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Chicago Botanical gardens: waterfalls & roses & perennials

strawchicago
June 27, 2015

I just got back from 5 hours hiking at Chicago Botanical Gardens with 26 different gardens on 385 acres. I took 131 pictures, so I'll post a few per day:

Begin of trip, with hubby carrying an insulated red-bag filled with snacks for the hike, along with 3 large coolers in the car. I over-packed food for the hike ... we were more thirsty than hungry.



Comments (93)

  • strawchicago

    Here's Charles Darwin, a yellow Austin rose. When I had Charles Darwin, the foliage was perfect, zero black spots, just like below, except it was stingy. Looking back, I did wrong, I gave it high nitrogen, and didn't realize that Austin roses need more potassium to bloom. I gave it away, since I was too impatient. I should had waited, Crown Princess Mag. was stingy too, 2 blooms for the 1st year, then it got better with sulfate of potash & gypsum, ended up with 60+ blooms per spring flush in the next few years. Charles Darwin has a fantastic lemony scent, low-thorn, but the color wasn't yellow enough, it's beige & blah in hot sun.

  • strawchicago

    Here's Chicago Peace, looks good after heavy rain:

  • Samuel Adirondack NY 4b5a

    Chicago peace is perfect.

  • strawchicago

    Begonias in the shady garden:

  • strawchicago

    Flower-carpet is so drought and shade-tolerant, that they plant them around a large tree. The sight was awesome. For those who don't water, and who want continuous-blooming, nothing can beat Flower-Carpet:

  • strawchicago

    Minis are cute & drought & hot-sun tolerance due to their China heritage. Here yellow sunblaze mini rose, this is so healthy compared to black spot infested mini Baby Love at the other rose park:

  • strawchicago

    One of the carefree or flowercarpet, not sure, didn't take time to look at the tag. Doesn't shed petals, nor beat-up by heavy rain:

  • strawchicago

    Old Garden Damask rose, Old Garden roses are grown for their fragrances, rather than landscape-show. The blooms are 1/2 their normal size, due to months-long-heavy rain, that leach out nutrients, esp. calcium:

  • strawchicago

    Another Old garden rose, "Empress Josephine", which is the best looking among the bunch. They also have Comte de Chambord, and many others, but this is the best-looking among the OGR.

  • strawchicago

    So glad they don't have Knock-outs at Chicago Botanical gardens, there are so many other landscape roses better than Knock-outs: more winter-hardy, better bush-shape and more rain-resistant. My neighbor has a bunch of Drift-roses bought from Menards for $8 per gallon, they out-perform her many Knock-outs. The Drift-roses have more petals, always in bloom, and don't get shattered by the rain, plus Drift-roses have a wonderful wafting scent, so delicious when I stand by.

  • strawchicago

    More landscape roses. Tons of blooms despite heavy rain. Rain-resistant is the most important characteristic that I would look for in a landscape rose. The pinkish bushes are Flower-Carpet Coral.

  • strawchicago

    Bed of hybrid tea. Tropicana is the orange one, and a bunch others. I like how they keep their hybrid teas short & lots of blooms. Tropicana can get to 7 feet tall, if not pruned.

  • strawchicago

    Bed of Peace rose. When I grew Peace in my last house, of acidic clay. My Peace was beautiful: dark yellow, with pinkish tinge. Chicago Botanical has alkaline loamy soil, so their Peace is lighter yellow.

  • strawchicago

    More Flower Carpet, pink-clusters, mixed with blue-salvia. The sight is breath-taking:

  • strawchicago

    Here's a close-up of Flower-Carpet pink-rose. It's amazing how those tiny-leaves can withstand drought and flood at the same time. My neighbor's Drift-roses have even smaller leaves, and they handle her flooded-area really well. Drift-roses don't have the shiny-glossy foliage of Flower-Carpet, but Drift-roses make up by the drifting-wonderful scent in humid weather. Plus Drift roses have the perfect round-shape, which Knock-outs and Flower-Carpets lack.

  • strawchicago

    This shot shows the irregular, angular shape of Flower-Carpet, best grown where there's vast space. For a limited space, I would choose Drift-rose, which has mini-rose parentage to stay compact & perfect round-shape.

  • strawchicago

    They plant perennial flowers along the walk by the lake, it's a pleasure to stroll with a nice breeze blowing across the lake.

  • msdorkgirl

    Thank you straw for the pictures of flower carpet ... is it always in bloom? The last pic in particular, with combination of the purples, yellows, and the water is really worthy of being a screen saver :)

    strawchicago thanked msdorkgirl
  • strawchicago

    YES FLOWER CARPET IS ALWAYS IN BLOOM. My coral flower carpet blooms a month-earlier than Knock-out in early spring, and ends when hard frost come, right after Thanksgiving. Drift-roses are always in bloom since it's rain-resistant like Flower-Carpet, but Knock-out pauses in between. Knock-out are NOT as hardy as Flower-carpet, thus later to bloom in summer.

    The ducks are lovely. We witnessed a crane caught a fish and swallow it, too bad I could not capture with my camera, it happened so fast.

  • strawchicago

    close up of ducks:

  • strawchicago

    One of the many waterfalls:

  • strawchicago

    A very old, more than one hundred-year bonsai:

  • strawchicago

    Hot & dry with cactus greenhouse:

  • strawchicago

    The most romantic place: Overhanging baskets of begonias, balcony that overlooks a lake:

  • strawchicago

    Steps leading away from the English Wall Garden:

  • strawchicago

    More waterfalls, plus a bench to enjoy them:

  • strawchicago

    Chicago Botanical has loamy soil, so Flower Carpet Coral is perfect for them. Their polyanthas like Marie Pavie is only 1/4 the size compared to my Marie pavie in heavy-clay. Polyanthas do better in alkaline clay. I give my Marie Pavie dolimitic lime, rather than gypsum, since it likes alkaline. Flower Carpet doesn't look good stand alone, due to their irregular shape, but they are fantastic combined with other annuals. Picture taken after month-long of heavy & constant rain:

  • strawchicago

    Duchess de Brahan, an Old Garden Rose, is a stand-out, Not much scent though.

  • strawchicago

    Getrude Jekyll, a VERY THORNY Austin Rose, was disappointing in look and scent. Perhaps the heavy rain washed away the scent, but Betty White was STILL fabulous in scent.

  • strawchicago

    Here's a Damask rose that folks praise for its beauty. But it looked like hell with heavy rain: blooms are 1/2 the size & shattered. Perhaps not enough calcium & magnesium in loamy soil:

  • strawchicago

    Here's Gold Medallion, beat up by the rain. I would do landscape roses like Flower Carpet, just to have a good show despite heavy rain.

  • strawchicago

    Forget the name of this one, but it's NOT Chicago peace. it's bigger & more petals than Chicago Peace. It's one of the French Meilland roses (glossy & dark foliage).

  • strawchicago

    They have a floral arrangement show, too many to take pics, plus my kid & her friend start touching them and messing them up, so I had to leave:

  • msdorkgirl

    I love flower arrangement shows, they are so interesting in the materials they used. Thank you for sharing these Straw! I'll be going to the garden next week so will share what I can on this side of the world too.

    strawchicago thanked msdorkgirl
  • jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

    Breathtaking photo Straw! Thanks for sharing!

    What vendors sell Flower Carpet roses?

  • Samuel Adirondack NY 4b5a

    Beautiful park. It looks like so much fun.

  • strawchicago

    HomeDepot sells FlowerCarpet early spring, they are sold-out fast, since they are loaded with blooms in the pot. Lowe's also sells them early spring, sold-out fast. My neighbor wants FlowerCarpet after she saw mine bloomed 1 month ahead of Knock-out in early spring. She went to all the stores in early June, but they were sold out. Best time is mid-April to shop for Flower-Carpet.

    Chamblee carries Drift-roses, many petals & smaller bushes, but Drift-roses are susceptible to mildew ... Drift has "matte" foliage, and isn't glossy like FlowerCarpet. What I like about FlowerCarpet is low-thorn, just tiny prickles spaced very wide-apart.

  • jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

    From looking online I see Drift Roses are easier to find.

    If I can ever find Flower Carpet I might try a couple. Wish they were easier to find though...

    Wonder why? You think Flower Carpet would be sold everywhere and be much easier to find....

  • strawchicago

    Jim: Lowe's nearby your PA has FlowerCarpet on-line cheaper than my place: at $25 for 2-gallon FlowerCarpet, compared to $27 in my Chicagoland, see link below:

    Flower Carpet sold at Lowe's

  • jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

    Our nearest Lowes is in Altoona Pa. Clearfield Pa is quite a distance from here...

  • strawchicago

    Here's a link on Flowercarpet discussion. folks say insects have no interest, that includes spider mites, Jap. Beetles, and rose slugs. I agree, JB attack my red Knock-outs 1st, and not much on Flower Carpet Coral. Folks say Walmart and HomeDepot carry that. Yes, I got mine at HomeDepot, and I saw them at Walmart early May.

    http://forums2.gardenweb.com/discussions/1669035/flower-carpet-roses

  • strawchicago

    I like how Chicago Botanical Garden mingle rose-beds with evergreens, so it's not bare in the winter.

  • strawchicago thanked Khalid Waleed (zone 9b Isb)
  • jessjennings0 zone 10b

    I only 'discovered' this forum now...what amazing photo's and what an amazing garden...it is spectacular...


    I love 'Souvenir de la Malmaison' most... :-)


    and all those fountains...what a paradise....

    strawchicago thanked jessjennings0 zone 10b
  • strawchicago

    Bumped up this thread to see the Dark Lady as grafted on Dr. Huey early June at Chicago Botanical Garden. It's so small !! That's why I took the Dark Lady OFF MY BUY-LIST ... since as own-root, it would be like a mini-rose in my zone 5a.

    Austin roses are much smaller as own-root. Here's a rating of OWN-ROOT Austin roses for warm climate Texas:

    http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1054489/

    MiniPonyFarmer Gilmer, TX(Zone 8b) Nov 12, 2009

    Of the David Austins I have had, here are my favorites:
    HERITAGE
    TRADESCANT
    GOLDEN CELEBRATION
    ABRAHAM DARBY
    SOPHY'S ROSE
    THE DARK LADY

    These are ones I would not buy again:
    Glamis Castle (blackspot)
    Charles Darwin (fades too much)
    Molineux (puny)
    Portmeirion (really puny)

  • Anna

    Straw: you had amazing hike. I love those unnamed bright red roses. I had Tropicana, it didn't bloom much here and has no scent.

    strawchicago thanked Anna
  • jabubaoski

    Hi Straw,

    Just as a counterpoint to MiniPony from TX, Molineux own root for me in a pot in Zone 7 NY is big, bigger than DA’s indication of 3x3. I planted my defoliated gallon pot the last week of June, it is now about 4 feet tall 3 feet wide. Its home is 14” diameter and 17” tall, my best guess is it’s a bit less than 10 gallon, it will be upgraded to a 15 gallon in the spring. I am so pleasantly surprised by its performance I am itching to add more DAs!

    Any recommendations for “mannerly” climbers (DA or otherwise)? I had asked Vaporvac on another thread because she trains a few DAs to climb. As you know my roses have to live in pots (I will find 30-40 gallon size), so a more vigorous climber will be very unhappy.

    Thanks for bumping up this thread so I can find it! The pix are beautiful. The Chicago Botanical Garden looks wonderful and well kept. Unlike the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, I was sad when I went 2 weeks ago, the rose garden looked neglected - some bushes completely defoliated, most looked in dire need of some TLC.

    strawchicago thanked jabubaoski
  • strawchicago

    Jabubaoski: Annie L. McDowell was a constant-bloomer when I grew it in a pot, except canes are stiff and spreading & need support. Renae is more flexible ... both are thornless, great scent.

    For red: Falstaff is stingy on folks, but Tess is a better bloomer, but both are thorny. Nur Mahal is a thornless red climber (it's a hybrid musk so will take partial shade), see below:

    http://www.helpmefind.com/gardening/l.php?l=2.4507.1&tab=36

    Will update this post after I search for Val's thread of THORNLESS roses in her hot & sandy soil.

  • jabubaoski

    Thanks Straw! I was looking at soft colors as I'm adding Nahema, the sidings of the roof are copper color, red may not work too great with the scheme and extra prickly is definitely no good.

    I'm learning that flexible canes is a big deal, even for shrubs, my 2 Kordes Fijis are rigorous and healthy (same age and size but doesn't bloom 1/4 of Molineux) , yet the stiff canes get snapped by rain/wind. They are dutifully staked but the stiffness makes the cane brittle, such a trait would be horrible for a climber in training.

    strawchicago thanked jabubaoski
  • totoro z7b Md

    Thanks for posting! I was always wondering about the difference between flower carpet and Drift.

    strawchicago thanked totoro z7b Md

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