Monday, December 17, 2012

Plant geek: winter containers in Chicago

Our trip to Chicago helped get me in the holiday spirit.  We have had warmer temperatures and no snow to speak of in Kansas.  There is something about cold weather and snow that triggers my psyche that it is time for Christmas.

I tend to feel like my internal clock for holiday prep is off and I like to blame the retail stores for pushing the holiday decorations, gift sets and commercials as close to Halloween as possible.  Of course, every year we get busier and busier which makes it hard to even think about the holidays until they are almost upon us.

We took off for a quick 36 hour trip to Chicago at the end of November.  It was just cold enough to have that lovely brisk feeling, but not so cold that we were uncomfortable.  The city was dressed up beautifully with lights and decorations in so many places.  I found inspiration in the touches of the season - greenery, lights, decorations, and other seasonal items that made it feel like Christmas.  This was just what I needed. 

 The plant geek in me was in love with the containers.  I had to take some pictures to try to remember some of the combinations.  I am a huge fan of the flowering cabbage and the dried grasses featured in the planters in front of the Art Institute.  Last summer, I took a picture of these same planters with this same grass.  You can see the summer version here.

 I had a short list of things I wanted to do while in Chicago and one of them was to see the wreathes on the lions in front of the Art Institute.  Nerdy, I know.  We actually met a really nice couple who agreed to take our photo with one of the lions.  He was wearing a K-State sweatshirt, so we hit it off right away.
 In Millennium Park, there were several different neat arrangements.  I really loved the combination of twigs and branches and the evergreens. 
 I found this arrangement to be just right - elegant and stately.  I wanted to show you the scale with this shot...
 ...and the detail with this shot.
 Love the color and variety in this arrangement.
 It takes a special husband to see a streetscape and ask if it includes the same bark that I had been talking about after visiting Minneapolis.  Yes, it sure is!  Here is where I blogged about the awesome fall containers from that trip.

 This is my favorite!  I really like the topiary and the combination of foliage and accents at the base.  It also has nice drape.  (I can hear my husband laughing at me now..."Nice drape.")
 This is my second runner up.  This arrangement has good height with the sticks.  The pine cones and the red eucalyptus are really striking.
See what I mean?

I am adding to my 2013 goals that I actually install containers for the fall and winter seasons next year.  I usually cover spring and summer and give up after the heat zaps my summer version.  With all of these ideas, I am sure to make it happen.

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