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Elizabeth - great post - and thank you for the great photos of Spring Fling.

Another reason to visit Chicago. Great pix -- thanks. And, yes, the myth of the low-maintenance garden only becomes true if you have a fondness for weeds.

Well said Elizabeth...I was looking at the photos of the Lurie this morning and appreciating the vision and work it takes to look that natural. I missed the Lily Garden but hope to visit it on my next visit to Chicago...the stacked stone looks wonderful. gail

aesthetics requires work. nature cares not for aesthetics.

Great collection of photos, E. Thanks!

Great post! Love to see when things get restored to a more natural balance. Gail is so right about aesthetics requiring work!

Natural landscapes don't need care; however, there are few natural landscapes left...human influence and changes distorts the natural process.

In addition, we often want to produce THAT natural landscape at THIS place...something that may NOT be what the local environment "wants".

Also... we tend to build paths; and want to "freeze" a view; natural views change; plants that grew HERE now grow THERE...

If you are trying to present a static scene to the public... it's not really a "natural landscape"!

Introduced plants have GREATLY added to the problem; most destructive weeds are alien.

None the less... my backyard woodland requires relatively little maintenance; a yearly removal of new trees, removal of some Virgina Creeper, clearing of paths.

Mowing what remains of my lawn takes more time...

You are exaggerating about the transformation of the Lily Pool. I photographed it extensively in the 80s. I hardly recognize it from your photos. I wished I hadn't been too tired to find my way over there on Saturday.

Ooops! I meant NOT exaggerating. Sorry, my bad.

Oh, good, MMD, I wondered! Because I was told that Caldwell actually cried when he saw what had happened to it, and when I saw it it looked beautiful.

The secret of the low-maintenance garden is -- grow pretty "weeds"!

Donna, I agree. The other secret is: grow shrubs and small trees. Then learn to prune and start doing it yearly before the garden becomes a jungle.

That Lily Pool is beautiful, what a nice comment on the transformation. I think my favorite photos from all of you bloggers that visited Chicago were those of that fabulous Salvia river.

Gee, I'm sorry I missed the Lily Pool. A few of us tried to find it but we obviously went in the wrong direction! Yes, kudos really should go to the city of Chicago for recognizing the importance of their green spaces and spending money on them. It's a great city and those green spaces contribute to that greatness in a big way. Guess I'll just have to get back there for another visit and to see the Lily Pool!

The biggest problem with weeding is that you have to be knowledgeable to do it. This is not a task easily "contracted out." I can hire someone to mow my lawn, but I can't always find someone to weed properly.

I missed the Caldwell Lily Pond too. There wasn't enough time. Damn gorillas.

Living very intimately with a natural landscape that wants to be in control, I can assure you there is nothing low maintenance about it. Even with a great acceptance of the natural, the heart of the gardener who wants to create an effect is often as powerful a force as that of nature with other design ideas.

I wish I had seen that ... Jean, Leslie and I thought we were headed in the right direction but finally had to concede we didn't know where the heck it was! Next time!

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