects info on your subscribers. I learned about it by seeing the chicklet on other blogs and got curious so I signed up. Seeing as how I'm not very tech-savvy I'm surprised with how painlessly I have been able to take advantage of the tools they provide. Today I was looking at the statistics on the FeedBurner dashboard and was noticing that I had visits to my humble gardening blog from Canada, the UK and Trinidad-Tobago. The other day I noticed that someone from Australia and India had been to my gardening blog and I was curious about how they got here. I was about to sign up with Bravenet to get some site statistics when I saw the update on a blog from a FeedBurner employee informing us that they were now going to offer stats for free.

This is probably starting to sound like a bad infomercial but it's not. If you're a blogger you need to get Feedburner. It's free and the info is easy to understand and the staff that I've seen answering questions on their help forum is always pleasant, plus I've noticed that some of them are from Chicago-so they can't be bad guys.

I hadn't noticed, really.

Parts of U.S. experience warm winter

By TARA BURGHART, Associated Press Writer Thu Jan 4, 6:24 PM ET
CHICAGO - Crocuses are pushing out of the ground in New Jersey. Ice fishing tournaments in Minnesota are being canceled for lack of ice. And golfers are hitting the links in Chicago in January. Much of the Midwest and the East Coast are going through a remarkably warm winter, with temperatures running 10 and 20 degrees higher than normal in many places.
(click the post title to read the whole story)



About a week and a half ago I noticed that a few of my bulbs in my garden had begun to break through the soil surface- so I took this photo. The bizarre warm temperatures we've been experiencing here in Chicago this winter has tricked them and they've begun to sprout.

Gardeners in the suburbs and Indiana had been reporting the same thing on the Gardenweb forums and I just saw a post on the CL garden forum from a person in Long Island who has Hyacinth bulbs breaking.

It got me curious so I called the U of I Extension number and spoke to Nancy Pollard. She seemed a little surprise to hear that I had bulbs sprouting in Chicago already.

I asked what course of action she would recommend and she said that mulching would be an option to help protect them when winter finally arrives for good. But with mulching there is the possibility that you could do damage . You see the growth we have now is being fueled by the bulb's reserves that it collected during the last growing season. If you mulch or cover the bulbs to protect any green growth now, you're prohibiting the bulb for collecting energy for the next growing season.

If these bulbs continue to grow and start to flower and then winter finally arrives they will suffer damage that we'll notice in the '08 growing season. If your bulbs are sprouting now it's better to just let them be because they're strong enough to survive cold temperatures when they finally get there. Chances are that they'll flower in Spring but if there are any negative effects it will most likely be little to no blooms in a year.

Nancy Pollard recommends to just let nature take it course and hope for better luck next year.

Lincoln Park Conservatory

The Lincoln Park Conservatory is located right next to Lincoln Park Zoo and is an oasis in the middle of the city. It was constructed in stages between 1890 and 1895 to showcase exotic plants and to grow plants that were needed for the park. Jospeh L. Silsbee
in collaboration with architect M.E Bell built the Conservatory at a time when
people were fascinated with plants, insects and their classification.

Take a walk in either of the four houses; The Palm House, Fern Room, Orchid House and Show House and be transported to another time when
these plants were not easily available to the public in retail. To really appreciate the setting and plants put yourself in the shoes of someone from the era as you walk through and wonder about the exotic locales the plants originate from.

The Lincoln Park Conservatory's lush interior is one of my favorite places in the city to take a break from our winters. Admission to the Conservatory is free and it's open from 9am-5pm. In the summer it may be busy because of it's
proximity to the Lincoln Park Zoo but it's never so busy that your enjoyment
of it will be an issue. My favorite times as early in the morning or early afternoon when most of the people you'll encounter will be the occasional nanny pushing a stroller.

It's easily accessible by CTA if you ride the #151 or #156 bus. If you take the #22 or #36 it's a short walk east of Clark and it's near North Michigan Avenue's popular spots like the Water Tower Mall.

Lincoln Park Conservatory
2391 N. Stockton Dr
Chicago, IL 60614
Phone: 312-742-7736


Seed Starting: Ghetto Greenhouse

Growing from seed can be rewarding and a cost effective way of expanding your garden. Depending on the plants it can often times be cheaper than buying a plant at your local garden center. While big box stores can be cheaper than buying at a specialty nursery sometimes the variety of plants can leave a lot to be desired. To avoid the "McGarden" look, acquire seeds; on-line, through catalogs, seed exchanges and the seed rack of your favorite store and start them yourself.