What better way to spend a rainy Saturday in early spring than a trip to Chicago's Navy Pier for the annual Flower and Garden Show. The Dirt arrived just as a purple dinosaur was in the midst of a free show of his hit songs, to the squealing delight of what appeared to be 200 kids. The big guy is a true showman.
The highlight of the whole Chicago Flower and Garden show, for me, was the Chicago Park District's installation. They divided their space into four pieces, highlighting an idealized Chicago garden for difference seasons.
This is the spring garden—not much fruiting yet, but boy is that thing green!
One of the coolest parts of the CPD's spring garden is this demonstration of a raised garden bed. The window panes will keep the early growing leafy greens warm and happy in the first parts of spring---even avoiding the damage of final frosts.
Booming kale, vibrant swiss chard, herbs, flowers and a straw hat to fend off the sun's blinding rays. Could this be anything besides summer (still at the Chicago Park District's installation)?
We would like to note how positively reinforced these pole beans are in the CPD's summer garden exhibit. Last year we used just three pieces of scrawny bamboo and twine to create a tripod, which worked just fine until a massive tornado-creating front moved through Chicago.
This one looks completely weather-proof. Plus, the extra surface area looks like it allows the bean vines more room to snake up the pole and fill out.
In the summer exhibit, the CPD finds how to use every little bit of space for gardening—including the roof and wall of a garage.
A design for a green roof, made of triangular panels covered in earth and grass. The roof is adapted from a design for a world map—called a "dymaxion map"—by visionary architect and author Buckminster Fuller.
It's not all about vegetables at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show. There are plenty of flowers. too!
A vegetable garden is often all about utility, chemistry and dinner. Meanwhile, planning a flower garden takes an eye for color, texture and design.
While flowers are wonderful and I respect their fans, you can count me in the vegetable camp.
Leafing through a book at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show's bookstore, run by the Chicago Botanic Garden.
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