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Chicago Botanic Garden: Of waterfall and waterfowl

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Courtesy of Craig Summers Black.

(Read caption) Amber waves of miscanthus sway in the summer breeze.

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I watched the last of summer slip serenely into the recent past while transplanted and transfixed at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

As in my Iowa garden, this Illinois landscape was quiet in its presentation at this time of the year, so late in the growing season.

The last lotus of summer, the flowering heads of ornamental grasses, the still-ripening fruit, expanses of wildflowers, the elegance of visiting waterfowl – these were the highlights of late-season Illinois. And, again, the structural power of hardscaping – especially of the Chicago Botanic Garden's dramatic water features – hammered the lesson home: Work on your bones.

Chicago’s climate is milder than my own (not as hot in summer, not as cold in winter), so some dramatic perennials were still in flower.

My eye was especially entertained by a new-to-me mum – Megumi. This diminutive cascading Japanese chrysanthemum is a yellow anemone style, vibrantly handsome. Alas, it is a florist type and is in no way winter-hardy hereabouts. Then again, very few mums are. Hard to believe, I know.

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