When it’s winter outside – and boy can Chicago do winter! – you can’t beat retreating into the hot, steamy and tropical interior of the annual Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show (until 26 March) for the ultimate in flower power. With heady blooms in every hue, and scented seduction galore, it’ll perk you up in no time.
Warm up inside the Chicago Botanic Garden's Regenstein Center, where greenhouses are packed with over 10,000 in-bloom orchids, and an array of hybrids (these extravagant flowers are so exotic!). Snap up prime plants to take home from the Garden Shop or weekend Orchid Marketplace.
This year’s biggest-ever show takes a playful look at how orchids influence popular culture. In a nod to haute couture fashion houses that have embraced orchids, including Dior and Fendi, three teams of garden designers and horticulturalists have created “dresses” made of fresh orchids. Spot the 15-foot-tall Vanda “wind chime” or the rare Phalaenopsis V3 orchid.
Special events include the Orchid Show Members Preview (10 February), with music by steel pan group Callaloo, drinks and experts on hand, plus an Evening with Orchids (16 March), with cocktail tastings and bites. You can also enjoy Morning Music with Orchids on select days (10-11am), with performers including Chicago’s flute/harp combo Orpheus Duo on Valentine’s Day, and Spanish guitar and Chinese instruments getting an airing on future dates. Blooming marvellous!
11 Feb – 26 Mar, 2017.Chicago Botanic Garden / 1000 Lake Cook Rd / Glencoe / +1 847 835 5440 / 8am-5pm daily (Feb), 8am-7pm (Mar) / orchids: 10am-4pm daily / book ahead / chicagobotanic.org