HERITAGE GARDEN Dedicated in 1984, the Gertrude B. Nielsen Heritage Garden pays tribute to the scientific and historical development of botanic gardens over hundreds of years. Its design was patterned after the world’s oldest botanic garden, which was established in Padua, Italy, in 1545. A Garden of Living History The Heritage Garden demonstrates historical methods of organizing plants. Seven beds encircling the garden are dedicated to displaying plants according to geographic origins, while 14 beds display plants according to scientific classification. In the center of the garden, you’ll find a physic garden, where plants with historic medicinal uses are displayed.
The Father of Taxonomy A sculpture of Carolus Linnaeus, the “Father of Taxonomy,” overlooks the garden from its southeast corner. Linnaeus was the 18th-century Swedish botanist who perfected binomial nomenclature, the universal system for naming plants (and other living things) that is still used today.
The Physic Garden The physic garden, located in the center of the Heritage Garden, displays plants that have been used as medicine at some point in history. Some of these plants are still used to make medicine while others have been proven ineffective—or even dangerous—by modern science. Botanic gardens, created by universities in the mid-16th century, were designed for the collection and scientific study of medicinal plants. At that time, botany was an integral part of the study of medicine because most available treatments for disease, infection.
Waterlilies blooming in Heritage Garden Water Feature Water is a repeated feature in the Heritage Garden. A fountain spouts from the center of the physic garden, and its water spills down in channels over the side of the planter. During warmer months, water cascades down shallow steps into each pool where waterlilies, papyrus, arrowhead and other aquatic plants are displayed.
Heritage Garden Containers arranged around the center of the Heritage Garden are filled with plants that are changed seasonally. In spring, look for rustic troughs filled with bright bulbs and annuals. In fall and summer, you’ll find different sizes of containers used together to display plants with a variety of colors and textures.
Rose Garden THE TIMELESS ALLURE OF ROSES Roses have been beloved for centuries. As early as the first century A.D., wealthy Romans carpeted their floors and beds with rose petals. Many years later in the 19th century, Empress Josephine collected over 250 types of roses in her magnificent gardens at Malmaison, starting a worldwide interest in growing roses. Today at the Chicago Botanic Garden, roses continue to instill admiration in the Rose Garden—one of our most loved and most visited gardens. Krasberg Rose Garden This garden displays the best roses for growing in the Chicago area. Three acres are dedicated to over 150 varieties, almost 5,000 roses chosen for their outstanding performance, hardiness and disease resistance. DedicatedAugust15, 1985, the Krasberg Rose Garden was made possible by the support of Bruce Krasberg, a Chicago Horticultural Society board member and longtime rosarian.
Krasberg Rose GardenEntrance This garden displays the best roses for growing in the Chicago area. Three acres are dedicated to over 150 varieties, almost 5,000 roses chosen for their outstanding performance, hardiness and disease resistance. Dedicated August 15, 1985, the Krasberg Rose Garden was made possible by the support of Bruce Krasberg, a Chicago Horticultural Society board member and longtime rosarian.
The many types of Roses The Rose Garden contains all types of roses, such as historic roses, hybrid teas, floribundas, miniatures, grandifloras, shrub roses, climbers and pillar roses.
These roses are chosen not only for their beautiful blossoms but also for their scent, low maintenance, historic value and continuous bloom. Also considered are ornamental features such as colorful thorns, hips, stems and foliage. The varieties of roses in this garden have changed over time and will continue to change as new roses that are more cold-hardy, more disease-resistant and more beautiful are created.
Cedar Arbor At the northeast corner of the Rose Garden, you’ll find a shady cedar arbor that provides a pleasant place to sit and enjoy the fragrance and beauty. The arbor is adorned with climbing roses, flowering clematis and baskets of shade-tolerant plants. Old-Fashioned Rose Walk The pathway directly behind the cedar arbor is lined with both old-fashioned roses and new English varieties bred to keep the old-fashioned look with repeat flowering.
Rose Petal Fountain The focal point of the Rose Garden is a cast concrete fountain in the shape of a Tudor rose. From the center of the rose, streams of water shoot up in varying shapes and heights.
English Walled Garden In this garden, as in English gardens throughout history, walls are both practical and decorative. They protect plants from cold winds and hungry animals. They radiate heat, thereby prolonging the growing season. They create intimate enclosed spaces while blocking out unwanted noise or unsightly views. And they provide an attractive growing surface. Built to Charm In addition to its walls, the English Walled Garden features many charming garden ornaments and built structures that help give each space its own character. Look closely among the plants for a sleepy stone lion resting outside the walls, rustic cement troughs scattered throughout the Cottage Garden, a mythological Greek satyr spouting water in the Vista Garden and the tall classical columns of the Pergola Garden.
THE BONSAI COLLECTION The Chicago Botanic Garden’s bonsai collection is regarded by bonsai experts as one of the best public collections in the world. It includes 185 bonsai in twenty styles and more than 40 kinds of plants, including evergreen, deciduous, tropical, flowering and fruiting trees. Since the entire collection cannot be displayed at once, select species are rotated through a display area in the Education Center’s East Courtyard from May through October. Each one takes the stage when it is most beautiful.
Japanese Garden SANSHO-EN GARDEN OF THREE ISLANDS Sansho-en is a Japanese-style garden that reaches across three islands and encompasses the surrounding lake. It is a place of serene beauty, designed for quiet contemplation and appreciating nature throughout the seasons. Dedicated in 1982, the 17-acre garden was developed to provide an opportunity for Chicago Botanic Garden visitors to experience one of the great horticultural art forms of the world without leaving the Midwest.
Pine Trees In traditional Japanese gardens, literature and paintings, pine trees often symbolize longevity and the timelessness of nature. Many of the pines throughout this garden are pruned and trained to mimic the idealized forms of aged trees.
Dry Garden and Arbor House Contemplative dry gardens such as this one represent vast landscapes in small areas. In this garden, stones and shrubs stand for islands while the gravel symbolizes water. Patterns raked into the gravel represent waves breaking along the shoreline.
Dry Garden Gardens such as this one are sometimes called “Zen gardens” because they were often created in the courtyards of Zen Buddhist temples. The accurate name for them is kare-san-sui, which means “drymountain- water.” Rocks Thought of as the bones of the earth, rocks are an essential part of a Japanese garden. The rocks in this garden were chosen and placed before the plants and structures. Notice that larger rocks are partially buried to appear as if they’ve always been here.
Horaijima (Island of Everlasting Happiness) This island represents paradise—a place inaccessible to mortals. It has no built structures and is intended to be viewed and contemplated only at a distance.
Stone Lanterns Originally used to light the way to Buddhist temples, stone lanterns are used to lend beauty and a sense of age to a Japanese garden. Thirteen lanterns in classic styles are placed throughout Sansho-en.
Zigzag Bridge This modern interpretation of a farmer’s humble bridge links the two islands of Keiuntoand Seifuto and offers views of the Waterfall Garden and Shoin Building.
Journey in a Garden Designed in the stroll style (kaiyushiki), Sansho-en is intended to be viewed while walking, as if on a journey. As you travel through the garden, carefully composed views unfold along a winding path. Scene after scene is revealed and then concealed, only to be rediscovered later from a different viewpoint. A walk through Sansho-en reveals a collection of smaller gardens and classic elements from several historical Japanese garden styles. In Sansho-en you can experience contemplative dry gardens, an intimate moss garden, cool woodland gardens and a distant paradise garden, all in one visit.
The Nature of Sansho-En True to the classical Japanese garden tradition, Sansho-en conveys a deep respect for nature although it doesn’t look “natural” by Western standards. Japanese gardens are designed as stylized interpretations of the natural world. They create an ideal vision 0f nature by distilling and interpreting nature’s lessons without copying them directly.
Arched Bridge This wooden bridge symbolically marks your journey from the everyday world to a garden paradise. Its design was inspired by the elegant bridge of historic Ritsurin Park in Shikoku, Japan.
Evening at Japanese Garden The plants in this garden are chosen for their beauty, hardiness and similarity in effect to plants used in the gardens of Japan. They come from places around the world that have growing conditions similar to those of the Chicago area, including regions of Japan.