Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Khlem Arboretum




I want to thank everyone of my friends who kindly wished my father a speedy recovery. Altho we still don't know the cause of his illness, he seems to be doing better. He is spending a few weeks in a therapy center getting his strength back. We hope he will go home soon.



The last of my stash of photos from the Council of Rockford Gardeners garden walk June 17, 2009. Khlem Arboretum my last stop on the tour that day.

If the name Khlem sounds familiar, you are probably familiar with the family that has maintained a presence in the nursery business in Illinois for over half a century. A little history about the arboretum. Landscape architect William Lincoln Taylor established this 155-acre site in 1910. My Taylor used the land to introduce and study rare trees he wanted to use in his landscape business.

In 1968 the Khlem family bought the land and maintained the plantings, then in 1990 they decided to donate the land to the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District with the stipulation it be used as a forest preserve. A team of arborists inventoried the site and determined that it contained an assortment of rare plant life unlike anywhere else in the US.

A singularly unattractive education center was built and a maze of roads, parking lots and paved paths now overwhelm the once natural landscape. In spite of the 'improvements' the arboretum still has much of it's original charm.

I was really taken with this birch birdhouse. I may try to copy it for my home garden.





When I think of Khlem's, I think of peonies. The family has hybridized some lovely varieties. The arboretum features a large formal peony garden.


The water features are my favorite. This is truly a lovely place to sit and soak up the restful atmosphere.



These shallow bogs contain some lovely plants. They are also a favorite bathing and drinking spot for birds.







Water rushes over the rocks and falls into the lily pond.


A bridge crosses the creek and enters the wooded area.


44 comments:

Southern Lady said...

So glad your father is better. Thanks for the beautiful pictures. The peony garden is my favorite.

tina said...

Just what I need on this chilly day to warm me up. Those peonies are outstanding! I think that may be where I've heard the name Khlem.

I am so glad your father is doing better. What a relief.

Darla said...

What a lovely stroll you have taken us on. Praises that your Father is recovering and I pray it will be speedy! P.S. make me a bird house like this one too, lol.

sweet bay said...

I am so glad to hear that your father is doing better.

It's too bad about all of the development, but the Khlem Arboretum still looks like a very lovely place. The peonies and the water gardens are beautiful.

Gail said...

Marnie, That is good news about your dad~I wish him a speedy recovery and a return home soon.

It's a beautiful garden~too bad that improvements haven't exactly improved it! But the gardens are lovely and the bridge and boggy areas are stunning. Thank you for the tour~Take care,
gail

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Believe it or not, I've never been to the Klehm Arboretum. I really should go, but it's so much easier just to go to the Morton Arboretum or the Chicago Botanic Garden, which are much closer.
Your mention of the Klehm's Peonies reminds me of when they still had the property in South Barrington. I used to love driving down Rte. 59 in May & June and seeing the field of blooming Peonies. Now, it's just too many too big houses.
Glad to hear that your father is doing better.

Michelle said...

Fantastic gardens! I have always loved Klehms catalog.

Balisha said...

Hi Marnie...This day is wonderful...I've been to Oregon to visit Merlin's Greenhouse this morning. I should go to Klehm's during peony season. Glad to hear the news about your Dad. I hope that his therapy goes well and he can come home soon. Have a great day.
Balisha

troutbirder said...

I absolutely love visiting arboretums and this seemed like a very nice one.
btw. according to the local waitress the eagles made a daily trip from the Mississippi river (about ten miles away) to lunch on leftovervs from the chicken farm.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Hi Marnie! That is such a wonderful birdhouse. It fits into a natural setting so well. I bet you could make one.
Oh, I love the waterfalls, and ponds. Just beautiful with all of the waterlilies. It is a birds dream vacation spot. ;-) Makes you wish you had them in your yard. I only have room for my little pump fountain so I will just have to want and dream LOL!

ShySongbird said...

So glad your Father is improving Marnie and I do hope he continues to do so.

It really does look like a nice place to visit and very peaceful. I love the birdhouse and all the photos especially the one with the Peonies. I think they are lovely flowers and always seem to have an abandoned blowsiness about them. The Lily pond is so pretty too :)

Connie said...

So glad to hear your Dad is better.
Love the birch birdhouse!

Carol said...

Marnie, I hope your dad continues to feel stronger and more like himself! These photos are gorgeous ... what a lovely tour. Thanks to people like the Khlems we have many such marvelous places preserved the world over.

Susie said...

Thanks for taking us with you on the tour. I've enjoyed it. Looks like such a pretty place to visit.

So glad to hear your dad is doing better.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Marnie, I'm glad to hear the good news about your father. I will keep him in my prayers though.

The Arboretum pictures are gorgeous. Love that unique birdhouse also. If you copy it, show us a picture.

I love Peonies also. SO pretty...

That 'green' makes me yearn for spring.

Hugs,
Betsy

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am so happy to read that your Dad is feeling better. The birdhouse is great. I love seeing all of these photos. It doesn't seem right to see the snow falling on all of these summer shots. ;)

nancybond said...

Thanks for sharing your lovely stroll with us. The gardens are beautiful. I'm very glad your father is feeling better.

walk2write said...

So sorry I missed your last post, and I'm glad your father is doing much better, Marnie. This place would have been a great place to visit, if only I had ventured up north while we lived in IL. Isn't it funny that those fancy-schmancy improvements often work to spoil the natural beauty of a place? New isn't always better.

Rosey said...

That birch birdhouse is charming. And so is the rest of this area!

Dawn said...

What a beautiful place. I like that birdhouse too, can you imagine the tenant having the best birdhouse in the neighborhood? Glad to hear your father is doing better, sometimes....drs don't know as is the case with me most times! Ha!

Kathleen said...

It's good to "see" you posting Marnie. I was hoping that meant good news. Strange to not know the cause of an illness ~ I wonder how often that happens? I hope your dad continues to improve and can be healthy enough very soon to go home.

Your garden walk photos are always so good. I LOVE the birdhouse ~ you should absolutely try to make one. It would be incredible ~ like having a piece of art in the garden. :-)
Take care of yourself too (while you're watching out for your dad).

Kerri said...

Marnie, so sorry to hear your father has been ill but glad he's doing better. I do hope the doctor is able to determine the cause of his illness. What a scare that must've been.
What a beautiful place the Khlem Arboretum is. Love the birdhouse! I'd love to walk through that peony garden, and your photo of the lily pond is especially lovely.
How lucky you were to win the birdfeeder! And I see you have house finches. I wish they'd find our feeders. I'd love to see the purples too. We've had lots of them in the past couple of years..but not this winter.
Yes, I hope we do see some siskins and redpolls during the migration season. We're lucky to have lots of tree sparrows though. They're such fun to watch.

Cameron said...

Marnie, it is good news that your dad's condition has improved and hope for continued improvement and healing.

Love the stroll through the Arboretum. That bridge is wonderful!

Cameron

Jan (Thanks For Today) said...

How frustrating and scary it must be to not know what has made your dad ill. I hope the therapy will continue his improvement and he'll feel like himself again soon. Your photos and the arboretum visit are just lovely! Jan

Grace Peterson said...

Hi Marnie~~ I'm glad your father is on the mend.

I love your photos of the boggy areas. I can imagine with all of the beautiful vegetation there are many critters that call it home.

BeadedTail said...

I'm so glad your father is doing better and I'm sending prayers that he continues to do so!

Such a beautiful garden and love that birdhouse!

Rose said...

I'm glad to know your father is doing better, Marnie. I wish him a continued recovery and that he'll be able to come home soon.

The Klehm Arboretum has been on my list of places to visit for some time; maybe one of these days I'll finally get there. At one time, I think the Klehm family also maintained a farm here in Champaign County, where they raised either peonies or daylilies. (I've had so many gardening facts crammed into my brain the last few weeks with MG classes that I don't remember which it was.)

joey said...

Oh my, stunning photos, Marnie. I treasured their catalogues for the beautiful photos. The lily pond is stunning and I too want that birdhouse! Healing wishes for your father.

Cordwood Cabin said...

I agree, the arboretum's plant life is beautiful, making up for unsightly buildings ... and glad to hear your father is feeling better (and hope his condition continues to improve!)

Judy said...

So glad your father is improving. Just when we start to think the doctors know everything...
I love that birdhouse!!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Glad to hear your dad is getting better. What wonderful photos of Khelm. The name is familiar to me because they are one of the places I emailed asking if they were looking for speakers! :)

How are the WS containers coming along?!

Msrobin said...

Good news that your father is feeling better! Sure wish I could have joined you to visit that arboretum, it looks beautiful. Ah summer, I can hardly wait. But first, I need spring to arrive! Snow slowly receding, thank goodness.

Southern Lady said...

Thanks, Marnie, for your comment about my knockout roses! I feel much better now. I'll post pictures when they start coming back out.

ramblingwoods.com said...

I hope your father feels better soon. I wanted to let you know that I can comment on your blog with no problem. I can't on blogger blogs with embedded comments as it is something to do with the way the script runs. But no problems here. If you continue to have problems. Ditch the word verification and just moderate all comments or delete any your don't like... Michelle

Q said...

This looks to be a lovly place. Too bad they did not build as lovely visitors cemter to go with...
I have a small collection of very old peomies. They are amazing flowers in May.
Saw my first bee of the season!
Spring is on her way. Glad you Dad is doing better.
Sherry

thewritegardener said...

Lovely pictures Ms. Marnie. I love the birch birdhouse too.

Oklahoma Granny said...

Just stopping by to thank you for your visit to my blog. Please come again anytime.

The first thing I saw when I came here was the photo of the Leg Lamp and it gave me quite a laugh. A Christmas Story is one of our favorite holiday movies, so much so that my son built a Leg Lamp for his dad as a Christmas gift a few years ago.

Then I saw all your fantastic photography. Such beautiful photos! I have enjoyed each and every single one.

Wishing you a lovely day.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

What a beautiful place, especially the water garden! It really makes me anxious for summer seeing all that green and the flowers!

teresa said...

That's one relaxing place. Just looking at your virtual tour made me feel calmer. So beautiful. I do like that birdhouse too. I am glad your dad is on the mend. It is not easy when your parents take ill.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

So sorry to hear your father has been ill, Marnie. I am glad that he is recovering, and I hope he will be back to his old self soon.

Thanks for taking us on the field trip to the Khlem Arboretum. What a lovely place to spend the day...it almost makes me think it is summer. It sounds like a facinating place--and I love that little birch bird house.

ShySongbird said...

Hi Marnie, I hope you spot this, it is the only way I could think of alerting you to the fact that my sidebar has shown, for nearly 24 hours that you have a new post entitled 'Mother Always Loved You Best' but when I click on it I am told the page doesn't exist! Hope this is of help.

Skeeter said...

Am so glad to hear your father is doing better! The birch house is awesome and yes, you should try to copy it for yourself. That would be a fun project. We repaired some birdhouses this weekend. Darn squirrels keep chewing the holes. We put metal frames around them so hopefully, the chewing will stop. I so want a little foot bridge and this one you show is really nice. Thanks for the stroll…

Nan and =^..^= said...

Hi Marnie,
Oh, I thought I had left a comment a few days ago but I don't see it...so here I am again. Glad to hear that your Dad is doing better and wishing him the best. Enjoyed the Khlem Arboretum and loved the birch birdhouse! Take care!

Kahshe Cottager said...

What a beautiful garden Marnie. I can only dream about having something like this - I live on a big rock and there isn't much soil other than we have trucked in.


I'm glad your father is doing better and hope that he is home soon.