Illinois Show Houses Gardens

Listings of showhouses and showhouse garden locations in Illinois towns, cities and counties

Historical Information:
2009-2010 SCHEDULE

Illinois Showhouses and Garden Events
Lake Forest Showhouse and Gardens
Next Showhouse opens April 25, 2009 "Under One Roof" 2008 Designer Showcase Home Tour
For information, call 815-399-4518 Chicago Botanic Garden Antiques & Garden Fair

April 17-18-19, 2009
10th Anniversary Event! 100 Exhibits of Garden Antiques, Gardening Products & Services and more. Admission $18. Regular parking fees apply Botanical gardens in Illinois

The Anderson Japanese Gardens
is a 14-acre (57,000 m2) group of Japanese gardens located in Rockford, Illinois.

Don Opel Arboretum is an arboretum located on the 140-acre (0.57 km2) campus of Highland Community College, 2998 West Pearl City Road, Freeport, Illinois

The Fell Arboretum is an arboretum located across the campus of Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois.
The arboretum began in 1867 when Jesse Fell, the university's founder, obtained $3,000 from the state legislature for campus landscaping. He planted 1,740 trees on campus that year and 107 trees the following year. An enthusiastic tree planter, Fell wished the campus to contain every tree native to Illinois. In 1995 the campus was formally registered as an arboretum and named in Fell's honor.

The Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago
Illinois is one of the largest and most impressive conservatories in the United States. Often referred to as "landscape art under glass," the

Garfield Park Conservatory occupies approximately 4.5 acres (18,000 m2) inside and out and contains a number of permanent plant exhibits incorporating specimens from around the world (including some ferns that are over 300 years old). Additionally, thousands of plants are grown there each year for displays in Chicago parks and public spaces

Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden
(63 ha / 155 acres) is a nonprofit arboretum and botanical garden located at 2715 South Main Street, Rockford, Illinois. It is open daily except for major holidays; an admission fee is charged. Klehm can be reached at 1-888-419-0782. To learn more visit their website The arboretum was first established in 1910 as Rockford Nursery by landscape architect William Lincoln Taylor, who planted many of the arboretum's trees. The Klehm family purchased the nursery in 1968 and maintained it until 1985, when they donated the property to the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District as an arboretum. In the early 1990s, the site was inventoried, a master plan developed, and a capital campaign undertaken. Garden plantings began in 1994.

The Edward R. Ladd Arboretum is an arboretum located at 2024 McCormick Boulevard, Evanston, Illinois, occupying 23 acres (93,000 m2) in a narrow three-quarter mile (1.2 km) stretch between McCormick Boulevard and the North Shore Channel on land leased from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.

Lilacia Park
An 8.5-acre (34,000 m2) garden, is located at 150 South Park Avenue, Lombard, Illinois. It specializes in lilacs and tulips. It is open to the public daily. The garden was established in 1910 by Colonel William Plum and his wife, Helen, who visited the lilac gardens of famous breeder Victor Lemoine (1823-1911), in Nancy, France. They returned with two cuttings (Mme. Casimir Perier, a double white, and Michel Buchner, a double light purple), which formed the basis of today's collection. After the Colonel's death in 1927 the grounds were left to the city as a public park. The park now features more than 200 varieties of lilacs and 50 varieties of tulips, as well as a greenhouse, historical building, picnic areas, and drinking fountains.

The Lincoln Park Conservatory (1.2 ha / 3 acres) is a conservatory and botanical garden located at 2391 North Stockton Drive, next to the Lincoln Park Zoo, in Chicago, Illinois. It is open daily; admission is free. The Lincoln Park Commission first established a greenhouse in 1877 and planted an adjacent formal garden in 1880. Today's conservatory was built in stages from 1890-1895, to designs by Joseph Lyman Silsbee and M. E. Bell, and consists of four halls

The Longview Park Conservatory and Gardens (39 acres) is a city park with botanical garden, located at 1300 17th Street, Rock Island, Illinois. It is open daily without charge. The park includes a conservatory, greenhouse, flower gardens, playground equipment, picnic shelter, volleyball, outdoor ice-skating, tennis courts, and walking paths.

George L. Luthy Memorial Botanical Garden (4.5 acres) is a botanical garden and conservatory located in Glen Oak Park, 2218 N. Prospect, Peoria, Illinois, USA. It is open daily. Garden admission is free; a fee is charged for the conservatory. The garden was established in 1951. It now contains more than 300 genera, with an emphasis on roses, perennials, annuals, hosta, hemerocallis, and herbs. Specific gardens include an all-season garden, herb garden, perennial garden, rose garden, viburnum collection, wildlife garden, and woodland garden. The conservatory (2500 square feet) features tropical plants, orchids, and seasonal displays

The Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden (7 acres) is a botanical garden located just off State Route 47, one mile (1.6 km) north of Interstate 74, in Mahomet, Illinois. It is open during daylight hours; admission is free. The garden includes waterfalls and an All-America Selections Display Garden featuring bedding plants and vegetables

The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois, covers 1,700 acres (6.9 Square kilometres) and is made up of gardens of various plant types and collections of trees from specific taxonomical and geographical areas. It includes native woodlands[1] and a restored Illinois prairie. The Arboretum has over 4,100 different species of trees, shrubs and other woody plants from around the globe. In all, there are over 186,000 catalogued plants. The Arboretum has 16 miles (26 km) of hiking trails and nine miles (14 km) of roadways for driving/bicycling. The Arboretum features a 4-acre (16,000 m2) interactive "Children's Garden"[2] and a one-acre "Maze Garden." Other special landscaped areas include the Fragrance Garden, Ground Cover Garden and Hedge Garden. The Schulenberg Prairie[3] is one of the largest restored prairies in the Chicago suburban area

Oak Park Conservatory is a conservatory and botanical garden located in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois, United States. It is open daily with restricted hours; a donation is suggested. The conservatory started in 1914 as a community effort to house exotic plants collected during residents' travels. Today's Edwardian-style glass structure was built in 1929 but fell into neglect until 1970, when a group of concerned citizens preserved it. It was then expanded in 2000. The conservatory now provides 8,000 square feet (700 m2) of growing areas, making it the third largest conservatory in the Chicago area, and contains more than 3,000 plants, some of which date back to 1914. The Oak Park Conservatory was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on March 8, 2005.

The Quad City Botanical Center is a set of botanical gardens located next to the Mississippi River at 2525 4th Avenue, Rock Island, Illinois. It is open daily except major holidays; an admission fee is charged. The center opened on June 20, 1998.

Sun Garden conservatory (6,444 square feet) - includes sweet acacia, allspice, arrowhead, bamboo, banana, bird of paradise, bromeliads, cacao, cardamom, cassava, coconut, coffee, ferns, frangipani, Arabian jasmine, lychee, orchids, palms, papaya, papyrus, pineapple, sapodilla, vanilla, and ylang-ylang, as well as a 14-foot (4.3 m) waterfall, reflecting pools with koi, and a 70-foot (21 m) skylight.

Starhill Forest Arboretum (48 acres) is a private arboretum located at 12000 Boy Scout Trail, Petersburg, Illinois. The arboretum has been owned and operated by the Sternberg family (Edie Sternberg and Guy Sternberg) since 1976. Old trees in the forested areas date to about 1850, and the oldest planted trees were started from seed in 1964 and transplanted from another location. The arboretum's primary scientific collection is a quercetum (oak collection) comprising one of the most comprehensive living reference collections for the genus in North America. Approximately 150 other genera of woody plants are also available for study, as well as herb and perennial landscapes, a native prairie garden, several provenance tests, and conifer plantations. All told, the arboretum contains approximately 600 accessioned woody taxa. Permanent records include provenance information, propagation method and year, and mapped location within the arboretum. In 2008, Starhill Forest became the official arboretum of Illinois College

The University of Illinois Arboretum (160 acres) is a new arboretum, with gardens, currently under construction on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. It is located at the intersection of Florida and Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, Illinois, and open daily without charge. The arboretum is being constructed on the university's south campus farmlands. As of 2005, developed sections are as follows: Welcome Garden - an entrance and meeting place. Japan House - tea garden (2002), dry or Zen garden (2003). The house itself contains three tea rooms, and is otherwise used for classes and meetings; it is not generally open to the public. Hartley Garden (1994) - a 3-acre (12,000 m2) sunken garden with All American Selections trial ground and annual and perennial beddings. Idea Garden - six areas including borders, ornamentals, vegetables, children's, and Special Projects

The University of Illinois Conservatory and Plant Collection is a conservatory (2,000 square foot) and botanical garden located in the Plant Sciences Laboratory Greenhouses, on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus, 1201 South Dorner Drive, Urbana, Illinois. The conservatory is generally open to the public daily when the university is in session, though it may be closed for classes, research, or special events. The conservatory houses over 200 species and 60 families of tropical and subtropical plants selected for their botanical interest or economic importance. Separate greenhouses contain ferns, bromeliads, cycads, orchids, carnivorous plants, herb and spice plants, and cacti, euphorbia, and other succulents. There is also an outdoor butterfly garden. Plants of special interest include Brighamia insignis, Lebronnecia kokioides, and Sauromatum venosum

Washington Park (Springfield, Illinois)
Washington Park is a park in Springfield, Illinois, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Located at 1400 Williams Boulevard, the park features walking trails, a botanical garden, large duck pond, rose garden, carillon, and carillon concerts.

Washington Park Botanical Garden
The botanical garden includes a conservatory and botanical garden. It is open daily during the afternoons; admission is free. The garden consists of outdoor plantings, a greenhouse (9,000 square feet), and a conservatory. In all it contains over 1200 species, including over 150 species of tropical plants. Outdoor gardens include a cactus garden, iris garden, rock garden, and a rose garden (5,000 plants).

Rees Memorial Carillon
The carillon, operated by the Springfield Park District, contains 67 bells built by Petit & Fritsen. Concerts are held year round every Sunday and on Wednesday evenings during summer months. Tower tours are available daily.

The Wilder Park Conservatory is a conservatory and botanical garden located in Wilder Park at 225 Prospect Avenue, Elmhurst, Illinois. Situated on a 6-acre (24,000 m2) lot, the conservatory shares the land with three green houses (not open to the public), the open air Elizabeth Gardens, and the Wilder mansion. The wilder mansion was the former location of the Elmhurst Public Library. An addition was added to the mansion to increase library space in the 1960s / 70's. The addition was recently removed and the mansion is being restored and renovated for public event use. The restoration is slated to be complete by December 2008. The Conservatory is open daily from 8am to 4pm. Admittance is free, but donations are welcome. Please note that the Conservatory is fairly small. The conservatory is a one room tropical house. A mature Pachypodium and a tree Opuntia are the highlights. The conservatory also features a small pond with gold fish. It is a good idea to pair your visit to the Conservatory with one to the Lazzadro Museum just around the corner, the new Elmhurst Public Library, or the Elmhurst Art Museum. The conservatory is also directly across the street from Elmhurst College's Schaible Science Center. The conservatory's origins date back to 1868, when Seth Wadhams purchased a treeless farm, planting trees and building a greenhouse for his wife (still in use today). Subsequent owners continued to develop the site's gardens. The property was transferred to city ownership around 1920, and in 1923 the Elmhurst Park District Board added a conservatory to the original greenhouse. In 1926 a second greenhouse was added.

Last updated: 07/26/14

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