I visited Garfield Park Conservatory on Monday to photograph the flowers in their Spring Flower Show. Thank goodness for places like Garfield that put together these extraordinary flower shows that help us endure that transition from winter to spring. Winters are very long in Chicago and by February and March many of us are eagerly counting days until we can be outside in the sunshine to watch the emergence of spring. While we wait ever so patiently through the ups and downs in temps, places like Garfield provide us with a beautiful haven to enjoy spring indoors. The flower show is spectacular this year - I promise to do a post with some of my images in the coming days. Oh my, the tulips!
First, however, I would like to introduce you to a very special flower propagated and officially registered by the talented Kathy Cahill at Garfield...Nymphaea 'Garfield Park'. Kathy was excited to take me behind the scenes to see and photograph this special waterlily that will join the outdoor collection in the waterlily pool. Last summer I experienced the most amazing class with Kathy when we got to go in the water with the waterlilies. If you missed that post, you can read it here. Nymphaea 'Garfield Park' is proudly wintering and flowering in one of the greenhouses at Garfield and she's a beauty. What a treat to see her and be able to spend a blissful hour photographing her in her winter home.
I had fun photographing her with both my Lensbaby Velvet 85mm (I thought she definitely deserved a very soft focus look with the Velvet) and my 100mm macro. I was within inches of this water lily - truly an encounter that doesn't happen often with water lilies. Normally I'm much farther away and using a 70-300mm lens to capture aquatic blooms.
Thank you, Kathy, for this special treat...and for the other treat, the delicious chocolate cake! You truly exemplify what is so special about Garfield - a staff of the most passionate and generous people imaginable. As I always say, it's one of the happiest places to spend a day among the flowers and plants.