Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lurie Garden

Known as the world's largest rooftop garden (it sits atop Millennium Park Garage) Lurie Garden is an experience in leading edge landscape design and responsible gardening practices in the heart of downtown Chicago.

Lure Garden with view of the Art Institute of Chicago

It is 5 acres showcasing 240 varieties of drought tolerant (mostly native) perennials and grasses amongst hard diagonal lines. It is an example of the "new wave planting" movement which is a Piet Oudolf signature.


It is a relaxed style and a study in how plants work best together in groups.
The perennials are grouped together purposefully to show off the plants throughout the seasons.





The 15ft. shoulder hedge encloses the garden on two sides and protects the perennial garden. It also provides a little seclusion and serenity in the Windy City.

Shoulder hedge (living wall) and frame

The shallow water stream divides the garden diagonally and provides a hard break between the "dark plate" symbolizing the early landscape history of the site and the city which was once flat marshland and the "light plate" which represents the future landscape (innovative green city) in its contoured and controlled design.

My youngest boys with their aunt

We cooled off in the stream while listening to the Grant Park orchestra practice in Pritzker pavilion located directly behind the garden.

view of Millennium Park concert pavilion from Lurie Garden

Lurie Garden is an urban oasis which provides respite and inspiration to those that visit. It is a piece of living art that is constantly changing with the seasons...the plants' changing colors, textures, movement and growth, the various wildlife visitors and contribution of nature's elements.


For a complete list of plants in the garden click here or to see another example of innovative public spaces see my post on the High Line

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tour. I love this place. Sometime, write what the Grimy Hands Girls Club is, I see it everywhere.

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  2. I love to look at rooftop gardens. They just seem to add a little peace and relaxation to the busy world that surrounds it on all sides. Enjoyed your post!

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  3. Donna/GWGT, It is a wonderful place for reprieve in the middle of a bustling city.

    Thanks Amy, I agree. Rooftop gardens serve so many purposes and is an innovative way to have a garden in the city where space is so limited.

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  4. Rooftop gardening is gaining new grounds fast everywhere even here. Such a lovely garden and blooms, if you dont mention its a rooftop garden, I would have thought its just a normal 'ground' garden!

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  5. p3chandan, it certainly isn't a typical rooftop garden. I only found out it was a rooftop garden when I was reading a sign in the garden; otherwise, I wouldn't have known either!

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  6. Thanks for the tour. Lovely.

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  7. It is amazing that such a large and beautiful garden exists on a rooftop. Some of your photos could have been taken in any cottage garden on the ground.

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"Don't wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your soul"

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