Spring Flower Show: "Sun Showers" at the Garfield Park Conservatory


spring umbrellas

What better way to celebrate the coming of spring than at a spring flower show?

Garfield Park Conservatory’s 2015 Spring Show, “Sun Showers,” opened on February 14, 2015. Continuing the Conservatory’s grand reopening year theme, Sun Showers celebrates the revival of the Show House and its seasonal shows following the 2011 hailstorm. More than 200 yellow umbrellas hang from the glass ceiling, celebrating both the rain and sun that bring us hopeful spring flowers. Hundreds of blossoms including azaleas, camellias, daffodils, hyacinths, and orchids fill the room with their beauty and aroma. The Spring Show reminds Chicagoans in the midst of winter that warmer weather and colorful gardens are soon to follow. The show will feature additional plants and flowers, such as hydrangea and tulips, throughout its run, ending May 10, 2015.

The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance changes lives through the power of nature. We inspire, educate and provoke exploration through innovative programs and experiences in one of the nation’s largest and finest historic conservatories. 

Following a devastating cold spell in the winter of 1994 which injured a significant portion of the aroid collection, the Chicago Park District convened a task force of representatives from various community, education, and environmental organizations. For six months, eighty individuals participated in the development of a plan to revitalize the Conservatory through new programs, visitor services, marketing and fundraising. These activities would be carried out by a newly formed Alliance, a partnership of organizations which included the Chicago Park District, Friends of the Parks, and area schools, museums, conservation organizations and community groups. The plan was subsequently funded by Lila-Wallace Reader’s Digest Fund’s Urban Parks Initiative which awarded a $1.46 million challenge grant. The grant required a one to one match, at least 60% of which must come from private funds. The Chicago Park District committed to the full 40% public sector match.

The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance is a diverse group of experts that join their talents to create programs and workshops for practical experience with plant science and horticulture.  The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance is a member and donor supported project. Support for the Alliance makes the broad programming at the Conservatory possible. Here are some ways you can get involved:

  • Make a contribution that supports our programs. These programs give kids and adults unique experiences with nature. Ask if your company has a matching gift program. This is an easy way to increase the impact of a gift.
  • Become a member of the Conservatory and get special invitations to events and exhibit previews.
  • Become a volunteer. The Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the most interesting and beautiful places in Chicago to volunteer. It’s like a trip to the tropics everyday!

The Garfield Park Conservatory and Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance are members of the City Parks Alliance, helping to keep our nation’s urban parks vibrant and healthy.

The Garfield Park Conservatory is open daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Admission is free, but a suggested donation at the door is greatly appreciated. The Conservatory is located at 300 North Central Park Avenue in Chicago.


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