When you live in a climate which seems to have a never-ending winter, you can?t help but get excited when the first signs of Spring arrive. Signs like tulips and daffodils are obvious signs. One of my favorite signs is when the Chicago Botanic Garden announces their annual plant sale. This is one of my favorite days of the whole year, and it has become my own personal tradition.
Sometime late in May, each year, this sale is held at the lovely garden, called the Chicago Botanic Garden, even though it is actually in Glencoe. It is really one of the most beautiful places in the Midwest. On this day primarily women, along with a few pleasant husbands, rush out to get some well cared for, healthy and unusual plants. The sale lasts three days, but if you don?t get there the first day, forget it. This year I discovered that as a member, you can donate $25 for a “pre-sale” event, which included wine and light appetizers. (These ended up being popcorn, chili and hot dogs, a sure sign we live in Chicago.) So what you are really paying for is a nice friendly plant shopping experience, no fighting over the little red wagons you use to wheel your booty to the car, and no grabbiness over the last exotic bush or plants as they are still there in abundance at this point. It is also a tradition for me to be full of hope when I buy a full sun plant, even though my husband has told me at least a dozen times per year that our tiny balcony can not give these plants the sunshine they need. Why are the full sun plants always the most beautiful and difficult to resist? I succumb again this year, and when it is clear my sheer willpower for the plant to thrive is not quite enough to make it happen, I move that plant to our shop in Old Town, where it at least has a chance. It is good to have your own traditions, no matter what folly they entail!