In this month's "Grandma & Me" post I shared pictures of my grandchildren, daughter, and I in Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Illinois. In that post I mentioned I would do an updated travel post because although I visited that park two years ago and did a travel post HERE, a lot has changed since then. The park is still under renovation and is not scheduled to be done for three more years, but what they have completed so far is beautiful!
I don't want to repeat myself and talk about the parks history and everything that is in this park. You can see my original post for those details. I just want to share what is new.
First of all, they moved all the flowers from where they use to be on the property and created all new gardens. Pictured below is the annual garden with the mansion of the former estates owners (Joseph Medill and his grandson Colonel Robert R. McGormick , publishers of The Global Tribune.) in the distance. This mansion is open for public tours. We took the tour on our first visit two years ago.
This is a gorgeous annual sun garden. The colors are so hot and vibrant. And the fun, colorful chairs located all over the property look great with these annual flower colors.
Purple salvia, orange zinnias, red salvias, coleus, and sunflowers dominate this garden.
Above this garden is a sunny perennial garden. This garden has black iron trellis' above it's gravel paths. I love the colorful Black Eyed Susan's contrasting with the purple Joe Pye's Weed in the background.
There is also a Moonlight garden in this area. Here all the flowers are white so that they reflect the moonlight and are pretty to view in the evening hours. I love the tall white trellis'.
On the other side of a tall hedge is the rose garden. I think that was Alethea's favorite garden. She loved all the beautiful roses. She was so cute to watch in this garden. She would see a pretty rose, then lean forward to smell it. But she hasn't quite grasped the concept of sniffing in and instead will exhale out. She is so funny! She also loved to gather the fallen rose petals in her hand and chase all the butterflies.
I really love how they bordered this garden with Lambs Ear and Asylum. Lamb's Ear is such a fabulous plant for children to explore because of its furry, soft texture. I had Alethea touch it while we were exploring this garden. She thought it was cool!
I am pleased to announce that the War Museum and Tank Park are officially open now. We didn't get to see this during our first visit. We went briefly inside the War Museum but did not tour it as it does not allow strollers inside. I will go back with my husband to tour the museum another time. But we did stroll around the Tank Park. We really liked this pretty bridge.
There was a small river meandering through this area that had pretty water plants growing in and around it.
The tanks are set on top of a spongy, soft material so people and children can climb on them and not get hurt if they fall off. There is a sign in front of every tank describing its history.
On this side of the park is also a beautiful shade garden.
I loved the meandering paths with the wooden benches. This is how I dream my yard will someday look. It's getting there!
Can you see another tank in the distance? I like how they display the tanks within the beautiful park setting.
This shade garden has such nice layers with the tall trees providing the shade, then lower growing trees shown below providing a mid-level layer, followed by the hosta and other shade plants at ground level. I also like how they bordered the garden with the round rocks.
But perhaps our favorite part of the new flower garden area was this large pond. I don't know if this pond was always here (this section of the park was closed when I was here two years ago) or if it is totally new, but we loved it.
But our favorite part of the pond was this lovely gazebo. There are super comfy lounge chairs inside (with cushions!). We must have sat inside this gazebo for hours enjoying the view and the beautiful weather.
We spotted white, pink, and red Hibiscus surrounding the pond, but I think the red ones definitely stole the show.
Another scene stealer was this chive, wow! What a great border plant. I have one small clump of chive in my own garden, but this made me want to plant more.
And finally, in the front of the entrance to the building and gardens, are these stunning annual flower beds. I wonder how many plants of coleus are in just the bed in the foreground? I plant coleus in my yard, but it never looks this lush.
Cantigny Park still has three more years of renovations to go. It's so incredible now, I can't even imagine how much more amazing it will be when it is done. And the best part is that is affordable! Admission is always FREE! You only pay $5.00 for parking on weekdays and $10.00 to park on weekends.
Have a Great Day! Amy
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