The streetscape, Chicago urban plantings, I've highlighted in my June post and the one earlier this week were just the tip of the iceberg. There's so much more. I'm sure that I have barely scratched the surface in my walks - which have always been no more than a few blocks east or west of Michigan Avenue - from a southern point of the Blackstone Hotel north to the North Avenue beach. A tiny, but vibrant slice of this great city. Great plant combos, incredible use of color, texture. Mixes of annuals, perennials. Can't help but share a few more, random sightings. In the center of one of the main promenade entrances to Millennium park, is this planting centered by what I assume is some sort of dark leaved sugar cane or Saccharum arundinaceum. Unfortunately, I struggle with my blackberry to find the perfect shot to highlight the scale and drama of this beauty.
The most striking aspect of any plant focused stroll through the heart of Chicago is the wide variety of plantings. Sure some plants, like the Angel wing begonias are repeated, but with different partners, in different ways.
But even in variety is repetition, bringing both drama and cohesiveness to an area.
And, I must acknowledge the individual plants who caught my eye, grabbed my heart. The striped maize noticed on the walk to the start line of the Chicago Rock-n-Roll half marathon, the unknown silvery beauty, and of course, the oft mentioned un-named yellow dahlia.
The Lurie garden in Millennium Park has offered a full season of ever-changing vistas with the current scene dominated by the Japanese Anemones, Russian Sage, Ornamental Oreganos and a late season second bloom of perennial salvias.
My late September visit to the Lurie Garden was the first time I noticed the use of twig "fences", used to both keep the plants from the paths - and I'm sure keep the people out of the plants!
I have a running joke with my world-traveler Mom about her opinion that when you stand on the shores of Lake Michigan and look out, you have a view that could be anywhere - the Baltic Sea, Downtown Chicago, the Atlantic Ocean. This planting at the Oak Street Beach really helps blur that line.