Chicago: Lincoln Park / Grandmother’s Garden

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Grandmother’s Garden
Historically, the Grandmother’s Garden was also known as the Old English Garden.

Flourished since 1890s.

Location: Stockton Dr & Webster St, Chicago, IL 60614.

Created by Carl Stormback, Lincoln Park’s head gardner of the late 1880’s and early 1890’s.

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Grandmother's Garden, Lincoln Park.

Grandmother’s Garden, Lincoln Park.

 

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Grandmother’s Garden.

The undulating beds of Grandmother’s Garden have flourished on this Lincoln Park site since the early 1890s. This naturalistic garden may have originally been created by Carl Stormback, Lincoln Park’s head gardner of the late 1880’s and early 1890’s. Grandmother’s Garden was consciously juxtaposed to the formal “French style” garden surrounding the conservatory directly across the street. An article published in 1900 explained that one could not find a better example of the two contrasting styles. It suggested that while Grandmother’s Garden was a “profusion of flowers of all kinds combined according to color and foliage, “the Formal Garden was an arrangement of set forms and conventional designs.” Additionally, this is a perennial garden, while the Formal Garden is composed of annuals.

 

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Grandmother's Garden, Lincoln Park.

Grandmother’s Garden, Lincoln Park.

 

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Historically, the Grandmother’s Garden was also known as the Old English Garden.

The English landscape garden, is a style of “landscape” garden which emerged in England in the early 18th century, and spread across Europe, replacing the more formal, symmetrical patterns of the 17th century as the principal gardening style of Europe. The English garden presented an idealized view of nature. Though essentially a manmade creation, the intent of a naturalistic garden is to mimic nature in a highly idealized way. Where nature is placed a meadow filled with grasses and wildflowers, the naturalistic garden creates vistas of manicured lawn. A forest with randomly arranged trees and shrubs in every stage of growth and decay, complete with brambles and undergrowth, becomes a picturesque, park-like setting designed for strolling. Seemingly spontaneous views are carefully staged to take in remnants of ruins — also usually artificial — or man-made lakes surrounded by meandering paths.

 

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Grandmother's Garden, Lincoln Park.

Blue Siberian Squill [Scilla siberica] /Grandmother’s Garden, Lincoln Park.

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Blue Siberian Squill [Scilla siberica] that has naturalized over many decades,
blooming under Cornelian Cherry trees. Image taken in the spring of 2009.

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Grandmother's Garden, Lincoln Park.

Grandmother’s Garden is a “profusion of flowers of all kinds combined according to color and foliage. / Grandmother’s Garden, Lincoln Park.

 

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William Shakespeare – by William Ordway Partridge

William Shakespeare – by William Ordway Partridge

 

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Shakespeare Monument – by William Ordway Partridge
Installed: 1893

In 1893, when a William Shakespeare Monument was bequeathed to Lincoln Park by Samuel Johnson, director of the Chicago Railroad Company, the Old English Garden was considered a fitting site. A competition to design the monument was won by sculptor William Ordway Partridge, who had studied hundreds of portraits and busts of the Bard of Avon. The statue is said to be the first in which Shakespeare is correctly clothed in attire he would have worn.

On the base is inscribed Shakespeare’s words from Hamlet..
What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty!

On the opposite side is Samuel T. Coleridge’s words..
he was not for an age but for all time, our myriad- minded Shakespeare.

 

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Grandmother's Garden, Lincoln Park.

Grandmother’s Garden, Lincoln Park.

 

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Although the Shakespeare’s Monument is a permanent installation in the center of the garden,
the Grandmother’s Garden has been a favorite for many temporary sculptural installations.

 

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Formal Garen at Lincoln Park - across the street from Grandmother's Garden.

Formal “French style” Garden at Lincoln Park – across the street from Grandmother’s Garden, Lincoln Park.

 

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Grandmother’s Garden was consciously juxtaposed to
the formal “French style” garden surrounding the conservatory directly across the street

 

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RELATED LINKS

Chicago, Public Art in Lincoln Park .. click here..
Chicago, Art by Location.. click here..
Chicago: Parks, Boulevards and Gardens..click here..

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