My first visit to Chicago was in 1988, business related and when there was free time it was spent gawking at the stunning architecture and eating really outstanding steaks. For many years I went once or twice a year, and continued to gawk and consume beef. The Art Institute was a frequent destination, as was the cocktail lounge on the 96th floor of the John Hancock building for a couple of 10 dollar drinks -well worth it for the spectacular views. At some point , a plant related transformation took place in this already beautiful city , and now when I go the camera comes with me. This past Friday I put off business for a spell and walked several blocks in the stifling heat and humidity (7:30am mind you ) to the Lurie Garden. Only steps from the cacophony of rush hour Michigan Avenue , the city noise mysteriously falls away and the sounds of bees, crickets , birds and insects that have probably never set a wing in California bring this wonderfully designed prairie and marsh inspired garden to life .
The garden was designed by Piet Oudolf and Robert Israel , and completed in 2004.
Lots of stuff going on outside the walls at The Art Institute as well, the building is flanked on either side by wonderful leisure gardens for the public to enjoy, and the containers are way way cool.
And how about the median strip down Michigan Ave ? Stella d' Oro be gone !
A modest little planting at Grant Park- one of many.