Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Chicago Botanic Garden

is a true jewel of an institution. With more landscaped grounds than any person could possibly see in a day and the ever changing nature of a living display, this is a place that should be visited often by those who can. It was the first official stop of the garden bloggers Chicago Spring Fling.

A drift of bloom in the Heritage Garden's Asteraceae bed.

A field of poppies. Somewhere over there should be the Emerald City.

A bonsai collection was in the court yard of the Regenstein Center, the gardens education building.

A roaring well landscaped water fall separated the conifer collection and the Japanese garden.

I did enjoy the Japanese garden. My own new garden at home seems to be leaning naturally in this style direction some what. The high maintenance pruning and shaping of the trees and shrubs will never happen with me, but there are design elements worth mimicking.

A gate and wall frame the view into a garden.

The view into this garden from another vantage point. This garden was for viewing only and could not be entered.

The larger Japanese gardens were three islands connected by bridges.

Front garden at the Shoin Building, a recreation of a 17th-century samurai’s retreat.

The woodland gardens planted throughout were reminiscent of the high mountain forests of NC. Many of the same plant species we have here were growing as the understory plantings.

Though they were mass planted and heavily edited for better effect.

A veritable river of hosta flowed through one bed.

In sunnier locations, similar mass plantings created the same kind of plant drama. Amsonia blooms with a white crabapple (I think).

Alliums bloom before the daylilies and after the daffodils. Now where have I seen this planting strategy before?

The entrance to the fruit and vegetable gardens shows what the home gardener can do with edibles when they have too much time on their hands or a well paid staff.

For most of us though this portrait of the gardener, "The Sower" is more realistic. We tend to work alone and are lucky to be able to afford clothes.

People gawk at the roadside vegetable garden and Uncle Ernie enough as it is. They don't need to see anymore.

The Chicago Botanic Garden however is worth another look should the opportunity ever come again.


Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Great photos! There is much to inspire at the Botanic Garden. I didn't realize the name of the statue was "The Sower." Isn't he just one big double entendre?
It's such a coincidence that you posted about the Japanese Garden and the influence of its design principles when just this morning I read a post from MSS at Zanthan Gardens talking about those principles and how they could be applied to a Texas (non-Japanese) garden. I think I need to go redesign my garden now.

Pam/Digging said...

You're right---there is so much to see at the CBG. You got some good photos, and it was fun to bump into you there as we strolled past that waterfall.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I just loved seeing those rivers of mass plantings. I wish I had room to do such a thing. Here if I get 5 of the same plant going together it feels like a "mass" and then I wonder if I allowed too much room for a planting that massive. I am glad you could afford to clothe Uncle Ernie. I would hate to have you scandalizing the neighborhood.

lola said...

Great pics, Christopher. The camera does a great job but the eye has it all.
Poor guy, someone should have put something on him. lol Now Uncle Ernie, he is the hippest guy around. Love how he sees all.

Unknown said...

"We tend to work alone and are lucky to be able to afford clothes."... lol!

Nice photos, Christopher C. I wish I could have joined you all--maybe next year, in Buffalo! :)

Frances said...

Wonderful post, Christopher! You are right, there was no way to see it all at the CBG, I did not see much of what you have shown. A Japanese style garden in your space would be doable and so serene, as if it is not serene enough already! Lots of time and paid staff, now there is a dream! HA

Gail said...

I totally missed the Japanese Garden~ it is really lovely. I think they are smart to keep people out of certain parts of gardens. I've seen the damage the unsupervised have done to our local zen garden! Christopher, you see so much more then I do when you look~~and your photos are so crsip!

I love the naturalistic garden look and wish I could, as you said so well, "...they were mass planted and heavily edited for better effect." It's the heavily edited that I need to do!


chuck b. said...

Incredible loveliness, esp the poppies. What are the purple flowers on the verticals in the parsley, cole garden?

Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog said...

I'm still catching up on everyone's CSF posts! You have some beautiful photos there. I especially like the one of the irises at the Japanese island.