Chicago is one of the greatest cities in the country but its reputation for traffic issues tends to deter many people from visiting. It is also home to
amazing world-class private gardens and horticultural sites so it is a shame most gardeners avoid the trip just because of the traffic. This tour will
take that stress out of a trip; you will “be chauffeured” by tour bus to exciting sites you might otherwise never see! Sit back and relax in our deluxe
motor coach as we explore the beautiful gardens, parks, arboreta and more of Chicagoland without the hassles.
- Visit Camp Rosemary, one of the most exceptional English style Gardens outside of England
- Enjoy shopping at Chalet Nursery and Hornbaker Gardens
- Talk with Bill Kurtis and Donna LaPietra at Mettawa Manor
- Visit the Chicago Botanical Gardens, Garfield Park Conservatory and Morton Arboretum
- View the exquisite Cantigny Park & Gardens
- Enjoy behind-the-scenes tours at most of the sites
- Delight in a special Chicago style farewell meal and lunch at a trendy food market
- Roundtrip luxury motorcoach transportation provided from Ames, IA
- Free bottled water on coach
DAY 1-GARDENS AT BALL/CANTIGNY
This morning we make our way from Reiman Gardens in Ames, Iowa to Chicago, Illinois. Our first garden stop, The Gardens at Ball, which began as a row trial garden for seed varieties in 1933. This location has grown to encompass over nine acres of display beds for annuals, perennials, cut flowers and vegetables, including the newest plants from the industry’s leading breeders. Next we tour the Gardens at Cantigny, sitting on 29 scenic acres west of Chicago. The Gardens feature more than 160,000 annuals, perennials, and flowering shrubs and trees. Tonight settle in and unpack once at the comfortable DoubleTree Chicago Oak Brook Hotel. L
DAY 2–CHICAGO BOTANIC/LANDSCAPE DESIGN STUDIO/METTAWA MANOR
Today we visit the expansive and impressive Chicago Botanic Gardens. This morning you’ll have time to stroll through the many specialty gardens such as the Japanese, formal English, Heritage or Native gardens – there are 27 gardens in all! For those who wish, we will conclude our visit with a tram tour of the gardens. Next we visit Chalet Nursery for a tasty lunch and shopping.
After lunch, we have a rare opportunity to visit one of the most exceptional English-style gardens outside of Great Britain at Posy Krehbiel’s Camp Rosemary. We will spend an extraordinary afternoon with the head gardener in one of the nation’s most spectacular private gardens. This expansive estate, designed by Rose Standish Nichols in the 1920s, includes an array of captivating garden rooms, a lush wooded ravine garden, and so much more.
Next, we tour the Craig Bergmann Landscape Design Studio. For over three decades, Craig Bergmann Landscape Design has won critical acclaim for mixing design, horticulture and architecture in a way that is unique to Northern Illinois. The firm is known for its attention to detail and establishes a true dialogue between the living garden and the architectural site. Our final stop of the day is a visit to Mettawa Manor, where celebrities Donna LaPietra and Bill Kurtis have been working since 1990 to refurbish historic gardens. Here we have the pleasure of Bill and Donna greeting us and listening to them discuss their new restoration projects. At Mettawa Manor, we’ll also have time to see the walled English-style garden with twin perennial borders framing a sunken lawn. Outside the east gate also sits the golden garden and an orchard bordered by the fencedpotager, cutting garden, and circular herb garden – there’s so much to see! We return to ourhotel for the night after a full day of amazing gardens. B, L, D
DAY 3–GARFIELD PARK/MILLENIUM PARK
After a delicious breakfast we visit Garfield Park, located on Chicago’s west side, and the oldest of the three original parks in this neighborhood. Here we’ll visit Garfield Park Conservatory, the third-largest conservatory under glass in the world. Often referred as “landscape art under glass”, here we’ll enjoy an informative guided tour of both the indoor greenhouses and outdoor garden. Lunch today is on your own as we explore one of Chicago’s trendy food markets, offering an array of different options from some of Chicago’s favorite restaurants. Next, we head to Millennium Park to discover the state-of-the-art collection of architecture, landscape design and art which provides the backdrop for hundreds of cultural programs such as concerts and family activities. This park is nestled in between the skyscrapers of downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan and is home to many unique sculpture and landscapes, including Cloud Gate, also known as “The Bean”, a Chicago landmark. Tonight we enjoy a Chicago-style farewell dinner at a local restaurant. B, D
DAY 4–MORTON ARBORETUM/HORNBAKER GARDENS/FAREWELL
As we leave the DoubleTree Chicago Oak Brook to head back home, we’ll visit our last two amazing gardens. First up is the expansive Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. This garden features an outdoor museum and herbarium, as well as a collection and study of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. After lunch on your own at
Morton Arboretum’s restaurant, we head to Princeton, Illinois to tour the gorgeous Hornbaker Gardens. This family owned-and-operated nursery has a large collection of hostas, daylilies, trees and shrubs, grasses, aquatics, annuals, and other perennials. Finally, we relive our favorite memories from this spectacular tour as we return back to
Reiman Gardens. B
Nights 1-3: DoubleTree Hotel Chicago Oak Brook, IL
Jun 10-13, 2021
Price per person:
Reiman Gardens, Ames, IA
Highs in the low 70's /lows in the low 60's
Schedule to arrive at Reiman Gardens on Sep 17 by 5:45 a.m. for a 6:00 a.m. departure.
Schedule to return to Reiman Gardens by 8:45 p.m. on Sep 20.
Complimentary parking at Reiman Gardens for duration of tour.
Moderate to moderately extensive walking is required to fully enjoy this tour. Some walking can be on uneven surfaces.
Standard service includes high-speed and wireless internet access, an iron and ironing board, alarm clock, hair dryer, coffee maker, and a daily newspaper.
Dress on tour is casual.
Further information is mailed upon receipt of your reservation. A total of three mailings are sent to assist you in preparing for your tour…Get Ready, Get Set and Go! Our “Get Ready” packet is sent confirming your reservation. Our “Get Set” packet provides further information approximately 90 days prior to departure with important details regarding making your travel arrangements. Finally, our “Go” packet arrives 2-3 weeks before departure containing your final documents.
Updates to this document are available from our Discovery Reservations Team, and will be posted online at www.CountryTravelDiscoveries.com/RGG.
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