Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lurie Garden [Millennium Park]

This is one of my favourite places in Chicago!!
The Lurie Garden at Millennium Park..
It is designed by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd, Piet Oudolf and Robert Israel.. and pays homage to Chicago's motto, "Urbs in Horto".

The Native Aspect..
Having grown in the sub-tropical regions of India, I had never seen Native Prairie plants.. More than half, about 65%, of the plants in the Lurie Garden are native to North America, some to Illinois, and all are perennials. This is the place I saw many of the native plants for the first time.. like Prairie Smoke, Shooting Star, Virginia Bluebells, Bowman's Root, Blazing Star, Rattlesnake Master, Queen of the Prairie and Hemerocallis "Chicago Apache"... Native plants are drought and disease tolerant, attract butterflies and insects, are hardier than non-native and helps low-maintenance garden..

It was also one of the first places I saw the "New Wave Planting Style"..
with stunning combinations of flowers growing together, but not in the traditional geometric patterns..
# For more on the New Wave Planting Style" click here..

It was much later that I learnt about the landscape of the garden. Flowers interested me much more than the shape of the garden itself, but understanding the landscape of the garden, helps appreciating the nuances of the flowering patterns even more..
The garden is divided into..
- Light Plate
- Dark Plate
- Seam
- Shoulder Hedge..
# For more on the structure of the Lurie Garden.. click here..

For more on ..[click on the link]..
# The New Wave Planting Style [at Lurie Garden]..
# Lurie Garden: Landscape..

Lurie Garden: "The New Wave Planting Style"

Continued from the post on Lurie Garden.. click here..
Lurie Garden is one of the first examples in the United States to experiment with the "New Wave Planting Styles".. It looks like brush strokes of an impressionist painting. It makes use of native plants, perennials, grasses and bulbs, to create a landscape that changes colors, textures and shapes through different seasons, just like a natural landscape does. This style is relaxed and natural. It is less geometric and less controlled than traditional gardens.

Piet Oudolf, the world renowned Dutch plantsman, is one of the founders of the New Wave Planting Style. In designing the plantings of the Lurie Garden, he grouped perennial plants into combinations of plants that looked good and grew well together. His design considers each plant's entire appearance, including growth habits, leaf shape, flowering seed case and winter silhouette...

The garden is not cut back for winter months..
In the traditional gardens plants are cut back in preparation of winter months.. In the Lurie Garden, the plant materials are left throughout the winter months. It provides trhe garden the texture and structure. The ornamental grasses specifically stand out in this enviornment. In early spring, the entire garden is cut to the ground to make room for spring bulbs and perennials...

Lurie Garden: Landscape

Continued from the post on Lurie Garden.. click here..
Lurie Garden is a beautifully landscaped garden..
This post is more about the shape of the garden,
which can be broken into:
- Light Plate
- Dark Plate
- Seam
- Shoulder Hedges

 Light Plate

Light Plate..
West portion of the garden.. It is the perennial planting area. The careful orchestration of color progression and bloom time, allows the Light Plate to serve as a calender that marks the time of the year and changing seasons..

Dark Plate

Dark Plate..
East portion of the garden.. The Dark Plate serves as a dramatic framing foreground to the smooth, bright Light Plate on the other side.. It has flowering trees and plants that thrive in the shades of the flowering trees..
The interior of the Lurie Garden is composed of two plates..
Light Plate - West portion of the garden..
Dark Plate - East portion of the garden..
The two plates are divided by a wooden boardwalk called the Seam, which is suspended over water. This recalls Chicago's first step to building itself out of its marshy origins by raising wooden boardwalks over the muddy streets and sidewalks.
The Seam's boardwalk is made from Ipe wood., which is harvested from naturally sustainable South American forests.

Shoulder Hedges

Shoulder Hedges..
The garden is protected by, what is known as the Shoulder Hedge - a reference to the "City of Big Shoulders".. The Shoulder Hedge encloses the garden from two sides [west and north] and protects the perennials garden within..The shoulder hedge is defined and structured by tall metal framework. The plants of the Shoulder Hedge are both deciduous and evergreens. The deciduous plants provide color and texture in different seasons, whereas evergreens or coniferous plants remain robust and green all year.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Random Images

Perhaps the most recognizable and most popular Y-symbol..The Chicago Theater..

Sometimes I have enough time to go to places and write about them.. Sometimes I just don't have time!! This is one of the phases, where I can't seem to make time to update.. I'm sure it happens to everyone..
Here's a few random images, just to keep this place going..

For more on Y-symbol.. click here..

Friday, May 14, 2010

Happy Birthday to the Michigan Avenue Bridge [She's 90!]

AND I join the buzz of the day,
She turns 90 today!!
Happy Birthday to the Michigan Avenue Bridge!!!

I met a group of skateboarders, enjoying the Chicago Riverwalk..
"The Crew" as they call themselves..
From left.. Cody Cepeda, Timmy Johnson, Soma Fuller, Marquis King, Eric King and Colton Perugia..

Two plaques on the opposite sides of the bridge,
mark the day Michigan Avenue Bridge was first open for traffic..
May 14, 1920..

Although the relief sculptures on the bridge towers were completed later, in 1928, but now they are an integral part of the bridge.. so I leave with this beautiful image of "Regeneration" by Henry Hering.. which reflects the spirit of Chicago..

For more on.... [click on the link]..
- Michigan Avenue bridge - sculptures and markers ..
- Relief Sculptures: Defense, Regeneration, The Pioneers, and The Discoverers..

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Art Chicago, 2010..

Past few days, my entire focus has been on the 12th-floor of the Merchandise Mart..
for Art Chicago, 2010 [a part of Artropolis]..
Although the show ended on May 3rd, 2010..
But covering it demands still more time..

And then, there'll be a B-R-E-A-K!!

Check out Art Chicago, 2010.. click here..

Tracking the Y-symbol [Franklin Street bridge]

This is perhaps the best placement of the Y-symbol..
on the Franklin Street bridge..
Exactly where the Chicago River splits into North and South branches..

Another interesting place to check out the Y-symbol is close to where the Chicago River originates..Civil Engineering Monument of the Millennium..

For more on Y-symbol.. click here..