Seasonal Gardens for Spring & Summer
As spring approaches and the signs of winter start to fade, wildflowers poke through the ground, shades of purple and pink appear in the earliest blooms, and cherry blossoms and lilacs abound, ripe for the picking. Gardens in all corners of the greater Champaign County area lie in wait for your senses to discover.
Allerton Park & Retreat Center, a majestic estate with fourteen formal gardens has over 100 ornamentals deliberately placed along the turns of every path so regardless of the time of year you visit, you’ll be accompanied by an abundance of color. European-inspired sculptures enhance the landscape, such as the Avenue of Chinese Musicians and the towering Adam that greets you at the intersection of four gardens.
Peace and tranquility will wash over you as you find yourself in the adjacent gardens of the Japan House and the Arboretum. The Sen Cherry Tree Allee ushers in spring with the blooming of cherry blossoms leading up to the Japan House. Surrounding this cultural facility, you’ll find traditional Japanese gardens such as their Tea Garden, which is based on the historical gardens dating back to the 16th century, and the Dry Garden with rocks and sand that doesn’t fit with the Western world’s view of a garden. To the north of the Japan House, you’ll find a living laboratory at the University of Illinois, created by student and faculty alike, covering an impressive 57 acres and boasting a variety of gardens. The Idea Garden showcases the latest in borders, ornamentals, and vegetables to inspire you on garden design. Season to season, the gardens evolve, welcoming you to return and rejoice in all nature has to offer.
At the Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, you’ll find eight acres of the park dedicated to the Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden. A popular backdrop for photos, this garden boasts some of the most beautiful and diverse flora in Central Illinois. The red Japanese bridge pops against the pond filled with lily pads and the waterfall trickling behind it.
Get ready for the beauty of spring and summer. Get your free Experience Guide, and plan your visit today!