The sun might be shining and the weather getting warmer (some days, right after a bunch of snow) but it’s still solidly winter in Chicago. Whether you’re able to achieve the sort of hygge only native Nordic folks seem to be able to or you’re ready to throw open the windows and pick daisies as soon as it hits 45 out, you could probably stand a little bit of a tropical oasis, even for a day.
That’s part of the enduring charm of the Chicago Botanic Garden’s orchid shows. No matter the year’s theme, it’s a lush paradise of gorgeous, exotic flowers dripping from every place they can possibly stick the seemingly otherworldly blooms that you can get lost in regardless of what the weather is doing outside (though you will have to walk a little ways in the elements to get to the show). After an unfortunate hiatus due to the pandemic, the orchid show springs back into brilliant bloom with Untamed, a look at the orchid as it lives and thrives in the wild. Contrary to popular belief, though they are rumored to be finicky to keep, orchids are able to grow in some truly unlikely places, where other plants fear to put down roots.
Though I’ve loved the other takes on the orchid show in years past, most especially Brilliance, which spotlighted the vast array of intense, gorgeous colors orchids come in, Untamed is a great and timely look at orchids as you’d find them in their natural habitats, surrounded by dripping moss and reflected in the face of still ponds or trickling waterfalls. Urban or rainforest settings alike, these blooms are sturdier and stranger than you can imagine.
We simply love the orchid show for its massive collection of beautiful blooms and its perfect timing, and it’s always a joy to behold. If you’re interested in more ways to enjoy it though, the garden is also offering Orchids After Hours, a perfect for date night affair that nets you entry into the show with the added availability of cocktails and light bites for purchase every Thursday evening from 5 to 8 pm for the duration of the show’s run, which ends March 27.
If you’re a shutterbug who wants to take their time and their tripod to get some beautiful shots of these intricate beauties, check out Photographer’s Hours, which are on Tuesdays from 8:15 to 9:45 am but are limited capacity.
For more information on this year’s Orchid Show, click here.