A Valentine’s Day Idyl

Idyl by Lorenzo Taft, © 2014 Susan Barsy

Idyl, by Lorenzo Taft, in the fern room of the conservatory

Thinking back on all the wonderful adventures my husband and I have shared this year, my mind turns to one particular autumn day, when we ventured to the Garfield Park Conservatory for the first time.  We were both overwhelmed by the beauty of this enormous old hothouse, filled with ancient and awe-inspiring plants, which, though battered by time and a recent devastating hailstorm, seemed to distill all the wonder of the natural world, and the essence of our beloved city itself.

The tree, © 2014 Susan Barsy

An Eden of sorts

We wandered the place in the company of many other pilgrims, our necks craning this way and that, faces upraised, our reverence as thick as the air itself.  After we had ambled for several hours, we wandered outside, where the splendor of an autumn afternoon greeted us, and, with a scattered assembly, we gloried in the radiance of being alive.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!  Especially Bob.

Click on the images to enlarge.

4 responses

  1. Yes, the Garfield Park Conservatory is a hidden gem of the city. I have been there once and like you was absolutely amazed at the beauty of it. That place is very well taken care of!!! I don’t live too far from the Lincoln Park Conservatory ( I frequent that twice a year at least ) and have always like it very much. However, Garfield is much, much superior. . . . I did read about the hail storm which damaged a lot of it and I hope that the city can come up with the $$ to fix it. . . . By the by–a nice Valentine Day picture !

    • When I was there, it sounded like plans were underway to renovate the Fern Room completely, so the park district must have the money for that, at least. I have heard the GPC is more well-funded than its cousin in Lincoln Park. Donations must have poured in after that terrible hailstorm several summers back. The damage to the GPC and its plants was well publicized.
      Thanks for writing in.

  2. Susan, totally agree with you about the Garfield Park Conservatory. I have been there many times with my children. It is one place that they can all agree to go to on an inclement Sunday afternoon. I also like taking the Green Line there and getting off at the station that towers over the conservatory. Great post. thank you!

    • Bob–Good to hear from you, and happy belated birthday (very).

      My husband and I drove to the conservatory the day we went, but as soon as we saw the el stop right there, we felt very very silly. Taking the green line from the loop is the way to go! And I’m with you, I love the beautiful old-fashioned el station–whoever designed that did a great job.

      Bob and I were both astonished that we had never been to the GPC in all our years in the city. It is simply glorious, a great civic project still giving back to Chicagoans today.

      Take care,