Garden Design · Garden Musings · Perennials · Shrubs · Trees

Winter at Chicago Botanic Garden – A Poem

Carolus Linnaeus Statue at Chicago Botanic Garden

A walk through the Chicago Botanic Garden is always joyful. My latest stroll inspired a poem. If poetry is not ‘your thing’, I hope you’ll enjoy the photos. The garden is beautiful in winter!

A Garden’s Beauty in Winter 

It’s easy for a garden
To impress and look awesome
When, in summer, it’s full
Of foliage and blossoms.

The true test of the beauty
Of a garden’s design
Is revealed in the winter
When form and structure align.

Espalier at Chicago Botanic Garden

When vines that are trained
In a lovely espalier
Expose their bare branches,
Their pattern’s displayed.

Cotoneaster at Chicago Botanic Garden

Weeping Beech at Chicago Botanic Garden

The shape of shrubs and of trees
With branches that weep
Add beauty and grace
While the garden’s asleep.

Herb Garden at Chicago Botanic Garden

A garden of herbs in the summer
Grows fervently and overflows
Hiding the fence made of branches.
In winter, its construction shows.

Vegetable Garden at Chicago Botanic Garden

The beds in the vegetable garden
Sit quiet, but not silent.
Tales of plants, past and future, are told.
Be still and hear their soundless riot.

The color in a winter garden
May not be bold and flamboyant
Like the purples and oranges of summer.
But there IS color waiting for your enjoyment.

Berries on Ilex verticillata

Berries on hollies are dazzling red
So you don’t need to be blue.
Songbirds don’t eat them first.
And instead, leave the color for you.

Pachysandra in Winter at Chicago Botanic Garden

Ivy and Pachysandra are as green as can be
Joining the juniper, pine, and the spruce.
Sometimes we forget and need winter’s reminder.
That green’s a color in the landscape, too.

Yellow Twig Dogwood at Chicago Botanic Garden

Red Twig Dogwood at Chicago Botanic Garden

Branches of dogwoods some yellow, some red
Are exclamation points of bold color
They shout, “Look at me!”
And, “Come closer to see my allure.”

Pennisetum alopecuroides at Chicago Botanic Garden

Ornamental Grasses at Chicago Botanic Garden

Ornamental grasses add color and movement
And give the landscape some texture.
Their blades of beige and gentle rustling sound
Give a gardener in winter such pleasure.

Hydrangea with Dried Flowers at Chicago Botanic Garden

And flowers, sure there are flowers
And seed heads to enhance to the scene.
Remember to save some pruning ‘til spring
For a winter landscape that’s keen.

Public gardens are loaded with ideas on improving the design of your winter landscape. Take a walk through a public garden near you, taking photos and jotting down notes. Then, get ready to garden with me!

6 thoughts on “Winter at Chicago Botanic Garden – A Poem

  1. I have only been to this garden one time. There is so much to see. I love seeing the bones in the garden. A lot of inspiration here. I enjoyed your ode to the garden as well as the photos. I want a wall in my garden. This post revs up my wanting to needing.

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