Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Lily Pond and Conservatory

In the 1930s Alfred Caldwell designed a garden in Chicago dominated by a large central lagoon. It is called The Lily Pond and yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting it with friends. Extensive use of limestone shelf rock is meant to evoke a prairie river cutting through bedrock. A council ring, that icon of the Prairie school of landscape architecture, sits atop a small knoll giving views of the lagoon. The garden was a great success when it first opened but over the years bad redesigns and general neglect nearly destroyed Caldwell's vision. In 2000 an extensive restoration and reconstruction was begun. Now restored nearly to its original beauty--obligatory changes were made to accommodate ADA--the garden is a tranquil and apparently little known gem adjacent to the Lincoln Park Zoo.

We also made a visit to the conservatory in the park. I love conservatories. I still sometimes dream of having a nice stone house topped, at least in part, by a classical glass and metal conservatory where I can sit in the winter with my exotic plants and a good book.

A lovely statue in the pond of the Palm House

In the Fern House

A mass of some sort of maidenhair fern in the Fern House

In one of the houses a grapefruit tree and this sour orange were heavily laden with fruit

A beautiful pink Datura for my friend Wildetype--There was an even larger golden one nearby but the lighting was not good

Oh look! Wildetype has shown up to see the Datura. No, my mistake--it's a creepy geisha mannequin in the Show House.

0 Responses: