Wednesday, August 4, 2021

The Nicholas Conservatory Outdoor Gardens In May

Last May, for Mother's Day weekend, we met our kids in Rockford, Illinois to celebrate the holiday.  It's a good half way point for both us, about a four hour drive.  I needed to pick a spot to have a picnic lunch so I googled all the parks and ended up finding the Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens.  It was absolutely perfect because it was only a five minute drive to our next attraction, which I will talk about next week!

This post will only be about the outdoor gardens because we never went inside the conservatory.  You have to pay to go inside the conservatory, but the outside grounds are free.  We would have gone to the conservatory, but we actually had tickets to another garden nearby (that's the attraction I will share next week!).

It was the perfect spot to pick because at the very end of the gardens they had picnic tables, so we were able to have our picnic lunch as planned.

The Nicholas Conservatory and Garden is located right along side the Rockford River Walk so we had a beautiful view of the river as we ate.  And we were so excited to see a family of geese not too far from our picnic table.

The little goslings were so cute!

Now, I'm sure you won't be as enthralled with these pictures as I was, but you have to remember it was May!  After a long winter, we Wisconsonites get really excited at seeing anything green, and any flowers at all our just icing on the cake.  I thought the outdoor gardens were absolutely beautiful!  I would love to go back and see the gardens in the summer.

Because it was so early in spring pansies were the stars of the garden.  I loved how they put this flowering shrub inside the urn and encircled the pansies around it.

This is the rose garden.  Of course none of the roses were in bloom when I was there, but I can only imagine how gorgeous it is now!

The grand kids had so much fun running on all the pathways.  I'm sure being cooped up inside a car for four hours probably helped.

They also loved all the waterfalls, especially Atticus!  Ashley was so worried he was gonna fall in because he kept leaning over so far.

In front of the conservatory is a very long pond called the "Eclipse Lagoon"  which had ducks and swans swimming in it.

I don't understand it, but the grandkids were enamored with this statue of a little girl sitting on a bench reading a book.  They were infatuated with it, and it was hard to pull them away.  Even my son Jordan got in on the action.

There were lots of beautiful, large koi in the lagoon in front of the conservatory.

Another cute little statue.  This one, the grand kids had no interest in. Go figure.

This is the view of the lagoon looking back the other way, as if you were standing in front of the conservatory.

In front of the conservatory were more beautiful water features.

Some of their perennials were in bloom, like this hardy geranium.

There is the cutest bridge right in front of the conservatory.  I just love how the railings look like branches.

Atticus thought it was pretty cool to run across.

I just loved all the water and water features surrounding the conservatory.  I think I counted four waterfalls, plus the pond, and the river!

Aren't these pansies gorgeous?

Yet another beautiful water feature.  Did I mention the outside gardens are FREE?  Seriously, if you're ever passing through Rockford you must stop here and stroll these grounds.

I think this was my favorite water feature on the grounds.  I love the stone background and how the water flows over flat sheets of metal.  The potted plants are such a nice added touch.  I also love the greenery growing along the edge, and of course the koi!

These beautiful red winged black birds were singing to us the entire time we were eating our picnic lunch.  I had no idea they had such a beautiful song.  I was lucky enough to capture one posing on a flowering crab.  They seemed to be very friendly birds.

Yet, another water feature. Ahh!

This is another state.  Pretty realistic too!

This boardwalk along the pond was pretty cool. The kids just loved all the pathways to explore. Of course Ashley was constantly worried they would fall into the water.

More gorgeous potted urns.  I love the gnarly shrub in this one.

These daisy iron sculptures are amazing! I'd love to have these in my own garden.  They would fit right in!

Sweet Alethea posing for me.

As we headed back to our car to go onto our next destination, I couldn't help but take one last picture of the rose garden.  That arbor is so pretty and makes such a nice back drop.

The swan even came out of the water for me to get a close up!

The Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens is open every day but Monday.  Ticket prices to the conservatory depend on your age and residency.  They range from $3.00 to $9.00.  The outside gardens are FREE!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!


  1. How funny you are with that fact that in May you love anything green!!
    It's so enjoyable to see the photos with the grandkids, and I love how you share all the explorations you guys have!!

    1. Absolutely! After months of white and brown, when we see grass we get pretty excited. Thanks so much!

  2. Thank you for sharing to My Corner... I enjoyed reading. Lovely captures ♡

    Have a good week.

  3. That conservatory look so beautiful, flowers, ducks, swans. Everything look so amazing and like a perfect place for family.

  4. What a beautiful conservatory! I've seen pictures of the rose arbor, but I didn't know it was in Illinois. The pathways, statues, ducks/swans, and flower pots full of blooms, all looked lovely. I'm glad you family was able to enjoy a picnic, a walk and all the lovely views.

    1. Thanks so much. Yes, it was such a lovely time and a great meeting place.

  5. Isn't being a grandmother the best? I love that I no longer worry about the kids falling in the water!! Ha!! I leave that to my daughters. Of course, I would hate for them to fall in but I know it wouldn't be the end of the world. Being a grandmother is so much less stress!!
    What a beautiful spot this is. I love the sculptures. And that lovely waterside walkway. I am sure the kids were ready to run to their hearts' content after the drive. My Cami is a pistol and it takes all of us to try to reel her in some days. Cannot believe how big Atticus has grown. Lovely post.

    1. It sure is! But I still worry about them falling in the water. We all had a great time!

  6. Perfect place for a picnic! Thanks so much for linking up at A Themed Linkup 67 for Weekend Trips. Pinned!

  7. What a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing it with us. Very lovely.

  8. A beautiful place! Looks like a wonderful time for you and your family.
    years ago, my parents lived in Rockford. I remember celebrating Independence Day on the Rockford River one summer. Special memories!

  9. What a great place to visit, so much to see. I bet the conservatory was filled with amazing plants. Thank you for sharing on Oh my Heartsie GIrls Wonderful Wednesday!Have a great time!

    1. Yes it was! Maybe we will meet again there sometime and then go into the conservatory.

  10. Looks like such a nice spot for a picnic and it's good your grandkids got to enjoy seeing the animals and the statues! Your outfit is cute too, I like the white jacket with the polka dots!

    Hope you are having a nice weekend :) Quiet one here, with lockdown!

    Away From The Blue

    1. It was wonderful. And thanks for noticing the outfit. It was suppose to be in the sixties and sunny that day, but never rose about the fifties and cloudy. I was never suppose to have the jacket on for pictures, but ended up being so cold I had it buttoned to my neck and never took it off. I'm sorry about your lockdown in your country. I completely disagree with it, I don't feel they accomplish anything and they just end up hurting people and causing more problems.

  11. What an amazing place. You are so fortunate to be able to go there.

  12. CONGRATS! Your post is FEATURED at A Themed Linkup 68 for Travel and Vacation from my previous linkup for Weekend Trips!

  13. What a beautiful park with so much to see everywhere. We too tend to get real excited with greenery, flowers, or even buds in May!

    1. Yes it is. I'm happy someone else can understand this. Often I have to visit a conservatory or plant store in winter just to feel warmth and see greenery. I don't think southern people really can understand this, that's why they are so excited to see fall every year.

  14. That's a lovely place to visit and I'm glad you shared your photos with us.

    Thanks for sharing your link at My Corner of the World this week!

  15. What a gorgeous spot for a meetup and a picnic! It looks like everyone had a great time. Gorgeous pics!


    1. Thank you! Yes, it was a great time had by all.

  16. What a beautiful place, Amy! These photos are spectacular. It looks like the grand kids had a lot of fun, too!



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