A letter from the gardener:
Indulge….. time spent in the garden is awaking to the senses. Breathe in and smell the fragrant flowers and aromatic herbs. Listen to the bird songs and buzzing of the bees. Nibble on a tasty raspberry, pea, or bean. Touch and feel the rich brown earth. Gaze at the rainbow of colors, smiling sunflowers, climbing vines and whirling butterflies – a visual delight. Keeping with tradition and quality, the garden and year round geothermal heated greenhouse continue to provide an abundance of organically grown vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers. In the early morning dew, these are happily harvested and delivered fresh to our three kitchens. In addition to those seeded in the greenhouse, a wide variety of herbs and plants joyfully and readily self-seed in the garden creating a maze of aesthetically pleasing blooms and aromas year after year. We encourage you to take a leisurely stroll through the garden where you may be greeted by the sun-kissed smiling faced gardeners, a talented chef gathering a bouquet of herbs and a glimpse of the tantalizing delights to be enjoyed at the evening meal. The quarter-acre garden plot and geothermal greenhouse were reintroduced in the mid-1990’s. Chico’s connection with its history is important to our staff and our guests, and the garden is yet another way we are maintaining a connection to the founders of Chico Hot Springs Resort, Bill and Percie Knowles. In the 1920’s Percie and her staff tended a five-acre garden where they grew much of the fruits and vegetables used in the dining room, including vegetables they canned for the winter months. We continue to serve meals in the dining room with the freshest herbs and vegetables – those grown and harvested in our own back yard. Signs, quaint sitting areas, picnic tables, benches and pathways throughout the gardens and Chico property invite you to linger and relax amidst the natural beauty of the surrounding environment and nurtured gardens. Cool off under the canopy of old willows alongside the trickling hot springs stream, or soak up some sun on a bench in Grandma’s Garden. The garden is beautiful in all four distinct Montana seasons, from tulips in the spring, a full green garden in the summer, straw flowers and six foot sunflowers into the fall, and delightful snow covered textures throughout the winter. Chico offers an atmosphere where memorable experiences may be harvested throughout the seasons.