Monday, November 7, 2011

University of Illinois Gardens and Arboretum - Part One


The second day of our visit with Chris and Mindy Tidrick in Champaign, Ill., dawned bright and warm - a perfect day for a walk in the woods. That's exactly what we had planned before heading back home. The University of Illinois has several lovely gardens, as well as an arboretum. I really looked forward to seeing it all, especially with a fellow gardener like Chris.

I took over one hundred photos that day, so I'll share the gardens' photos today and the arboretum tomorrow.

The first garden, and probably my favorite was the Japanese Garden surrounding Japan House. These types of gardens are never full of much color besides green, except maybe in fall when the maples are blazing, but the feeling of calm that they evoke is powerful as you stroll through them. There's almost a reverent feeling and I find myself talking quietly, in hushed tones. These gardens elicit respect somehow.

Japanese Garden









Just outside the Japanese Garden was a beautiful specimen of one of
my favorite shrubs, beautyberry (Callicarpa americana).


Next, we visited the Miles C. Hartley Selections Gardens, also an All American Selections Trial Garden. Trial gardens are fun, because you can see so many different varieties of annuals and take note of those that you may want to find for planting in your own garden.

Miles C. Hartley Selections Gardens








I love these tiny little marigolds (Tagetes tenuifolia 'Ornament') and will be
looking for seed for them for next year.



Dahlia x hybrida 'Goldalia Scarlet'

Grasses!

Salvia farinacea 'Sallyfun™ Blue Tune' and 'Sallyfun™ Bicolor Beauty'

Capsicum annuum 'Chilly Chili'

Capsicum annuum 'Black Pearl'

We weren't the only ones enjoying the gardens on that beautiful afternoon...

Monarch on Calibrachoa

Unknown red dragonfly

Honeybee on Dahlia x. hybrida 'Hello!™ Bronze Shades'

Buckeye butterfly on Alyssum (Lobularia Snow Princess®)

Honeybee on Dahlia 'Mystic Illusion'

Dahlia 'Mystic Illusion' is set to open...

Osteospermum 'Flowerpower Spider White/Purple'

Before we headed to the arboretum, we visited the Idea Garden. This was as over-the-top as the Japanese Garden was understated in relatively small spaces, but both were "just right." The Idea Garden was chock full of perennials, annuals, trees, shrubs, succulents, vegetables, and fruits. The garden is maintained by the Champaign County Extension Master Gardeners.

Idea Garden

One of my favorite plants, Arkansas Blue Star (Amsonia hubrichtii) was a
couple of weeks ahead of the ones in my own garden, though we are both
in Zone 5b. Just look how it GLOWS!












Rosa 'Double Delight'




NEXT: University of Illinois Arboretum (In Which Kylee Falls in Love With a Tree)




6 comments:

Alison said...

h, you took some marvelous photos! Thanks for sharing them. I really want to know what that last reddish succulent is.

Weekend Cowgirl said...

These are FABULOUS photos...all of them!

Kylee said...

Alison ~ Thanks! I'm not sure of the species or cultivar, but I'm pretty sure it's an aloe. I know that isn't much help, but there wasn't a sign to identify it. Maybe Chris knows, but we did have a conversation about it when we were standing there and I don't think he knew either.

Kylee said...

Weekend Cowgirl ~ Thank you! :-)

Rose said...

Kylee, I wish I'd known you were in Champaign--I would have liked to join you! I help out with the Idea Garden; in fact, the fourth from the last photo is taken in the section where I volunteer, the Sensory Garden. I love spending time working here; it's such a great place to get new ideas, not to mention the constant learning from all the great gardeners. It's so interesting to see the garden from another's perspective. You must have been here at least a month ago, because we put the garden "to bed" a few weeks ago, and it's not nearly so colorful these days.

Seeing your photos of Japan House and the Hartley gardens makes me feel guilty--I didn't visit either place all summer. Sometimes it takes a visitor to make us appreciate what's in our own backyard, so to speak. Thanks for sharing all these photos!

Kylee said...

Rose ~ Rose, I didn't know you lived there! I would have loved to see you again! I'm glad to know that you are a part of the Idea Garden. It's so beautiful and there's so much to see in it. Yes, we were there on October 9th.

You're right, we do often take what's in our own backyard for granted. It's like that everywhere, I think.

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