Chicago Diaries

The Chicago Flower and Garden Show

A few weeks ago, Kyle and I knocked off another item on my Spring Adventure list. We went down to Navy Pier and walked through the Flower and Garden show!

For one week in March, florists, gardeners, and flower enthusiasts fill the very last convention hall on the pier with different layouts, displays, gardens and intricate floral designs. We went on a weekday after 4pm, which meant our tickets were half price ($10!).

This year’s theme was literature, or Flowertales!

Immediately, we were greeted by bright, beautiful flowers of every color and shape.

The convention center had different aspects of the garden show, all displayed on this cute lil’ directional sign!

The first garden we walked through was full of books and flowers (Perfection, right?!). There was even a little place for parents and children to sit and read books together!

And the book barrier in the third picture below had the spines of famous book titles painted on them, but they were altered to fit the “floral” theme. (i.e. James and the Giant Petals, Little Green Riding Hood, and If You Give A Mouse A Flower).

Again, we were surrounded by beautiful flowers and busts of color that made my heart jump a little with joy.

Around the other side of the literary garden with books, there were multiple water displays! Apparently there were even turtles living in one of the displays!

Hearing the running water made me really miss the hiking and exploring that I did with my best friend John, a few summers ago. I can’t wait to go chase a few waterfalls this summer.

Across from the water displays was a sculpture garden. This one, with the Chicago Skyline was so cute.

A few steps away from the sculpture garden was another section, completely dedicated to replicating famous gardens, plants, and flowers in literature.

We jumped down Alice’s rabbit hole and found the Mad Hatter’s table all ready for tea time! (Complimented by a few of the Queen of Hearts’ roses)

Turning around, we found ourselves right next to the Chamber of Secrets door, a few Quidditch goalposts, and Professor Sprout’s greenhouse (She’s always working with Mandrakes)!

After we walked through these “real life” literary gardens, we walked over to displays that different companies from the area had put together. Each display was of a dining table based off of a different book or story.

They all had elaborate designs and gorgeous colors. Like, this was literal magic. Those butterflies? They opened and closed their wings. Magic.

While I don’t remember what the above picture was from, below was a take on Honeydukes!

The Giving Tree…

The Living Library…

Another take on the Mad Hatter’s tea party (with macarons that say “eat me”)

And the Secret Garden (One of my favorite books)!

There were a lot of other displays of dining rooms/living areas based off of literary themes and things, but those were a few of my favorites that we saw.

After that, we walked through this huge marketplace that had seeds, bulbs, homemade goods, and independent businesses. Basically like a big and fancy af flea market. (if you go through this section, be prepared to be “harassed” by sales people lol. Harass is a strong word, but daangggg these people know how to reel you innn!!)

And of course we saw so. many. flowers.

Once we soaked up as much floral goodness as our hearts could take, we picked up a fresh bouquet of multicolored roses and a bundle of sunflowers. (We couldn’t leave without taking a liiiittle bit of the flower joy home!)

And duuuuh. When you have the Wizard of Oz backdrop at your disposal, the picture takes itself.

I’m really glad we were tourists in our own city for an afternoon and went to the Flower and Garden show. It was so beautiful, cheerful, and warm. The perfect pick-me-up to try and tide us over until warmer weather arrives.

This little visit also reminded me of that undeniable Chicago magic, that inevitably exists everywhere in this city, but is especially evident on those early spring nights. Those nights when people are just beginning to come out of hibernating for the winter and the sun sets later, and its golden beams kiss the tops of the buildings and you can’t stop smiling and your face is kind of frozen, but your heart is warm.
You know that feeling I’m talking about?
Yeah, exactly.
That’s the one.

If you’re having trouble finding that feeling, I can guarantee you can find it on Navy Pier, looking at the skyline just around sunset, listening to the lake, and the damn seagulls, smiling and freezing in that early spring night.
It’s waiting right there for you.

Light & Love & Fresh Flowers,


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