Category Archives: Chicago Botanic Gardens

In Love with Autumn

Hello!  Hello!  Hello! 🙂  I hope you’ve had a beautiful week and weekend!  I made my week busy by choosing to spend lots of time outside soaking up this autumnal season.  I spent two days at the Chicago Botanic Gardens and one day exploring a new to me forest preserve.  I feel quite rested and rejuvenated.

Below photo is from the “new” forest preserve.

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And the photo below was taken in the Rose Garden at the Chicago Botanic Gardens.

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However, even though I spent so much time outdoors, I did get a bit of knitting done this past week.  I am working on two more sweater dresses for the Little Darlings.  I think I am addicted to sweater dresses for my girls.  Anyone else feel the same about sweater dresses?  I DO LOVE them!  I keep knitting more and more!

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The green one is almost finished–only a few more rows.  I am using my Sweater Dress pattern, but changed it up by making a wide garter neckline to look Santa-like.  The hemline will have a “fur” band also.  A Santa hat will most likely be in order for this one.

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The pretty blue (love this shade of blue) sweater dress has long sleeves (my first for a Little Darling sweater dress) and narrow “fur” trim at the edges.  I blocked the first sleeve right after it was completed, and while it was still flat.

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I am liking these two so much–getting excited for them to be completed.  I hope to soon be rid of the ‘sweater dress making bug’ and do some sewing of Christmas dresses (with cardigans or capes, of course) next.  You’ve seen my pile of Christmas fabrics; they really need some attention.

We have lots of small lakes around here and many of our forest preserves include paths around them.

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This one had a boat launch, fishing pier, and lookout points at different spots around the lake.  There were some lookout areas with large flat rocks that I thought would be nice for taking pictures of my dolls.

I don’t have any little ones, but for those that do the playground here looks like a lot of fun.  I love the super huge frog, turtle, and beaver.  My daughter is taking a herpetology class (study of amphibians) so the frog and turtle are quite timely.  (I sent her photos. 😉 )

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I wonder if at some time lightening hit this tree.  Regardless, it had a nice sculptural quality to it, so I took a photo of it.

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Of course you know I cannot resist photographing mushrooms.

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My two visits to the Chicago Botanic Gardens were a little different.  My first visit on Monday was spent exploring my favorite gardens:  English Walled, Japanese, Rose, Heritage to name a few.  Then, on Thursday I dropped my daughter off for her one class and her choir practice and then drove to the gardens for a few hours.  This time I decided to walk the perimeter of the entire place to go through the prairie, around the test greenhouses and test science center.  I felt like I was ‘behind the scenes’ at some points.

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I discovered the McDonald Woods which are in the process of being restored.  At the entrance is a shelter with a fireplace.  It looked like it had been used and there was a log in it.  So cute!

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While walking around the perimeter, I found myself on the other side of the Japanese Garden islands.  I’ve often seen people sitting on the benches here and wondered how they got over there.  Now I know how.

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Flowers are still blooming here.  Lots of mums and asters everywhere.

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Not sure what the blossoms below are called–do you know?  They seem to be some sort of fall flowering bulb?

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And in my own back yard I still have flowers as the frost stayed away from the house.

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Today, it is sunny and warm–so beautiful!  Even though the temperature is warm the look of the landscape is changing–gone are the deep greens which are being replaced by golds, oranges, reds, and browns.

How is autumn shaping up where you live?

Thank you for stopping by today.  Enjoy the week ahead! ❤

 

Busy Bee Week

Hi there! ❤  How’s the new season treating you?  It’s day 3 of autumn over here in northern Illinois.  The weather has been bee-utiful!  Not one single complaint do I have!

After an early morning yoga class on Monday I did not feel like heading home.  It was a gorgeous day and I was very close to the Chicago Botanic Gardens.  We are a member, so parking is free and there is no entrance fee so why not stop by for a little while, right?  (BTW, I ended up staying for more than a little while)  It was great!

I took some photos to document the first day of fall 2019.  The roses in the Rose Garden were still blooming profusely and their scent was heavenly.

The only trees I noticed that had begun to change were in the Rose Garden.

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Speaking of bee-utiful!  How about this busy bee!  He seemed to love the roses as much as I did.  There were ‘zillions’ of busy bees all over the many roses.

The hutch in the English Walled Garden has showcased grape hyacinths, geraniums, succulents, and now violas throughout the 2019 season.  These violas are definitely my favorites.  I love these tiny pansy-like blossoms so much.  The basic variety reseeds in my (neglected) garden each year.  I’d love to have all of these color combinations. *sigh*

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Here are a few more photos I took at the gardens.  Still looks quite summery, right?

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While there I had lunch outdoors and did some sock knitting too.  One of the specials that day was Mushroom (sorry, Terri) Leek Flatbread.  It was a treat and very yummy! I wish you all could have joined me!

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Yesterday I got Amelia Thimble’s Sweater Dress Extension pattern published.  It’s in my Ravelry shop.

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As I was writing my blog post on Monday morning I noticed how the sunrise hit some of the trees in the backyard.  They looked like they had begun turning color, but that’s the sunshine hitting them.  So enchanting!  I love early mornings.

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Today wasn’t my most productive.  I had an appointment at the hospital which left me feeling quite tired afterwards.  Everything is fine, but it’s quite a long drive and just stressful in general going there.  I did manage to get this post written though. 🙂  And I am glad I did; it was so very nice visiting with you! ❤  Thank you for stopping by!

I’m hoping tomorrow is back to full steam ahead.

Summer is Here!

Happy Summertime my friends!  It doesn’t quite feel like summer yet, but our calendar says it is.  We still continue to have lots of sunless and rainy days.  Now that summer has begun I hope the weather improves.  Today looks promising, finger crossed…

Tuesday was a perfect day to be outside–no wind, no rain, some sun (not too bright), and warm temps.  Since posting pictures of color inspiration for my yellow Little Darling sweater dress I have been struggling to find genuine desire to actually do the work.  The weather on Tuesday was exactly what I needed; it was a pleasure to work outside.  I didn’t finish the dress, but it’s almost there.

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An organic farm near us sets up their stand on Friday afternoons.  Last Friday they had put together these peony bouquets mixed with lupines and a white allium.  The peonies smelled wonderful!  The entire bouquet lasted a week, and is still giving us a bit of magic–the smaller peony buds have started to open.

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Yesterday my husband and I visited the Chicago Botanic Gardens… yes, again.  I wanted to see the roses in their first bloom… and they were blooming like crazy.  There were roses, roses everywhere–all varieties and all colors.

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The English Walled Garden was as peaceful and beautiful as always.

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The fountains, which had not been going the last time we visited, were now serenading us and adding to the sights and sounds here.

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This hydrangea was growing around the tree you can see in the photo above.  I thought it was interesting.

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After walking through a few of the gardens we had lunch in the cafe.  I ordered an Ancient Grains Bowl; garbanzo beans, quinoa, cranberries, broccoli,  farro (I think), fresh spinach, and poppyseed dressing made up this yummy bowl.

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Well, the day still looks promising here in northern Illinois.  That’ll mean two days in a row of relatively sunny weather–must be a new record for 2019!

I hope the sun is shining where you are.  Enjoy your day!  Thank you for stopping by.