chicago botanic garden‘s orchid show

Sun’s out so I headed north to the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Orchid Show. And show it was. Petaly, perfumy magic.

Admission when you factor in parking is kind of spendy ($34 for nonmembers), but it would be hard, not to mention exceptionally expensive, to recreate the experience, so I gladly paid up.

lula-ing at lula cafe

In the heart of Chicago’s Logan Square is the prettiest of places. Lula Café. I call it Lula for short.

Lula opened its doors more than 20 years ago. I remember it when I lived in Logan in 2000. (Wow, I’m old.) My boyfriend at the time was friends with one of the owners, Amalea. Lula was a comfy spot for eats and still is, all these years later.

I darted in this afternoon to get a bite, just as it started snowing outside. I was secretly thrilled to be back.

Snowy afternoons are made for places like Lula. And coffee.

pretty is as pretty does

Flowers are my church, I’ve decided. Don’t mistake me, I like non-flowering plants a lot, but flowers? Their beauty inspires.

A week ago I mentioned to one of my Chicago friends that the camellia trees in the backyard of my old house in Jackson, Mississippi, should be blooming by now. Yesterday I found these beauties at Garfield Park Conservatory.

Pretty is as pretty does.

the sweden shop in north center

In Chicago’s North Center neighborhood you’ll find a little bit of Sverige (Sweden). The Sweden Shop on W. Foster is one of my favorite go-tos for gifts and Swedish candies.

The Sweden Shop Chicago Illinois North Center neighborhood

Swedes are pretty serious about fika, as evidenced by this wall of colorful mugs.

The Sweden Shop Chicago Illinois North Center neighborhood Fika

You can also score different Scandinavian fabrics if sewing is your thing. God Jul (merry Christmas) to all.

The Sweden Shop Chicago Illinois North Center neighborhood

handle with caution

One of my favorite Chicago haunts is the Garfield Park Conservatory on Central Park just north of Lake Street. It has an Aroid House, which is a large room containing all sorts of aroids, spiky plants belonging to the Araceae family.

Plant size and form vary considerably.

Bunny Ears Cactus. Notice the tiny white clusters of glochids.

Yellow Tower.

Aeonium.

Golden Barrel Cactus.

And Queen Victoria Agave.

Admire with ease, but handle with caution.