I jumped the border this weekend to visit some very upscale gardens in the north Chicago suburbs. The Garden Conservancy is a national organization with a mission to preserve exceptional American gardens for public education and enjoyment. Their Open Days Program “unlocks the gates to hundreds of America’s best private gardens” and is the organization’s primary educational outreach. The Conservancy also works to preserve historic and important gardens throughout the U.S.
I visited several of these private gardens on the Open Days tour this past weekend and enjoyed seeing some incredible private gardens. Its hard to believe all this is all going on less than 4o minutes from Wisconsin. I know there are some equally wonderful private gardens in Wisconsin, I just haven’t had the opportunity to see them. Unfortunately Wisconsin does not have any listings in the Conservancy’s Open Days Directory. I purchased the Open Days Directory this spring from Chalet Garden Center in Wilmette, Ill this spring. The directory cost about $17 and is well worth the money spent. The directory lists open days scheduled all over the country during the course of the year. A perons could begin touring gardens down south in April and go non stop unti Novemebr. The directory also provides detailed information about public gardens and parks in surrounding areas. So even if you can’t make the scheduled open days for a private garden in a certain location you still have useful information about public gardens to visit. The directory is well organized listing open day sby state and by date. This is a very useful book to have when planning vacations and you know you will want to sneak away from the family for a few hours to study plants!