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I went there after a brutal cold snap and the place looked pretty reasonable considering the non-hardy bedding had just been absolutely fried out of season. I'd imagine when the weather worked for them the team behind what I saw would create spectacularness and your photos suggest that's right.

What would be really interesting would be to see how their spend compares to other cities; I'd suspect they get a lot more bang per buck

I was in Chicago this weekend, to visit the Art Institute, and saw the Lurie Garden firsthand. Lovely! I had no idea it existed. Now, if they could just do something about the traffic!

Yes! I was there in May, and there were tulips everywhere, and large signs promoting the plantings. Great pictures!

Chicago leads the way in urban beautification, proving that going green can be very colorful. I just love that the Mayor has made this a priority. Kudos to all the designers, landscapers, and maintenance crews that keep Chicago looking so great! You know who you are - great job!

Very nice! It's good to see a city that really cares so much about its appearance!

I agree completely! And I thought, too, that Chicago was using some very nice specimen plants. In Houston, the powers that be hesitate to plant things like Japanese maples, rubber trees, etc. in street plantings. They'd be tempted to choose less expensive plants. I was knocked out by Chicago's beautiful street scenes.

I was blown away by the green beautification in Chicago. We stayed in a hotel close to Millennium Park in July. I could not keep out of the park. It is an amazing place.

Chiacago has been "flowered" long before green was a buzzword.

"I was blown away by the green beautification in Chicago"

GAG ME WITH A COMPOST FORK!!!

Goes to show you what marketing does. Now that "green" is mainstream look at all the accolades of being green instead of just saying how beautiful the fowers are.

My how we must tailor our comments to media buzz instead of just saying how we feel.

The TROLL

I understand that Chicago also has been leading the way on green roofs. All these plants in an urban environment absorb more rainwater and do a lot to offset the heat retention of all that cement and asphalt.

Victoria in British Columbia is another city with beautiful plants and gardens.

I agree with Susan about the beauty of Annapolis and I certainly enjoyed living near there for 30 years, but it's much smaller--more of a town, really.

I've never understood why there isn't so much more of this in our cities... the round street side plantings with the elephant ears are stunning!

"What is it with these northern cities and their appreciation for gardens?" It is an antidote to the omnipresent threat of 5 months of frost, snow, ice and greyness, a 'let's make hay while the sun shines' syndrome. That said, Chicago's street plantings are impressively gorgeous and imaginative.

Kudo's to Mayor Daley for appreciating and understanding how good landscape architecture and ornamental horticulture can enhance the lives of the locals and bring business revenue into the city from out of the area.
ASLA was correct in awarding him an honorarium.
This is what forward thinking landscape architecture can do for your city, your people , your income and your quality of life.

Urbs in Horto is great, but you totally missed the rant here, which is who pays for those. The streetscape planters are paid for through extortion of any street level merchant who looks out their window at a planter. It is essentially protection money, and Bank of America pays the same as the little storefront not-for-profit. The city uses the merchant associations to do its dirty work and will resort to messing with trash pick up, police response, street cleaning, access to officials, and public humiliation to ensure compliance. When my little nfp moved south of Roosevelt Road several years ago we all breathed a sigh of relief because we wouldn't have to deal with it anymore.

What impressed me about the planters in the second photo is that they can move them around as needed by forklift. Beats the pants off a wooden horse as a barricade!

And the city still maintains a pretty face in winter. Here's a shot of the planters in the median of LaSalle Street at City Hall:
La Salle Street

ps - loved seeing you all in person at the show!

One of the things that brings tourists back to Chicago is the flowers - I was also blown away, last October, by the Michigan Avenue planters. I'd think businesses along that stretch at least would get their money back in the form of people returning to that shopping district because of its beauty.

Love how they planted around those trees. Nice photos, thanks for sharing!

Another tradeshow took me to Chicago the week before the IGCS, here is a link to my blog post on the Lurie , plus a few other random pics. Wish I'd had a full day to wander around and take photos..

Nothing like an urban garden to cover up murder, police brutality, and rampant political corruption. Yep, Chicago is my kind of town.

I really liked the images. Very imaginative use of the annuals, good combos. I would not have pegged Chicago for a flower town. But I bet that was said about Buffalo too. Nice to see so many businesses getting in on the act. What I noticed from the photos,was that the streets looked clean. Wonder if the flowers had anything to do with added pride?

I've always been amazed at the amount of green space Chicago has. And I would love to know what their budget is for all those plants and flowers. They're EVERYWHERE. Not just downtown, but in the suburbs, too. I was told last year that they change out many of the planters three times during the growing season. That has to cost millions.

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