All Illinois regions have now entered Phase 4. Please continue to follow CDC and IDPH guidelines for safety and social distancing. See for more details.

  • solar-flair-logo
  • 2017 Summer Garden Show

    Solar Flair is a celebration of light, energy, lunar cycles and how plants connect with the cosmos. This year’s theme is influenced by the solar system and the unique experience of the first total solar eclipse to touch the continental U.S. since 1979 and the first to cross from coast to coast since 1918.

    This year’s garden show experience also includes a curated art exhibition by Michiko Itatani, which is free and open to the public from Aug. 22-Sept. 22.


    • Solis in The Grove

      Located outside the McPike Math & Science Complex, Solis in the Grove will feature a variety of intense red, orange and yellow-colored plants symbolically representative of the sun. Black-eyed Susans, petunias and ornamental peppers will dot the landscape.

    • Sun’s Rays

      Sun's Rays on the Trent Bridge will feature bold, warm-colored petunias, geraniums and marigolds.

    • Planetary Pathway

      Planetary Pathway will lead visitors from The Grove to Fountain Court, and will be marked to represent the nine planets in the solar system placed at a scaled distance (1 foot = 4 million miles) from the sun.

    • Sun, Moon & Bloom

      Visitors traveling along the Planetary Pathway at Rivers of Color will see bright purple, red and silver plants with lunar names in the Sun, Moon and Bloom garden.

    • Sunshine Time

      Sunshine Time, located near the Hatheway Quad, will feature a carpet-bedding garden that resembles a compass-rose, the essential tool in creating the sundial. Visitors will be able to learn about the history, use and evolving forms of sundials as a time-telling device.

    • Starry Night Living Wall

      The Hatheway Cultural Center will feature The Starry Night Living Wall, with flowers that illustrate the color palette Artist Michiko Itatani used in her “Cosmic Theater” series of paintings. Inside the Hatheway Gallery, a curated art exhibition of Itatani’s work will be open to the public.

    • Midnight Magic

      At Midnight Magic, near the Hatheway West Terrace, visitors will learn that not all plants rise and shine with the sun through creative displays of plants that bloom at different times during the day – some even at night.

    • Stars of Navigation

      The Bosque will feature Stars of Navigation, using a select palette of dark foliage plants punctuated by bright orange and yellow blooms. Through this garden, visitors can experience the abstraction of our summer night sky constellations, specifically, the nine stars that Lewis and Clark relied on to navigate during the Corps of Discovery journey.

    • Solar Powered Plants

      Solar Powered Plants will feature recognizable edible plants that track the sun’s progress across the sky, as well as celebrate the college’s efforts and achievement in sustainability. It will remind visitors that photosynthesis is the original solar power.

    • Shadow of the Sun

      Near the Wade Hall entrance, Shadow of the Sun will showcase lush, fanciful flowers accented by exotic foliage plants that shy away from the sun. These shade-loving plants will thrive near the building and nearby 150-year-old oak tree.