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Garfield Conservatory

floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-13floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-18floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-16floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-17floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-10floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-15 floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-9floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-11floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-8floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-12floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-3floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-2floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-4floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-14 floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-6floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-7 floral-silk-blouse-garfield-observatory-5Vest: Topshop // Blouse: Banana Republic // Jeans: Express // Sunglasses: Karen Walker via DITTO // Earrings: old, similar // Bag: old, similar // Boots: Circus by Sam Edelman // Manicure: Nails by MEI

What to do when you’re more than ready for spring to come, but the bulbs are just starting to push through the ground? Put on your prettiest floral print silk top—layered with a luxuriously plush faux fur vest because it’s technically still winter—and head to that great Victorian invention of indoor botany: the conservatory. Although the stunning facade of the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco may be more appealing from the outside, the Garfield Conservatory just outside of Chicago boasts hidden lush gardens that are hard to beat.

We recently popped up to Chicago so I could cover an event for the Nordstrom blog, where I was treated to this bananas manicure by the great Mei, but once my job was done we had some time to explore Chicagoland a bit. We were originally planning on checking out the Van Gogh exhibit at the Art Institute but ran out of time, so we decided to explore the conservatory after we happened to drive past it, and I’m so glad we did.

In addition to the wealth of daffodils, hyacinths, orchids and succulents, the Garfield is currently home to the solarise exhibit, which the conservatory website describes as “a series of light and sculptural environments created by Luftwerk – Chicago artists Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero.” I especially loved the floral patchwork of red-and-blue lucite panels that were suspended over the Show Room, adding another layer of color to the already stunning setting. We spent over an hour wandering from greenhouse to greenhouse, snapping photos along the way, but I could have happily just moved on in like the kids in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Being around that many flowers and all that beautiful color left me with a huge, dumb grin on my face, and I can’t wait to go back.