Here’s a way to get warm in the middle of Winter: Dream of Spring!

Posted: January 21, 2010 in 1

Here’s a way to get warm in the middle of Winter:  Dream of Spring!

The Lurie Garden in Millenium Park is just down the street from the news station and in the spring and summer I run by there often… here are some cool events coming up that will get you in the mood for warmer weather while its still Winter in Chicago!

Lurie Garden is a Winter Wonderland

Structure, Texture and Movement Heighten Its Beauty

CHICAGO (Jan. 19, 2010) – Dress in your warmest clothes and head for a walk in one of the most beautiful and captivating winter landscapes in Chicago: the Lurie Garden.

Piet Oudolf, world-renowned designer of the Lurie Garden’s perennial plantings, values plants as much for their form and texture as for their color. He stresses the importance of choosing plants that “live well and die well,” so that from birth in the spring through the crescendo of summer to the stark beauty of autumn and winter, the garden presents continuing drama and interest. Plant material left throughout the winter months gives the garden structure, texture and overall form, while providing shelter for migratory birds in the spring and helping keep soil temperature consistent.

The Lurie Garden’s winter plant highlights include:

  • Karl Foerster Grass: stands tall against heavy rainfall, snow and wind; its tight clumps make it a good companion plant for support
  • Northern Sea Oats: pale-yellow leaves
  • Common Eulalia Grass: good winter structure
  • Anemones: cottony seed heads
  • Little Blue Stem: hundreds of silver-white seeds on deep red stems
  • Red Switch Grass: flat seed heads above brown foliage; contrasts nicely with the snow
  • Allium ‘Summer Beauty’ and Purple Lance Astilbe: seed heads remain attractive through winter
  • Arkansas Blue Star: white-tinged winter stems
  • Coniferous plants or evergreens: remain robust and green year-round

Plant enthusiasts who would like to learn more about “The Lurie Garden’s Winter Superstars” can attend a free workshop on Saturday, Feb. 6, from 10 a.m. to noon. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Call 312-742-8497 to register. Meet at the boardwalk’s south end, overlooking Monroe Street.

Other free programs this winter include:

Family Workshop

Saturday, Feb. 6: “Snip and Clip: Prepping the Garden for Spring,” 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Each year, all of the plants in the Lurie Garden are cut back to make room for spring’s new growth. Families will help by cutting a few plants and turning them into something new, and then will take a walk in the Lurie Garden. The workshop will be held in the Garland Room, on the first floor of the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. Children must be at least six years old and accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is required. Call 312-742-TIXS (8497) to register.

Adult Lectures

Thursday, Jan. 21, “Millennium Park: Creating a Chicago Landmark,” 6 p.m.

Ed Uhlir, director of design, architecture and landscape, Millennium Park, documents the process of creating the park, its art and architecture. The importance of Millennium Park to Chicago is of much greater magnitude than anyone involved with the project ever imagined. The public response to the park has been astonishing, with more than three million people visiting each year. The park also has become a major public forum where diverse people from all over the world meet and enjoy a communal urban experience. The lecture will be held in the Millennium Park Room on the fifth floor of the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. Pre-registration is not required.

Thursday, Feb. 4, “Henry Chandler Cowles: Chicago’s Pioneer Ecologist”

Author Victor Cassidy shares how Henry Chandler Cowles did more than anyone else to establish the science of ecology in North America—and he did it all in Chicago. In 1898-99, as a graduate student at the University of Chicago, he made path-breaking studies at the Indiana Dunes. Later, he created the entire ecology curriculum at the university and taught from 1898 to 1934, powerfully influencing America’s first generation of ecologists. The lecture will be held in the Millennium Park Room on the fifth floor of the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. Pre-registration is not required.

The Lurie Garden is located at the southeast corner of Millennium Park, near the corner of Columbus Drive and Monroe Street. Millennium Park is easily reached by CTA and adjacent public parking is available. Millennium Park is universally accessible to patrons with disabilities. For more information, visit

Visit or more information about the Lurie Garden, including programming, seasonal highlights, plant features and design elements.


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