Friday Afternoon At Chicago Botanic Garden

With the Windy City living up to its name and the cool air settling in as fall approaches, I was beginning to think I wouldn’t be able to do much exploring. I thought this until I saw my mom on an impromptu trip to Denver and was relieved to accept my snow boots, red rain coat, and purple down jacket. Now that I can layer with leggings and multiple outwear options, I’m no longer afraid to take on the chilly weather, until I heard the wind wailing outside my bedroom window the night before I decided to head out on a long journey to Glencoe, Illinois and see the Chicago Botanic Garden. Although I debated, I told myself this may be my last chance before the snow hits, and luckily I didn’t listen to my doubts. Walking through the curvy pathways, I found this garden has its own delightful characteristics I’m glad the weather didn’t deter me from experiencing, even if gusts of wind did occasionally stop me for a moment.


Chili Peppers

Outside the Enda Kanaley Graham Bulb Garden.

Within this 385-acre garden I found more than flowers and botanicals. One of my first and favorite stops was in the Regenstein Fruit and Vegetable Garden where just about everything I’ve found at my local grocery store was growing. Looking through the nearly four acres of kale, green onions, and lettuce, I begin to think about a possible Pinterest recipe until I notice an orchard behind an arch with climbing branches and I decide to wander past possible dinner items. Making a full circle through the orchard back to the vegetable garden, I find what I admire most about this section: encouraging people to compost, plant their own garden (if only herbs in their kitchen), and quick and easy steps to store and use herbs for baking and salad dressings. I never expected a garden to foster independence in cooking.

Elizabeth Huber Malott Japanese Gardens

Elizabeth Hubert Malott Japanese Gardens 2
Another favorite section of mine was the Elizabeth Hubert Malott Japanese Garden, and although I’ve been to many Japanese Gardens, including the one in Portland, this one was nothing short of impressive. Across the lake, carefully trimmed trees and shrubs decorate the small islands. Each element is carved and shaved with care to represent the style and meaning in a traditional Japanese garden. I can’t help but feel the sense of balance and harmony as I make way through each section and appreciate it for its own unique sense of character. Even a gust of occasional wind can’t throw off my sense of tranquility as I wander through the shrubbery.

Lake (L)
Upon leaving the Chicago Botanic Garden, I’m amazed to see how much time I’ve spent here. Although I only expected to spend a couple of hours, I ended up using much more time and recommend you schedule plenty of time to explore each section the gardens have to offer. What I ended up enjoying best, was not only the different sections, but the use of natural and native plants in Illinois. Throughout the Chicago Botanic Garden, there was always a way of encouraging locals to use native plants around their homes and an appreciation of preserving the natural flowers, plants, and grasses in Illinois. While I’ve gained admiration for various plant species from visiting many gardens, this was one in particular that actually emphasized the importance of local natural varieties. Since I’ve always admired the preservation of cultures, why not preserve local wildlife too? It’s a perspective I’m glad I didn’t let the wind deter me from observing.

This post is a part of #WednesdayWanderlust hosted by My Brown Paper PackagesOutdoor Wednesday hosted by A Southern Daydreamer, and Travel Photo Thursday hosted by Budget Travelers Sandbox, Budget Travel Talk, Tanama Tales, and Rachel’s Ruminations.


Outdoor Wednesday

Budget Travelers Sandbox


  1. Courtney

    Gorgeous pictures!! I’m so jealous that you got to spend the afternoon exploring the Botanic Garden!

  2. banglesandbungalows

    Beautiful photos! I drove by our botanical gardens recently and realized its been years since I’ve visited. I should really go before the weather gets too cold. You’ve inspired me!

    xx Yasmin

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I’m excited I could inspire you! Let me know how your visit goes.

  3. The February Fox

    I absolutely adore this garden. I spent time there several years ago (they had a beautiful Chihuly exhibit at the time), but I hadn’t seen the Japanese Garden. How breathtaking!

    The February Fox

    • brooklyntvlasich

      There was so much more to see than I expected. I’m glad I took the time to explore as much as possible.

  4. Gemma

    Wow such a pretty garden. I would love to go to a place like this. Gemma xx

  5. henatayeb

    oh wow how beautiful

  6. Annessa

    I had no idea there was such beautiful spaces in Chicago! Amazing!


  7. dayinmydreams

    love how they made the food look so pretty! I’d love to do a landscape garden with edibles only

    • brooklyntvlasich

      That sounds like a fantastic idea! I hope to have my own garden someday too.

  8. Danielle

    The Japanese Garden is really beautiful! I would love to visit it. Have a nice evening!


  9. The Bandwagon Chic

    The place looks like a paradise.
    Lovin the shots as well

    The Bandwagon Chic | Instagram | Bloglovin | Snapchat: bandwagonchic

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Thanks! I had a wonderful time at the gardens and I’m glad I made the trek out there.

  10. Shikha (whywasteannualleave)

    These gardens look so pretty and the colours are so vibrant that it’s hard to even imagine the weather was so chilly and windy!

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Hi Shikha,
      It definitely doesn’t look like it’s cold and windy, which was what made my visit enjoyable! Glad you enjoyed my post. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. RobRob @TravelLatte(.net)

    Great photos! We’re usually in Chicago once or twice a year, at least ,but somehow still haven’t seen the Botanic Garden! Next time, for sure. (Famous last words!) Love the photos – thanks for sharing! #WednesdayWanderlust

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I hope you get to see the Botanic Garden for your own eyes someday soon! Definitely worth the visit. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  12. enockglidden

    WOW amazing pictures. I traveled west from Maine a few months ago and stopped for a conference in Chicago. I planned to go the gardens but didn’t have the chance. After seeing this I think I need to stop on my way back in October.

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I hope you do! I loved these gardens and would definitely re-visit. It was beautiful and it looks like there’s fun activities year-round!

  13. budgettraveltalk

    Public and botanical gardens are an excellent way of getting to know a city and such a welcome reprieve from city life too. Japanese gardens are always so peaceful. 🙂

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I completely agree! I’m always thrilled to visit gardens whenever I get the chance. Their tranquility helps me refocus.

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