Gardens & Tours
Chicago is home to amazing public and private gardens and this year's tour line-up will feature a fantastic group of gardens, covering a wide array of techniques and trends, including public gardens as well as private gardens. Below is a schedule and preview of all the gardens and venues #GWA2018 attendees will visit.
Farm to River: Urban Farming, a Riverfront Park and a Glorious Glass House
Wednesday, August 15 | 12:30PM - 4:30PM
The Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the largest and most stunning conservatories in the nation. Often referred to as “landscape art under glass,” the conservatory occupies approximately two acres inside, where thousands of plant species are on display throughout eight rooms in this magnificent facility. Travel through the conservatory and experience the lush flora and tropical temperatures taking you away from the hustle and bustle of Chicago.
A flourishing indoor garden and thriving learning space for Lawndale Christian Health Center patients, community residents, and urban farm entrepreneurs. The building, adapted from an old auto body shop, includes a large greenhouse and large-scale hydroponics/aquaponics system to support year-round fish and leafy greens production and training. The facility will bring food, health, and jobs to a neighborhood that will benefit from this significant investment. Windy City Harvest, the Chicago Botanic Garden’s urban agriculture training programs that serve youth, ex-offenders, and others, will provide workforce development and jobs.
This 17-acre site was originally a railroad yard along the industrial Chicago River. As part of the ongoing transformation of the river to a residential and recreational attraction, the Chicago Park District transformed the old railyard into a beautiful rolling green space, taking full advantage of the impressive river views. It provides needed green space for the Chinatown neighborhood.
Hyde Park Private Gardens
In one of Chicago’s most storied historic neighborhoods, near the University of Chicago, we’ll tour an assortment of private gardens. One is a former school where the homeowners tore out a blacktop playground to create a lush a peaceful garden with a rippling stream. Farther south, we’ll see two nearly identical side-by-side Victorian houses where the neighbors have taken very different approaches: One, a landscape architect, has a restrained and elegant garden; the other, a garden magazine editor, goes for the relaxed, cottagey look. We’ll walk around the block to see where a retired bank president grows dozens of varieties of tomatoes in the front yard of a stately row house.
We’ll drive along the Midway Plaisance, site of the original sideshow for the 1893 world’s fair, to Jackson Park, the main fair site. They are part of a park system that had originally been laid out in the 1870s by Frederick Law Olmsted. On the way, we’ll take a look at the University of Chicago campus, an arboretum and botanical garden.