Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wordplay: Ps

No dog pee on tree please...(seen on Wilson Avenue in Chicago)


Luscious peas, Thank You! (from dear client in Lake Forest who has had a bountiful, organic veggie garden for over a half century).

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Last AIC Modern: The Garden

It took some sleuthing to discover (afterwards) that it was designed by Kathryn Gustafson. I should have known by her tree choices...I love the Lurie Garden that she designed across the street in Millenium Park with Piet Oudolf...but was underwhelmed by this new garden. It's dominated by the architecture and given the light conditions, I doubt the grasses will thrive and so, the plants will hardly soften the structure. With an all-grass garden, I would plant another texturally-different plant to provide contrast and pop the texture of the grasses. Plastic plants or none would have been better. Also, the sculpture ("White Curve") is by Ellsworth Kelly who has never much moved me. I believe I understand what they were trying to achieve with the overarching curve but I don't think it succeeds.

More AIC MOdern: Architecture

Renzo Piano the architect. Fabulous reflections plus great view of Millennium Park from inside. Also: amazing doors! Some kind of cool hinge: too bad my iPhone battery died. But got the was drawing people like a magnet.

More AIC Modern: Art

Eva Hesse

Some of my all-time favorites...

Robert Smithson (on the floor)

New Modern Wing: Art Institute of Chicago

With most of "spring" planting done (despite torrential thunderstorms), on Thursday I was able to take off an evening to recharge my being human...after 5 pm, Thursday & Friday nights are free.

All the hype is warranted: this building hits the mark in terms of enticing architecture that serves to highlight exhibits that allow the art to breathe. I am always taking to clients about negative space and mass & void: these concepts are an integral part of this space. The magical light & perfect proportion & airiness absolutely enchant. Above you can see the main hall that functions logistically and aesthetically, facilitating the flow of light and people. I got a crick in my neck from staring at the ceiling. There are several layers of different materials that allow the natural light to filter in and blend with the artificial. Here you can see the effect early evening.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

More Indiana Poppy

Poppy wig & toupee...better than D. Trump.

Poppy in Process

I am cheating because one was near O'Hare and another in NW Indiana...

Monday, June 8, 2009

ADPSR Chicago June 13th Event

Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) is a terrific national organization concerned with peace, social justice and the environment. I've only been privileged to meet and work with some of the local members of the ADPSR Chicago chapter. Currently it's headed by an awesome young architect (almost all the Chicago members are architects), Dan Hatch. The Chicago ADPSR is hosting the annual Mumford Awards, June 13th. Dan's also connected us with a very interesting sustainable project, The Black Oaks Center, run by the dynamic duo of Fred carter & Dr. Jifunza Wright Carter. They will be guest presenters at the award event and the following day, Black Oaks will be sponsoring a bio-diesel bus for a community building day. Both these events and people and places should really inspire you...

Since I lack photos of these people & places, instead I've featured Chicago's downtown (above) as we saw it June 1st while we were installing a rooftop planting in Evanston (hope the third time's a charm after the developer and a previous landscaper). Typically our weather is variable, but this day was wild! To demonstrate, (below) you can see the sky looking north at the same time as I took the first shot looking south. Later, I will post pix of the process...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Bailtiger Sumac Foliage in Context

Here's an update on that unfurling Sumac foliage of a few weeks ago. I love the chartreuse against brown...

Where I have time, I want to talk about this job with special clients who are open to the spiritual possibilities of landscape. They lost an American Elm with a 6' diameter trunk, easily a 100 years old. In honoring the soul of the tree, we came up with an interesting tribute. More later.

A note: We actually planted the Crab Apple Purple Prince (below) in the neighbor's yard to help create privacy on my client's front porch. The foliage nicely contrasts with that of the Sumac.