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.
Golden Barrel Cactus.
And Queen Victoria Agave.
Admire with ease, but handle with caution.
Last week’s snow put the octane in trees dropping their leaves. This weekend a neighbor’s ginkgo biloba dropped most of hers.
The aftermath is kind of pretty. Piles and piles of leaves shaped like tiny green fans.
Uncharacteristic (I think) for late October in Illinois: snow and more snow. I promised myself I’d try to find beauty even when the flowers were gone. And found this shrub coated in snow. The snowy orb conjures a cotton boll from the Delta. (At least I think it does. And one of my dear readers, Judy from Corinth, Mississippi, does too.)
Autumn seems a quieter season than summer. Not as many people enjoying the outdoors. But colorful leaves–we have those in abundance.
Early autumn in the Midwest is prettier than I remembered. Maple and oak tree leaves have started to turn, and the result is dappled shades of orange and yellow.
Late, late summer is a study, perhaps quiet riot, of pastels.
A pale pink Cosmo with a fiery looking cone.
Mint green leafy things.
And more pale pink with a spot of honeybee amber and black.
Trees, shrubs, and ground cover are more interesting than I give them credit for. These white pine needles resemble a July 4th fireworks show.
This shrub’s colors move from evergreen to a frosty blue grey.
And then this ground cover is just so fun. The stems look like spring action toys–if you pushed on them, they would spring right back.