The Mediterranean & Roberto Burle-Marx Inspire Grant Park's Outdoor Garden Display
The Chicago Park District’s annual garden displays in Chicago’s “front yard” of Grant Park will not only be filled with a unique array of flora but also incorporates design elements that adds color and structure to the usual floral splendor. Grant Park, this year, will feature gardens inspired by the Mediterranean and Roberto Burle-Marx, the father of modern landscape design.
“The Park District’s 12 acres of floral gardens not only function to beautify this city, but also to inspire and teach gardeners, both novice and experts alike, of the possibilities at their disposal,” said Adam Schwerner, Chicago Park District Director of Natural Resources. “Painted objects are incorporated into the garden design this year in efforts to create a conversation between the plants and park patrons, providing surprises in the garden.”
Designed by Adam Schwerner, this year the Chicago Park District will be highlighting the floral beds in Grant Park located south of the Art Institute on Michigan Avenue and at Congress Median, located between Columbus and Michigan Avenue along Congress Parkway.
With a theme entitled “The Mediterranean In Chicago”, the gardens south of the Art Institute will exhibit the commonality between Chicago and the Mediterranean - as both regions lay close to 40 degrees on the earth’s northern latitude and both reside next to large bodies of water. To emphasize these similarities, the Park District will be incorporating a garden design that utilizes plants corresponding to the Mediterranean biome found in parts of California, South Africa and Australia. Brightly colored painted wooden planks will adorn the interiors of the beds, leading the observer’s eye down the path, adding unique splashes of color and structure to the various succulents and shrubs displayed. These very same succulents and shrubs will have a place to over-winter in both the Lincoln Park and Garfield Park conservatories this coming cold weather season after they have done their work on Michigan Avenue. Next year, they will reappear throughout Chicago’s many gardens and parks.
The Congress Median’s floral garden draws inspiration from the design techniques of landscape architect Roberto Burle-Marx. Born in Brazil, he was influenced equally by concepts of the visual arts and horticultural practices that made use of Brazil’s native flora. In recognition of this master designer, the Congress Median garden beds will reflect the design principles that Burle-Marx famously utilized. Large fields of color will meander through the space, punctuated by the existing Boxwood shrubs. Grass paths will end like a maze, with some leading to a dead end and others leading people on to the next planting area. Sculptural, brightly-painted, recycled wood objects will march through the flower beds, leading the observer on an adventure through the landscape.
Since the development of Chicago’s earliest parks, gardens have been an integral part of the Chicago Park District and are a top tourist attraction. Each year, the Park District strives to add unique varieties to the palette of plants it uses in its public gardens giving gardening enthusiasts ideas for their own gardens. Chicago’s beautiful outdoor garden displays are a spectacular site to see now, throughout the summer and early fall. Visit the following additional outdoor garden displays featuring thousands of flowers surrounded by sculptures and waterfalls:
· Formal Gardens, Corner of Sacramento Ave. & Ogden Ave.
· South Entrance, Corner of Sacramento and 19th Street
· Buckingham Fountain Flower Gardens, 500 S. Lake Shore Dr.
· Cancer Survivors Garden, Upper Randolph St. just east of Daley Bicentennial Park Fieldhouse
· Congress Median Garden, Center Median off of Congress Pkwy., between Columbus Dr. & Michigan Ave.
· Congress Plaza Gardens, Michigan Ave. & Congress Pkwy.
· Congress Triangle Garden, Center triangle on Congress Pkwy. & Michigan Ave.
· Logan Monument Formal Gardens, Corner of Balbo Ave. & Michigan Ave. - across from the Hilton Towers Hotel
· Art Institute Gardens, on Michigan Ave. and Jackson
· North President’s Court, Columbus Dr. & Congress Pkwy. – just north of Congress Pkwy.
· South President’s Court, Columbus Dr. & Congress Pkwy. – just south of Congress Pkwy.
· Spirit of Music Gardens, Corner of Balbo Ave. & Michigan Ave. – just north of Balbo Ave.
· Formal Gardens, Corner of Humboldt Blvd. & Division St.
· Perennial Garden, South of the Museum of Science and Industry between Cornell Dr. & Lake Shore Dr.
· Grandma’s Garden, Corner of Stockton Dr. & Webster Ave. (3 blocks long)
· Great Garden, West of Lincoln Park Zoo off of Stockton Dr.
· Rowing Lagoon Flower Garden, West of Lake Shore Dr., north of North Ave., at south end of the lagoon
· Demonstration Gardens, 6743 S. Kedzie Ave. – along circle drive through park
South Shore Cultural Center
· Formal & Herb Garden, 7059 S. South Shore Dr.
· DuSable Museum Flower Gardens, 740 65th Pl. – at the DuSable Museum
Washington Square Park
· Fountain Garden, 901 N. Clark St.
For more information, please call 312-742-PLAY or go to www.chicagoparkdistrict.com. Like us on Facebook and Twitter!