Human Flower Project
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Bookends: Native and Ornamental
On an Amtrak trip from Chicago to Los Angeles, Georgia Silvera Seamans shuttles between two gardening ethics. Ride on, Georgia!
Point of Return, the garden at Los Angeles Union Station
Photo: Georgia Silvera Seamans
By Georgia Silvera Seamans
Not quite bookend gardens on the Southwest Chief Amtrak route, the perennial garden in Chicago’s Millennium Park and the rose garden at the Los Angeles Union Station exemplify two types of design: native ecology and formal ornamental.
The Lurie Garden though located in downtown Chicago and framed by well-known skyscrapers is planted with North American natives and designed in honor of Chicago’s pre-development prairie landscape. The garden was designed by the Seattle landscape firm Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd and won the 2008 ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) General Design Award of Excellence. Piet Oudolf, “world-renowned plantsman,” collaborated with Gustafson not only to “bring beauty to the Garden in every season” but to “reference Chicago’s Midwestern locale.”