Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Wandering the Gardens of Oak Park Conservatory in Oak Park, Illinois

Enjoying a Variety of Gardens Year Round at Oak Park Conservatory in Oak Park, Illinois

Wandering Through Gardens Year Round at Oak Park Conservatory

Oak Park Conservatory in Oak Park, Illinois welcomes visitors to a nature oasis year round. The glass covered gem located in the Chicago suburbs was constructed in 1929 as a community effort to collect plants that residents collected as they traveled around the world. Consisting of a Mediterranean Room, Tropical Room and Desert Room, the conservatory certainly gives visitors a taste of different environs that easily transport you on a drab day.



A lemon tree greets us in the Mediterranean Room at Oak Park Conservatory.
A lemon tree greets us in the Mediterranean Room.

Mediterranean Room:

We began with exploring the Oak Park Conservatory in the Mediterranean Room. My favorite part of this room happens to be the lemon tree. We love to check it for lemons on every visit. On this visit, the lemons were green and not yet yellow. Other fruiting trees can be found throughout the conservatory. A little closeup:



The Tropical Room:

The adjacent room is full of tropical flora. Additionally, there are several resident birds and a coy pond. The Tropical Room certainly injects the perfect dose of greenery and brilliant blooms all year round. We love to visit on a rainy or cold day for an uplift.

A casual walk through the greenery of the Tropical Room at Oak Park Conservatory
A casual walk through the greenery of the Tropical Room.
The flora in the Tropical Room is pretty lush. We sauntered through several times honing in on different plants each time. Foliage can be found all around you, so be sure to look up, down and all around when visiting.

Brilliant blooms delight at the Oak Park Conservatory
Brilliant blooms delight.
An easy favorite inside Oak Park Conservatory -- admiring brilliant blooms.

Picturesque fountain at Oak Park Conservatory.
Picturesque fountain at Oak Park Conservatory.

A few water features can be discovered in the Tropical Room. Each is gracefully folded inside of the greenery.

The Desert Room:

Exploring an arid environment at Oak Park Conservatory in Oak Park, Illinois
Exploring an arid environment!
The next room transports visitors to the desert. I am always surprised by the number and variety of desert plants in the room.

Crown of Thorns abloom at Oak Park Conservatory.
Crown of Thorns abloom at Oak Park Conservatory.
Particularly beautiful on this visit was a Crown of Thrones in bloom!

Elsie Jacobsen Discovery Garden

Nice spot to explore nature with a few hands-on features at the Elsie Jacobsen Discovery Garden.
Nice spot to explore nature with a few hands-on features at the Elsie Jacobsen Discovery Garden.

Outside of the Desert Room is the Elsie Jacobsen Discovery Garden. The discovery garden encourages families to explore nature while highlighting Light, Earth, Air and Water. The garden holds many native plants which will help visitors observe changes in nature during each season. During our visit, it was pretty rainy. So, we just took a peek. The garden's namesake, Ms. Jacobsen, was responsible for the "Save Garfield Conservatory" drive which raised funds to restore Oak Park Conservatory. (Oak Park Conservatory was once known as Garfield Conservatory.)



While visiting the Oak Park Conservatory, be sure to take pause to admire the structure. The conservatory is celebrating 90 years. I continue to be amazed by conservatories from that time period that are still here! Amazing!


The Oak Park Conservatory provides for a wonderful aside no matter the weather. While not one of the larger conservatories I have been to, Oak Park Conservatory provides for a pleasant day outing when coupled with a visit to unique Oak Park shops, the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio or even Garfield Park Conservatory which is not too far away. If the weather is conducive, you can also enjoy the outdoor gardens. Plus, the conservatory hosts a range of events. We love Oak Park Conservatory for a nice part of a day trip to Oak Park!

Wandering the Gardens of Oak Park Conservatory in Oak Park, Illinois


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