I heart Chicago in the springtime



Lurie Gardens, by Baron Reznik, Flickr.

You’ve read the appetizer version of the Chicago Spring Fling bloggers meet-up May 29-31, henceforth to be known as CSF09. Soon it will be time to commit, as final hotel arrangements are solidified, so I thought I’d share some of the highlights that are drawing me to this get-together. The meat, as it were. Yeah. Chicago … meat. That sounds right.

Mainly, of course, this is about hanging around with fellow garden bloggers, and if you don’t see the unique benefits of that, nothing I can say will convince you. I will say that last year’s Austin get-together allowed to me to see the faces and real personalities behind the blogs; it was fascinating, and started relationships that have persevered and grown since last April, so much so that I am now calling many fellow bloggers friends—after having met them face-to-face just once. Chicago will surely instigate another such chain reaction.


In terms of horticultural sightseeing, the schedule is not yet completed, but two obvious highlights so far are a Friday afternoon visit to an amazing conifer nursery, Rich’s Foxwillow Pines. Basically, we’re talking 6 acres of gorgeous rare conifers. Sigh. Then, there are the large public spaces, like the Lurie Gardens and the Lincoln Park Conservatory. There are also at least two lovely private gardens, opened just for this tour.

And then .. it’s Chicago. The last time I was there, I skipped out on my conference enough to take the architectural boat tour and grab a quick visit to the Art Institute; fortunately the conference was smart enough to include a couple of fabulous meals.

Springtime in the Midwest will be very different but just as delicious as springtime in Texas; I look forward to seeing it with many of the bloggers I have gotten to know on this site and others.

Thanks to Chicago bloggers Garden Girl, Mr. Brown Thumb, Sweet Home and Garden Chicago, My Skinny Garden, and Mr. McGregor’s Daughter for setting up this get-together!

Previous articleThe Rights of Plants?
Next articleA little book of zingers, bon mots, and other amusing snippets of garden persiflage
Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at yahoo.com


  1. We have a lot to live up to; the Austin bloggers really set the bar high. Of course this time many of us already know each other, so that will change the dynamic for the better, so we’ve got that going for us. I’m nervous & excited, and I hope everyone who comes has a terrific time. This time I’ll make sure I have a brand new photo card & I’m going to take lots of photos of everybody.

  2. I guess I’ll see you guys there too.

    Anyone near Oak Park & want to carpool to Rich’s? Haven’t been there in years, not since he first opened up in the 90’s & would like to see how much bigger everything is – lol.

  3. Thanks for helping spread the word Elizabeth! I’m excited to be part of the planning committee and am really looking forward to meeting everyone in Chicago this spring.

  4. I live in Chicagoland and definitely MISS spring. It’s 11 degrees today and so cold. The area downtown around the Museum campus is beautifully gardened as well and would be a great stop – even Michigan Avenue shopping is wonderful – gardens everywhere. Love it!

Comments are closed.