The Lurie Garden, a great garden for Spring and every other season.
Literally nestled in the middle of downtown Chicago, the Lurie Garden is a flat terraced garden bursting with color and texture. The sheer variety of the colorful flowers and plants from this fantastic garden reminds me of the flower fields Dorothy crossed on the way to Oz. Backed by the tall Chicago skyline, the garden garners even more aesthetic power as a low lying carpet garden. It doesn’t attempt to compete with it’s city surroundings. Instead it compliments the landscape perfectly.
In the Spring the garden hosts Virginia Bluebells, Purpulanze, Day Lily, Blue Star, Purple Smoke, Allium, among others. The garden was designed by Piet Oudolf, one of the early founders of the “New Wave” style, the Lurie explains. The style, they continue is, ”relaxed and natural – aiming to make plant design less controlled and geometric than traditional gardens. The New Wave Garden reflects an idealized version of nature that supports biodiversity and an integrated planting system. It emphasizes form, texture and the natural harmony of plants that constantly change throughout the seasons.”
The Summer garden boasts another color burst from flora including Swamp Milkweed, Compass Plant, Slullcap, Ornamental Oregano, Toad Lilly, Rattlesnake Master, Echinacea, Knotweek, Foxglove, Chicago Apache, Achillea, Blue HIll, and Purple Bush, Purple Prarie Clover and Purple Love Grass.
In the Fall the color gathers one last burst of orange before fading into the soft yellows and earthen tones of Winter. The petals may fall away but the beauty of the plants come out to play. Piet Oudolf’s plan, the Lurie adds, “considers each plant’s entire appearance, including growth habit, leaf shape, flowering seed case and winter silhouette.”
Some of these highlights include Korean Reed Grass, Blue Glow, Splenden, Northern Sea Oats, Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass to name but a few.
The Winter of course has a beauty all it’s own.
It may be grayer but it is more emotive and a great reminder for the Winter weary of the joys of what has past and what will come in just a few short months.
I for one love Winter gardens and would love to photograph the Lurie even in the middle of the coldest time of year. I’m going to make every attempt to make that trip this year. If you live in Chicago and haven’t been there yet, head there this Spring! If I can’t make it by Spring, I’m hoping for the great Chicago Summer I’ve heard so much about. I’ll have to see the sights and take a Gondola Ride to boot!
For more information on the Lurie Garden in Millennium Park Chicago visit the Millennium website.
Britt : )
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