There is something quite special about finding a place that is unknown to most of the world. It’s like a secret that you keep until you choose to whisper it to others. I want to share with all of you the very magical place I wandered into yesterday. I hope that you will take these whispers of a secret and personally visit the garden. No words or pictures can truly capture the beauty of this garden.
Lincoln Park Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool – Lincoln Park
The garden is called Lincoln Park Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool. It’s extremely close to Lincoln Park Zoo. I was surprised I have never been or heard of this place till today. I came here to meet up with my friend for an afternoon picnic. After being dropped off by the bus about two blocks away, I walked to where Google Maps said the entrance was. The entrance is discretely marked with a small sign on the ground. Two Japanese metal gates mark the entrance. You can easily pass by the entrance without knowing that there was an entire lily pond garden inside.
Inside is a lily pool wonderland, a sanctuary away from the messiness that is urban life. The garden is very well kept and full of life. Plants densely line the outer edges of the pond and the rocky paths. The flowers are just emerging, so I bet in a week or so beautiful yellow flowers will bloom and hover above the lily pads. There are so many great spots to sit especially on the rocks that border the pond. My friend and I sat right under the Japanese pagoda that provided the perfect amount of shade.
One of the really great parts of the lily pool was the ducks. They were so friendly and definitely not afraid of humans. They waddled probably within less than a feet of us! I think it really helped that I was feeding them pita chips. As we left the lily pool there was a small sign that said “no feeding the wild life”. Whoops!
The four ducklings with the mama duck were so adorable. In this picture they were quacking at us. Probably asking us to feed them more pita chips.
Here is a close up of the ducklings and the mama duck standing guard. What a very cute family of ducks!
Definitely visit this place if you get a chance. For an afternoon, you will forget you are in Chicago. The tall high barriers that surround the garden insulate the garden from everything that is going on on the outside. This Japanese garden provides the perfect getaway even if it is just for one afternoon. Perhaps this will become my new favorite spot to just sit and day dream the afternoon away.