Blossoms Are Fleeting, Love Is Eternal

I’ve written before about the glorious display of crabapple blossoms at the Chicago Botanic Garden every spring. But getting to the garden at the right time to see the display is rather challenging. It is at its height for just a few days, a period that can be cut short or eliminated altogether by a late cold snap or hard rain. Β The result is that many years we miss it entirely.

Every trip to the Chicago Botanic Garden should begin with paying homage to the statue of Linnaeus in the Heritage Garden.
Every trip to the Chicago Botanic Garden should begin with paying homage to the statue of Linnaeus in the Heritage Garden.

Because I was at the CBG on Saturday morning for my class, I happened to know that the crabapples were at their peak this past weekend. So I proposed to Judy that we go to CBG on Sunday. This despite my frantic efforts to keep up with gardening tasks, and the fact that Judy had taken the red eye from California the night before (she also travels a lot for work, but to much better locations).

You walk past the English garden to a path that is under a virtual tunnel of crabapple blooms
You walk past the English garden to a path that is under a virtual tunnel of crabapple blooms, leading to the North bridge to Evening Island.

We arrived in the late afternoon Sunday, after the weather had cooled and the crowds had thinned. Out came Judy’s camera and she started taking pictures: click, click, click … then just as we approached the crabapples, the clicking stopped. Judy looked at her camera with dismay: the battery was dead.

A carpet of low-growing blue comfrey carpets the ground under some of the trees.
The ground under some of the trees is carpeted with low-growing blue Comfrey.

Of course I had wanted photos for my blog. But I was an adult about it, and sulked no longer than was absolutely necessary. We resolved to go on and enjoy our walk without the distraction of taking pictures. And we did just that, luxuriating in the beauty that was all around us.

North bridge to Evening Island.
North bridge to Evening Island.
Chicago Botanic Garden, Evening Island
Another view of the bridge.

Monday morning I headed out-of-town. Judy did not have to travel this week. That evening I was on-line and noticed that she was downloading photos. A lot of photos.

Chicago Botanic Garden, Crabapple blossoms
Pink crabapple blossoms on Evening Island.

It turned out that she had run out of her office in downtown Chicago at 5 o’clock. She then drove the 24 miles to CBG through the usual rush hour madness. There she took the pictures she was unable to take the day before. This is something I really would never have asked her to do.

Chicago Botanic Garden, Euphorbia, Evening Island
Euphorbia on Evening Island.
Chicago Botanic Garden, Blue Heron
This part of the lagoon is home to a couple of Blue Herons.

Now, is that true love, or what?

Chicago Botanic Garden, Crabapple blossoms, Evening Island
South bridge to Evening Island, the Carillon tower rises above the crabapple blossoms.
Chicago Botanic Garden, crabapple blossom
Another tunnel of Crabapple blossom.

There are two downsides to this, though. The first is that I have to come up with something equivalent that I can do for her. That will be tough. The second is that I could no longer use a really great title I had thought of for the post about crabapples in bloom. Ready? Here it is: “With Malus Towards None”. Get it?

Weeping Redbud, Crabapple in bloom
Weeping Redbud and Crabapple.

Has anyone gone above and beyond the call of duty to indulge your mania for blogging or gardening lately?

35 Comments on “Blossoms Are Fleeting, Love Is Eternal

  1. Beautiful photos! Some friends from Evanston took me there once, and your photographs brought back the sweet memories of walking around the gardens with them. πŸ™‚

  2. Aw, so sweet!! My husband is not really an outdoors type of person, but he goes to various garden events with me, which I always appreciate. The crabapples are beautiful. A crabapple is on my list for one of the trees I want in my next garden! I always remember my grandmother’s crabapple (ok, really I remember her awesome crabapple jelly, which I ate loads of whenever we visited).

    And I do always appreciate a good punny title – yours was especially fine. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks (on her behalf), she keeps saying if she had only gotten there 20 minutes earlier, the light would have been perfect.

  3. That IS true love! How nice of her. I can relate – my husband is by far the better photographer, so I am always pestering him to help whenever something is blooming and the clock is ticking. Too bad about the title, though! Maybe you can use it for a future post.

    • I was just thinking that if there isn’t much fruit on my ‘Donald Wyman’, I could write a post called ‘Absence of Malus’.

  4. Wow that really is so sweet of Judy, yes i got what you mean by the title no more! If i were Judy i might even take a day off from work and just walk in that location again, seems like a day or two is not enough for an awesome landscape. And yes, because of blogging i not only have gone beyond the call of duty, i even cut office work to chase the sunsets in my 5th floor window, or gone absent to take photos i need for the next posts. hahaha

  5. I’d say your wife should get at least a night out for taking all those great photos! I like the foxglove plants in the first shot as well as the flowering crab apples. (Malus, for those who didn’t get your joke.) The comfrey under the trees is a good idea, and is something I probably wouldn’t have thought of.

  6. What a great wife! I see diamonds in her future! πŸ˜‰ You got the best of both worlds – photos for your blog, and a walk just relaxing and enjoying the beauty. That last photo with the tulips and other blooms is just gorgeous.

  7. Judy’s photographs are simply gorgeous! She has such a wonderful eye for landscapes. And these shots are just beyond the beyond beautiful. Also, she is beyond the beyond wonderful to take the time and brave the traffic for you. But, given the extraordinary beauty of the place, I can imagine she did it for herself, as a photographer, as well. And, yes, you really must do something wonderful for her. Perhaps Champagne (the real stuff), gourmet chocolate, and a promise to do the dishes for a month springs to mind (at least to MY mind).
    As for the title–oy vey! I love it. You’ll find another use for it, I’m sure. The one you’ve used here is far more appropriate. You are lucky to have each other.

  8. Wow, that last shot is totally awesome, the colours are gorgeous! That is one devoted friend, lucky you πŸ™‚

  9. Judy’s pictures are some of the best I have seen of this garden and you picked a perfect time to shoot them…I dare say I have to get to this garden someday in May.

  10. That is indeed true love; it’s actually more than love and dedication. Trying to describe these in words actually minimizes their values. Lovely shots; I want all those foxgloves. My hubby is always going beyond as he is not into gardening, doesn’t care about it but constantly taking me here and there, making these for me, hauling loads for me πŸ™‚

  11. We are all grateful to Judy for her photographic commitment. What wonderful images!! Thanks to you both (but especially Judy :-)) for sharing the CBG.

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