Web Photos That I Like
February 3, 2010
Allan in American Meadow, Chicago Botanic Gardens, Garden Inspiration Photos, Landscape Architects, Oehme, The new American garden, planting in waves, van Sweden and Associates

It is rare that I feature the work of landscape architects even though I have great admiration for their profession. As a perennial gardener, I find that most of their work lacks the color that I seek. The primary focus of their projects is the configuration of hardscape elements. Plants and ornamental shrubs appear only as design accessories and color is used sparingly.

While visiting internet sites that focus on nature, I came across riveting panoramic views of gardens that caused me to stop and admire. They turned out to be photographs of the works of the landscape architecture firm of Oehme, van Sweden and Associates. What separates this firm from most of their peers is a philosophy of the New American Garden that allows the visitor to see nature first and then to notice the hardscapes. The inspiration for their gardens comes from the American meadow and reflects the year-round beauty of the natural landscape. When color is used, it is dramatic.

Here is a view of the Gardens of the Great Basin at the Chicago Botanic Gardens in Glencoe, Illinois. It consists of fourteen acres of plantings, pathways, terraces, knolls, overlooks and bridges. According to the publicity supplies by the firm, each garden within the Great Basin captures the unique attributes of the Midwestern landscape.

In the photo above, ornamental grasses are effectively used to highlight the colorful plants in the foreground. Notice how yellow, pink and blue perennials, when planted in waves, create a powerful composition.

Article originally appeared on Garden Design, Montreal, Perennial Flower Gardens, Gardening Tips, Gardening Advice, Gardening Book Reviews (http://allanbecker-gardenguru.squarespace.com/).
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