- Landscape Design
- A Designer’s Travel Log
- Photo Library of Gardens Visited
- Future Travels
Chicago Fall 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Been in Chicago since Monday. Here on business. In a round-about way.
Too busy to post – sorry! But I will most assuredly do a week in review that will hopefully convince you to GO TO CHICAGO!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Welcome to Chicago. Palmer House Hilton.
Enjoy your stay.
I arrived at the airport shortly after noon where I met a Brazilian lady in the airport and before I knew it I was in the back of Sergio’s minivan being taken right to the front door of my hotel.
Yes – you get to see several pictures of the room I am staying in, because it interests me and this is after all – my blog. It is just two blocks away from Millennium Park and several other Chicago attractions and wonders.
I took the bed by the window.
In the bathroom, yes. This might not be saying much, but this is probably the nicest hotel I have stayed in. That I can remember, anyways.
The view to the right.
The view to the left.
Looking straight out.
What screens that straight out view.
This covers half of Monday. More commentaries and photos to come!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Right after I arrived at the hotel I went and grabbed a bite to eat. I found a small mexican restaurant where I purchased a gordita for $2.35. The server was funny – Chicago-funny, and he referred to me as sweetie and told me not to get lost.
I then returned to my room to grab my coat and headed to Millennium Park where I spent the rest of the afternoon/evening.
Cloud Gate – which the locals refer to as The Bean.
Fun photos with The Bean
The city skyline as seen in The Bean – awesome.
Some high school students were doing a school project at the park. At one end they had a poster that said “Jesus is…” and at the other end they had a poster that said “A Christian is…” They wanted to do a compare and contrast study to see what were the similarities and what were the differences. Interesting. There were some people that said they were Christian, but didn’t believe in Christ. I participated and wrote on the board. I didn’t see the Christian board, but I wish I would have taken a picture of it as well. My contribution to the poster was “Jesus is the Redeemer of my soul.”
How would it be to see a concert here?!?!
The Laurie garden – late fall. Blooms have spent.
This…thing…is held together by.
They showed a film inside on the canvas wall. It was about Chicago which further established my love of this city. When they were creating the Chicago Plan, one of the planners (who I am sure is a very famous person whose name I don’t remember) said, “Don’t predict the future, make it.” And that’s why Chicago is Chicago. Fantastic.
Sometimes water shoots out of these (there are two facing each other in the plaza).
At the end of the day I met the group I would be bashing around with in a conference room at the hotel. I also met the lady I would be rooming with, who is great! There are twenty of us here ranging from ages 13 to 91. Twenty amazing individuals whose houses I shall surely visit after I return from Chicago. Life-long friends have been met and they shall continue to have an important impact on my life as a designer, artist, thinker and person. By the end of the day I knew this week was going to be amazing, important and changing. It continues to be so.
Friday, October 16, 2009
We started the morning out in Oak Park. This is where Frank Lloyd Wrights home and studio are located, along with several residential homes that he designed. Funny that this is the only picture I took of his home and studio. Inside photography is not allowed and I guess nothing captivated me enough on the outside. I have an interesting relationship with Mr. Wrights architecture. I don’t feel loved in it. I have tried to as I have studied it and seen it over the past 4 years. I do appreciate his mind and love some of his thinking as an architect. Brilliant in many ways. But as a whole, when it’s pieced all together I feel too dark, and too….I don’t know. I just wouldn’t want to live in one of his houses. Sorry. I have yet to see Falling Water, which might brighten my mind to Wrights work, but for now my opinion remains the same as it has for years.
However, this sculpture did take me. Man’s struggle? Struggle for what. Struggle to become? Struggle to rise from this fallen world we are in? Maybe something so different. But whatever is causing this being to fold and hide himself into this position, I relate.
I have been taking pictures of trees. Lots. My favorites are the ones that show the branching patterns. They fascinate me and I find them to be very beautiful.
The ceiling of the Unity Temple. Another one of Frank Lloyd Wrights works. Again….liked certain details and thoughts, but as a whole I wasn’t in awe. Many others were quite taken with it, indeed. But not I. But do notice the details in the above picture. Note how each glass panel is the same design, but rotated 45 degrees to create repetition with variety. Cool. More pictures below.
Love the red phone booth. Love it. Ring, Ring!
After Oak Park we ventured to Columbus Park. See this lovely large flock of geese?
I wonder what would happen if I chased after them.
They take flight and make for the river. I was with the group at the time, walking down the trail. I was walking out in front with Peter Lassig, of whom I will speak of later. I mentioned something about chasing after the geese, and as we were approaching them and getting closer and closer with each step, he said, “Oh, I can’t help myself.” And we both took off running. Now, Peter is 72 and is currently with Parkinsons disease – but we ran and waved our arms anyways and had a great laugh.
The Council Ring at Columbus Park. 30′ diameter.
After Oak Park and Columbus Park we headed over to the Garfield Conservatory. It was so fantastic! Very green, very lush, very satisfying.
I took a few pictures of leaves, which you may find boring. But this is what interests me!
So many wonderful patters and variations on greens and golds.
I could have stayed here for a very long time.
I found this to be refreshing. Yes!
Chihuly had an exhibit here about four (?) years ago. These pieces stayed. Very fun. They looked so much better in person, as most things do. The koi was a great addition in bringing vibrant color, fluid movement and a wonderful sense of wisdom into the space.
Water lilies. Love water lilies.
There was a fun maze/labyrinth to walk in. You start here, in the center and follow to trail out and around and around dipping in here and dipping in there.
A very large Century Plant. Wow.
After we left the conservatory, the bus headed back to the hotel. Myself and 3 others stayed on the bus and were dropped off at the Museum of Contemporary Art. It was AWESOME! Unfortunately, you cannot photograph the work and the exhibits – and this is one of the only pictures I could take. Yes, the works were amazing and intriguing and enlightening and really excited my painting itch. Large canvas is on the top of my shopping list when I return. I was there for about 2.5 hours? I then walked the city streets. Walked down the Magnificent Mile, which was just that. Found some dinner at Portillos down Ohio street, I believe (at Kristin’s recommendation, thanks!), and then walked and walked some more. I love walking down town at night, especially when it is in a city you are first exploring.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Wednesday morning we were up and off – to the Farnsworth House. It was wet and a bit rainy, but overall, quite pleasant.
Once the tour guide found out that we were into landscapes as well as architecture, she led us on a more scenic route to the house. Think of what we could have missed!
Coming around the corner; hints of the house.
But before I let you see too much of the house, here is some of the landscape that surrounds it.
I didn’t realize I never took a FULL shot of the front, which is a bit disappointing.
Understanding how it’s put together interests and excites me.
View of the back.
Leaving the property.
I could give you oodles of information and fun facts about this house, but I digress at this moment in time. My apologies. Maybe I shall return in the near future and edit this post – so that it is a full representation of my knowledge and feelings towards this structure.
I did adore it.
Monday, October 19, 2009
After the Morton Arboretum we headed back to the heart of the city. We had dinner scheduled: Walnut Room at Macy’s. Nice. On our way to Macy’s we passed a building that had stands of bamboo growing inside – over twenty feet tall! We tried to go inside to see them, but it was a secured building and we were promptly escorted outside.
The Tiffany ceiling in Macy’s. I should have taken a shot from the very bottom looking up for a fuller effect.
Over the past year or so I have been falling in love with Mosaics. Desperately so. Nat – let’s get going!
I think this is the largest Macy’s in the world. I bought some mascara from Clinique as they had a gift package and I have needed new mascara for months and months and months. My eyes were getting scary, so I gave in and made the purchase.
Oh – and for dinner I had the meatballs. They were SO delicious. SO. Good. Natalie – I am going to miss you. .
After we had marveled at the wonder of the Farnsworth House, we headed over to the Morton Arboretum. The Morton’s, (as in the table salt, yes) also had a passion for trees. The property that is the arboretum is MASSIVE! So massive, it was wonderful. My pictures from here are limited.
Now allow me to introduce you to Peter Lassig. (We chased geese together, if you remember). He is one of the most knowledgeable, humble men I know. He is brilliant when it comes to plants and plantings, especially prairies, which is what you see behind him – completely in his element. He was in charge of the gardens at Temple Square for quite a while and retired from that position in the early 2000′s. He continues to teach and learn and explore and I was one fortunate gal to be on this tour with him and gain enlightenment as we walked the prairie together.
I took this picture with him placed on the right side on purpose. Normally, one might want to photograph the subject on the left side, if the subject was facing and directing you towards the right. I placed him on the right, which leads your eye away from him and away from the picture, because it represents his willingness to give, share, teach and that all of what is does is never about himself, but about the creations and the Creator.
Milk weed in seed.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
The Chicago Botanic Gardens.
I don’t even know where to start! And I have SOOOOOOO many pictures, it’s hard to decide which ones make the final cut. So – take a seat. You’ll be needing one if you are going to make it through this post. Sorry there are no cushion on this bench, but it provides a great view regardless.
On this particular day, the forecast was very very cold, and very very wet. Peter said he was going to go anyways – nothing would deter him from spending time in the botanic gardens. So – I bucked-up and raised my hand with two others (out of twenty), when asked who was going with Peter. I was tired, and mentally wanted a break from the wet and cold and thought about how nice it would be to rest for a day. But my soul said, “GO!” And I shall never regret it. All the cold was worth it.
Here are some things that I liked – and even why I liked them!
This is near the entrance to the gardens. It was in an area that could have easily, EASILY, been left brick. Most people would have and all others wouldn’t have noticed otherwise – after all, this costs money to install, train and maintain. Lots of work. But these gardens are so rockin’ that they care about every square inch and you can feel it from the inside-out!
I love the expanse of lawn here that is flanked by rows of trees on each side and bunches of pots full of fall mums. They add a punch of color and wow. Some of the following pictures will give you a better idea and feeling of this large space. It it one of the first areas you can come to. And it butts in to the water – awesome.
Here you get a good idea of the left flank. The first picture showed off the right flank. Clean, organized, varied materials and textures. Feels good.
Now we are back to the right flank – which adorns a water feature. Adding in a different element to the right side, that is not on the left side, creates intrigue and desire; the space as a whole feels very symmetrical, this “unbalanced-balance” of water on one side while not on the other makes it feel not so rigid while maintaining dignity. Follow?
Better view of the repeated pops of fall color created by the mums.
Mums the word!
Alright, we are now leaving this area of the gardens, but because we liked it so much – we will turn around to take one last glance. (In the glance, please note how everything ties together. We see the left and right sides, the rows of trees on either side, the large expanse of lawn in between the rows of trees, the water feature….. Don’t you want to play a game of croquet out there?!?)
This is a path, meant to look like a wall in your face so that you stop for a moment. I am thinking now that I am going to need to do this portion of the day in to different posts, unless you just want to look at pictures and do not want commentaries on each photo. Too bad – you get the commentaries. Yep – I am going to dissect each photograph and if you care to watch, so be it. I gave you that bench in the beginning of this post to sit on after all, so no whining. I’ll try to find you a more comfy chair later on.
I like the repeat of the white bark on these multi-trunked birch trees, and since they are not lined up a row – you feel more informal and relaxed than the last space shown above. It asks you to wander.
And possibly wonder.
The layout of this entire space was really quite wonderful. Those tall red things are made up of more mums.
I like this step-like edging that encompasses the water. There is water flowing over those steps and into the pond where lilies and grasses and other water plants are happy to thrive.
This picture must have been taken of somewhere in this garden. I took it to show the contrast of purple and yellow together and how pairing opposite colors is effective. Of course, you may not like these particular flowers, or the colors – but whatever. Remember that knowing and using the color wheel in your landscape, esp. when dealing with flowers – is important.
You can see the red mum-my (ha ha) like columns in the background, letting you know we are still in the same space. Here is a pic of the center of the water feature we have been looking at the edge of.
This fantastic quasi-sphere is a lamp to light the walk-way after dusk. I didn’t realize it was until later (dusk) – which was a gleeful surprise. I just thought it a cool architectural element! Just remember function and form. Use them together readily.
I do love sculpture. 3D art is wonderful in a garden as long as it is applied in a successful fashion. How do you apply it successfully, you ask? Well, it depends.
It depends on several variables. Which I won’t go in to right now.
Time to stop as I am losing your attention. We will see what over this wall…
…and down this allee of trees with spheres…
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Here we go – welcome back. Continuing through the Chicago Botanic Gardens.
Today we will be mainly in the English Walled garden. By the end you should all be speaking with a British accent. Capital.
I liked this container for the somewhat un-fancy water element – and how they set it off with the brick turned on a corner behind the somewhat un-fancy water element. The container has a cool pattern on the face, but you don’t feel gaudy around it or too high-brow.
Detail people, detail! At the foot of the not so fancy tub holding water – is this; black, smooth stones on end and mortared in. It’s what lies between the tub and the brick patio. Again, this space could have been left with out any treatment whatsoever, HOWEVER – someone was using their brain here, and it’s a detail that I am sure excited everyone who notices it. Or at least me.
Here I love the depth of brick on brick. And the Creeper lavishly adorning the wall and column. It feels lived in and worn in, in a good way.
Focus on the evergreen foliage…then through to…
…the sundial. I didn’t notice the sundial until I had my camera in my face – and while looking through the lens noticed this on the other end. British gardens are full of surprises and happy discoveries.
So naturally, I could not do anything else until I found my way to that sundial. As you can see, you cannot tell the time, but rather the weather – overcast and rainy.
I LoVe the blue bench across this outdoor room! Now there’s a bench for you to sit in!
Fun plant container. Fun plants in the container.
Another view of the outdoor room. I like the weeping tree – and the columns creating a space within this space. There were so many patterns going on – it was great.
See this great bench?
It’s like an art piece – with that sprawled out espalier behind it as a backdrop.
Weeping trees and water is a fine combination.
Here you see a variety of ground plane materials – brick and crushed gravel – with low plants filling in the spaces in between. And I love this tree trunk.
Sedum is great for the fall – it holds it’s color well into the later month of the year, even when most everything else has decided to droop over and call it quits for the year.
Here I love the mixed used of wall materials. Normally one would not think of this combination as one might consider it two different styles. But that’s exactly why it is so great! Each style emphasizes the great qualities of the other, and as a whole they become stronger.
I don’t think this is in great focus? But I love the concept. Make your walls interesting, please.
We won’t go through these gates yet – but again, the color is lively and adds drama without the drama.
I like the rows of recessed brick – there are no boring walls in this garden.
Little spouts of water are found on just one corner of this pond – so remember that. They don’t always have to be in the middle.
Let’s back up so you can get the full view here.
Here we can see the joining of three wall materials if you look closely. Also – those pots of mums are on steps – hinting that you should join them and see what is at the top of the stairs…where does it lead??
It doesn’t lead to here – but I just wanted to show you these blue doors. Blue bench, blue gates, blue doors. Not too much, but just enough to tie the garden all together.
I think this in enough for today. We have ramped up above the English Walled gardens and will be on to somewhere else some other day. For now, enjoy the idea of these two trees – which are of the same species – are just on opposite sides of the wall. It creates movement and breaks up the stiffness that a brick wall can sometimes create.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
The Chicago Botanic Gardens has one of the most extensive bonsai collections in the nation. I think they have about 260 trees in their collection and display about 60 at a time. Below are pictures of some – in another post you shall see the rest. Maybe I can learn the art while in Japan! As I may be over there more than once. Yep.
Admire. Which one excited you the most? And why?
Since you brought a friend with you this time – I am providing two benches!
They have very large bodies of water at the Chicago Bontanic Gardens which divide the gardens in to different areas. Bridges make the connection. I love bridges.
I like how the Cotoneaster is draping over the walls. It will be awesome even when the snow flies. It’s an evergreen and the red berries are persistent.
Notice all the layers
Something about the harvest time is very ________
(fill in the blank)
The gold with the green with the black is a fantastic combination. So rich.
Another council ring – just look up Jens Jensen.
A great seating area with a design on the floor plane.
Moss in between rocks, cracks, bricks, stones….
anything really – is always welcome.
Tired of the Chicago Botanic Gardens yet?
Just a few more posts…..
Sunday, October 25, 2009
A week ago I was at Notre Dame. Spent the day walking campus with my friend, Clayton, who is a graduate student in the architecture program and was happy to show me around.
The Grotto: Sunday worshippers
It was a wonderful walk around the lake, which was taken twice.
Once in each direction.
It was an awesome moment to be at the lakeside on this Sunday afternoon and somewhere in the distance, from campus, “Amazing Grace” started to sound on the bagpipes. We stood still and listened to two versus before continuing on. I love the bagpipes. And even more so when they randomly appear in my life. Unexpected happiness.
It was fun noticing all the detail on the buildings
and deciphering what it all meant.
and deciphering what it all meant.
I like the contrasting fall colors in this photograph – a range of varieties. But was adds even more depth into this captured moment is the patinaed Christ facing the golden dome, which has Mary on top -
those two colors displayed in religiously-minded man-made ways coupled with the glory of nature was a fun sight to see.
This campus was packed just the day before as one of the biggest games went down Saturday. And no – I didn’t attend. I don’t even remember who their opponent was – or who won – appalling, isn’t it. Or maybe not.
Stand looking at the stadium. Then turn around 180 degrees, and you behold…
I prefer viewing the building in the reflection of the water feature that sits at the base of the building.
I also saw First Down Moses – but didn’t realize that’s what it was until I was back in Utah.
And because of the fall of man came Jesus Christ, even the Father and the Son; and because of Jesus Christ came the redemption of man.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Monday I spent time on campus in the Bond – the architecture building on the campus of Notre Dame. I was introduced to studio to see where all the great brains spatter their knowledge and grand ideas on paper through pencil. I LOVE studio; I love drafting tables and tools, lamps and pencil lead, and on and on. We searched through the archives in the basement and then I took a nap on some comfortable red couch somewhere on the second floor where I didn’t disturb anybody and they didn’t disturb me. I seem to always find places to nap while on a trip.
I love it.
There were some big books in the depths of the Bond.
There so much to learn, like how to properly create letters. Amazing.
Check out the progression of these drawings. How laborious to have drawn all this out over and over and over. I think it’s super neat and would love to know who did all these!
We wandered around some house that is now a museum – for what I do not know – but the wall system was cool – had a unique mortar system and the columns reminded me of chess pieces from some ancient past era.
The Pawn: “Look at that. I got him thinking. I got him thinking.
Maybe I can win a pawn..”
Maybe I can win a pawn..”
The Rook: “Petey just hung his Rook!”
Indulge me a little – this is for A.
Is that the best you got? That's the best you got? You ain't got nothing. You sure you've played this game? You want to go to Chinatown and play Chinese checkers? No, that ain't it. You want that? O.K. You can have that. But you can't have that. That's my baby. You got to leave with that. You can't trade queens with me. I ain't in the trading business. What you trying to do? You're going to have to do better than that. That's Kamran Shirazi. That's Kamran Shirazi. That's Kamran Shirazi, man. Shirazi! The Grandmaster's here. You come to hustle the hustler. Don't look at my clock. My time is fine. I want to go home. Come and take my money.
Pardon, just needed a SFBF moment….back to South Bend!
The above photos are from the house with the chess pieces.
That really aren’t chess pieces…
Also, I realize that while all of these photos from my trip thrill me for various reasons, they might not thrill all of you. And that’s okay. I took over 1,000 and you only have to see 100 or so.
Monday evening we drove to St. Josephs, Michigan, to watch the sunset.
It was a great way to spend my last evening in the Mid-West.
Tokens from the lake shore.
I heart coasts and very large lake shores that makes you feel like you are on the coast.
Lake Michigan suffices. Most definitely.
Did I become obsessed with the sand and the way the lake left it’s unique mark each time the water rolled in and out?
No – not at all.
Do I have more photos of lines in sand that you haven’t seen?
Yes – absolutely.
One of my favorite reasons for being at a shore – lake or sea…is that it sweeps away all thought and I am, the sand is, the water is and we all just are. It’s a state of being that I seek for every once in a while. It’s a great feeling to have an empty brain. And while many of you might say I do not need a shoreline to manifest an empty brain, I digress and say o’well.