Gardens of Greater Chicago
A Pacific Horticulture Society tour
June 23-28, 2015

Escorted by Pat Wipf, Tour Manager Scott Borden

Join us in the city of Chicago to visit top public and
private gardens of the Windy City and surrounding
towns and hamlets.  

This tour is fully booked.

Tuesday, June 23: Chicago.  Individual arrivals. Check in to the
Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown/Lakefront for a 5-night stay.
The Embassy Suites is located near the Magnificent Mile, the
River, and Chicago's finest attractions. Each suite has a private
bedroom, separate living area with sofa sleeper, two televisions,
refrigerator and microwave. There is a nightly Manager’s
Reception in the open-air atrium and cooked to order breakfast
each morning. Tonight meet the other guests for our welcome dinner at
Frontera Grill, owned by
award-wining chef, cookbook author, and television host
Rick Bayless. Dinner      
“There’s nothing even remotely similar to Frontera Grill…anywhere else in America.” —
Molly O’Neill,
The New York Times

Wednesday, June 24: Chicago.  After a leisurely
breakfast, we will enjoy a short city orientation tour.  
Mid-morning we’ll meet Bill Shores at Rick Bayless’
Garden.  Bill is a garden consultant specializing in
creating space-efficient, organic gardens suited to the
urban environment including indoor-gardens, small-
space gardens, raised bed and container gardens,
and deck and rooftop gardens. Bill designed and
cares for Rick’s garden. Located on three adjacent
city lots in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, Rick
Bayless’ completely organic garden serves as a
model for urban food production and demonstrates
that gardens can be simultaneously functional and
beautiful. We will see Rick’s outdoor kitchen, stunning plantings and composting system. With a mix of
traditional beds, raised beds, containers, vertical and indoor garden spaces, we will be inspired and
discover ideas and techniques to incorporate in our own gardens.   After lunch we will join our docent
on board the First Lady for an architectural river cruise. We’ll learn the history of the city and hear
about significant sites along the Chicago River. Our docent will talk about how the city grew from a
small back-country outpost into one of the world’s most important crossroads in less than 100 years,
including the dramatic story of Chicago's rise from the Great Fire of 1871 to become the home of the
skyscraper and the cradle of modern American architecture. Along the way we will see buildings by
world-famous architects including Mies van der Rohe, Skidmore Owings and Helmut Jahn.   

Thursday, June 25: Today our first visit is to
a unique Bucktown Garden designed by Julie
Siegel. Fine Gardening Magazine describes
Julie as having combined her background in
dance, animation, architecture and writing with
her love of plants to create gardens that are
full of energy and speak to the larger regional
aesthetics. Julie will guide us around the
property, which covers 5 city lots, and has a
very interesting history.  Originally an industrial
site backed by a major expressway, it has been
transformed by three successive owners. They
faced many logistical challenges to create an
urban oasis.  In the tradition of classic gardens
there is a unique “borrowed vista”. In the 80’s the first owners began the transition when they built the
original residence and started the garden.  There was a sculpture studio added when a renowned
architect owned the property.  A contemporary addition was finished in 2013 and the garden
continues to evolve.  Julie will accompany us to the
Lily Pond at Lincoln Park. We will step through the
Prairie-style Fullerton gate and enter a hidden garden of unmatched beauty. Only bird songs and the
sound of a gentle waterfall break the restful silence. The stone walk encircling the lily pool leads to a
pavilion and diverse palette of native midwestern plants. This is the vision of landscape architect
Alfred Caldwell: a hidden garden for the people of Chicago designed to resemble a river meandering
through a great midwestern prairie. We continue to Millennium Park, renowned for its combination of
stunning architecture, sculpture and landscape design. Lurie Garden is within the park. Lurie’s
perennial garden was designed by Piet Oudolf. Nearby is a beautiful Salvia “river”. The south end of
the Lurie holds a small native section.  Our last stop today is the
Art Institute of Chicago, voted “Best
Museum in the World” by Trip Advisor. The collection includes Impressionist and Post-Impressionist
art, American art, Old Masters, European and American decorative arts, Asian art, modern and
contemporary art, architecture and industrial and graphic design. We will enjoy an introductory tour
with a docent followed by free time for browsing.
Breakfast, Lunch

Friday, June 26: Winnetka Today we are off to
Chicago Botanic Garden. We’ll start with a tram
ride for an overview of the 385 acres(!) We will
learn the history and science of the Garden while
viewing the McDonald Woods, the Japanese
Garden, and the new Learning Campus. We’ll
enjoy panoramic views of the garden, lakes, and
garden islands. We’ll have free time to stroll at
our own pace discovering the highlights of the
garden including the Circle garden which houses
a fountain surrounded by an unusual combination
of annuals, the Esplanade garden with dramatic
elm allées, topiaries and pools, and the 45 foot
cascading Waterfall garden. Later there will be time to visit the tempting gift shop and indulge in a
special spring lunch buffet. This afternoon we will be treated to delightful private gardens. First is the
Robb Garden, featurg native Midwest shrubs and perennials and large bluestone/fieldstone/paving
brick hardscapes, is designed to create complementary views surrounding a redesigned
contemporary house by architect Paul Konstant.  Designed and maintained by Rocco Fiore, the
garden features a mosaic "quilt" pattern of colors and textures constantly changing throughout the
year.  A dramatic pink granite sculpture by Jesus Bautista Moroles, "Ellipse", bridges the transition
from the contemporary interior spaces of the house to the garden.  Located in an old shagbark
hickory and swamp white oak grove, the garden is bordered by white pine, hemlock, and Norway
spruce.  Introduced trees and shrubs include Norway maple, sugar maple, saucer and star magnolia,
Japanese lilac, hawthorn, and hemlock. A diverse palette of textures and colors is created with purple
coneflower, black-eyed Susan, daylily, shrub roses and many other perennials.  The house's green
room is filled with tropical plants including many orchids - maintaining a garden within the house
throughout the year.
 Nantucket Garden:  The Nantucket-style house was built in 1916 by noted
Chicago architect, Edwin Clark.  The current owners purchased the house in 1980 and have restored
the interior and exterior.  The husband is passionate about gardening. Over the years he created the
garden inspired by a combination of English cottage gardens with areas of formality which
complement the Nantucket architecture. Near the front entrance is a shrub border containing a variety
of plant material including variegated red-twig dogwood, cornelian cherry, witch hazel, Ural false
spirea and green and variegated hostas. There is a boxwood knot garden with a hedge of Hick’s yew
and behind that a cranberry viburnum hedge. The rose bed and the terraced flower garden cascade
down the hill towards a ravine. In summer, the ravine blooms include purple pickerelweed, Queen of
the Prairie, and Lobelia. Further along is a bed of grasses and variegated dogwood. The rose bed
pink hybrid tea and grandiflora roses is under planted with Cheddar Pinks and surrounded by
boxwood edging. The screened porch has two trellised ‘New Dawn” climbing roses.  Flanking the
porch is a pair of neo-classical design cast-iron benches.
Breakfast, Lunch

Saturday, June 27:  Evanston   After breakfast we will visit private gardens in Evanston.  Known as
“the Crown Jewel of Chicago’s North Shore,” Evanston is situated along the shoreline of Lake
Michigan and has some of the region’s most beautiful gardens. The gardens were designed by
Kettelkamp & Kettelkamp Landscape, an Evanston-based firm specializing in custom-designed
residential and commercial projects that thoughtfully interpret the vision of the client with an eye to
both form and function. Our first garden is a green oasis laid out inside the original brick walls
surrounding a 1920’s Tudor manor house. There is an eighty-foot English-style mixed border planted
with roses, lilies, hollyhocks and perennial geraniums mingled with hydrangeas, willows and
smokebush. The property includes a whimsical children’s playhouse and a shady secret garden
hidden behind a yew hedge. We will visit two other gardens and enjoy a picnic lunch before our mid-
afternoon return to Chicago with time free for shopping or to relax and enjoy the hotel amenities.  
This evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner at a nearby restaurant.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner        

Sunday, June 28: Independent departures.  Breakfast

TRAVEL INSURANCE:  As your deposit and final payment are both non-refundable, we wish to make
you aware that individual travel insurance is available to protect you against cancellation penalties as
well as provide coverage should an incident occur during the trip.  We will send an email with your
deposit confirmation with information about how to get a free quote and/or secure your coverage
online or by phone.    Note that pre-existing conditions may be covered if the insurance is purchased
within a short time after trip deposit.  Group travel insurance will not be offered with this tour.

TRAVELING TO CHICAGO --- Frequent daily flights from just about everywhere to Chicago's O'Hare
or Midway airports, about 30-45 minutes by taxi or shuttle (not included) from our hotel.  If you need
help booking flights, we suggest contacting Leslie Garber of Cadence Tsravel for assistance. Leslie
charges a fee for her service, but our guests find her service to be of value. Contact email for Leslie

LAND COST PER GUEST: Based on a minimum of 15 paying guests, $2295.00 for members of Pacific
Horticultural Society, $2395.00 for non-members.(Membership in PacHort starts at just $28, join now
at  Single supplement is $759.00.   A non-refundable deposit of $250 per person is
required to secure a reservation, with the balance due 60 days before departure.

•        5 nights hotel accommodations
•        $150 tax-deductible donation to Pacific Horticultural Society
•        Porterage of one piece of luggage at the hotel
•        Services of tour manager Scott Borden, and Tour Escort Pat Wipf
•        Transportation by private motorcoach, driver gratuity included
•        5 breakfasts,  4 lunches,  2 dinners
•        Admission fees for all visits as stated in the itinerary

•        Airfare
•        Meals and drinks not specifically mentioned
•        Entrances fees not mentioned
•        Room Service
•        Excess Baggage charges & porterage of more than 1 piece of luggage
•        Items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls, etc
•        Trip insurance—strongly suggested

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To view or print Terms and Conditions, click Here

For more information, contact
Sterling Tours, Ltd            
2907 Shelter Island Drive Suite #105-262    
San Diego, CA 92106      Tel: 619 299-3010     800-976-9497
sterling tours, ltd