Illinois Central College Arboretum

Address: 1 College Drive; East Peoria, IL 61635
Phone: (309) 694-5422 ICC Garden
Established: 1980   Number of Varieties: 325   Looks Best: May to September
Year Designated AHS Display Garden: 2005

The Illinois Central College Arboretum is a living classroom. Featured plant collections encompass crabapples, birches, oaks, dwarf and unusual conifers, small maples, hydrangeas, and extensive shade perennial beds boasting over 325 varieties of hosta. These are arranged in related groups, such as a species bed, sieboldiana bed, Fortunei bed, and montana bed. Since 1981, the arboretum has been a display garden for the All-American Selections of flowers and vegetables. Over 200 varieties of annuals are showcased each summer, mainly in the display beds north of the arboretum, but also dispersed throughout the garden. These are highlighted on the first Saturday after Labor Day, when ICC hosts its annual Landscape and Garden Day, annually attracting over 1500 gardening enthusiasts.

University of Illinois Arboretum

Address: 1800 South Lincoln Avenue; Urbana, IL 61802
Phone: (217) 3337579 U of I Website
Established: 2010   Number of Varieties: 123+  
Looks Best: Late April to Early July
Year Designated AHS Display Garden: 2013

In 2010 the Illinois Prairie Hosta Society and U of I Arboretum joined together to create a garden for Hostas and Companion Plants that the community could enjoy. We are continuing to collaborate on design and new additions regularly. This is a garden that will continue to evolve as time passes. The garden is located at the Arboretum on Lincoln Avenue in Champaign. It is North of the Japan House and South of the North entrance to the Arboretum along the Kari Walkway. The current garden contains around 160 total hosta cultivars and over one hundred companion plants. Many of the hosta located in the Hosta Garden at the Arboretum came from the originator stock of IPHS members. Companion plants were donated both by the Arboretum, and by IPHS members. The beds have been organized by the IPHS with an educational and aesthetics theme. The goal is to show the public how a hosta garden can be put together to give visual appeal as well as educate the public about Hostas. The Hosta of the Year plants are spread around the garden to give the public an idea of some Hostas that are easy to grow as well as available in garden centers. Botanically correct signage and labels lists the cultivar name along with if a Hosta of the Year.

Cantigny Park Hosta Garden

Address: 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, IL 60189
Phone: (630) 668-5161 Cantigny Hosta Garden Photo Array
Established: 1955 (as Cantigny Park)   Number of Varieties: 225  
Looks Best: May - September
Year Designated AHS Display Garden: 2016

Cantigny Park, established in 1955, was originally the estate of Col. Robert McCormick, publisher of the Chicago Tribune. Cantigny Park is a 30-acre lush horticultural masterpiece, one of the largest display gardens in the Midwest with more than 160,000 annuals, perennials, ground covers, flowering shrubs, and trees rendering exceptional beauty in all seasons. The Hosta Garden displays hostas as specimens, clusters, in borders and raised areas, among rocks, and (yet to come) in containers. An extensive variety of companion plants enhances the collection. The garden's theme is to expand public knowledge of hostas, and to demonstrate how the many varieties can be used in gardens and landscapes. A photo array that shows the development of the Cantigny Park Hosta Garden between October 2014 and July 2016 can be viewed from the above link.