During the early 1930s, experimental
farms served as practical laboratories to landscape
the family farms that blanketed the countryside. These
laboratories tried new species of plants, tested theories of
planting and harvesting, and investigated new practices in
raising productive farm animals. One of the most successful
experimental farms was Colonel Robert R. McCormick’s at Cantigny.
To educate and share the accomplishments of experimental
farms, McCormick's Chicago Tribune ran a weekly column entitled “Day by Day
Stories of the Experimental Farms." These trusted reports helped shape
the future of the Midwest as a leader in agriculture.
After McCormick’s death in 1955, the Board of Directors decided to
change Cantigny's focus from agriculture to horticulture by hiring famed landscape architect Franz Lipp
to design and build a world class garden. In 1967, Lipp began construction of this lush,
horticultural masterpiece, which is one of the largest display gardens in the Midwest with
more than 160,000 annuals, perennials, ground covers and flowering shrubs and trees. A
majority of the plants seen throughout the gardens are estate-grown inside Cantigny’s
renowned greenhouse. Guests are encouraged to visit the gardens throughout the year to witness the
ever-changing beauty of its seasonal glory.
Cantigny gardens offers opportunities for both display
and education, which include plant testing, growing and
blooming assessments and color composition. It was designed
so both amateur and professional landscapers could visit Cantigny’s Gardens
and find plants that grow well in the Midwest.
Download a map of our gardens!
Feb: Fri-Sun, 9am to Sunset*Mar-Apr: 9am to Sunset*May-Oct: 7am to Sunset*Nov-Dec: 9am to Sunset*
*The in-bound park gate closes one hour prior to sunset.
1S151 Winfield RoadWheaton, IL 60189630.668.5161
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