Friday, August 28, 2009

Check It Out: Floating Garden

The Chicago Park District and Moore Landscapes partnered together to launch a Floating Garden in Lincoln Park. From now and until mid-October, weather dependent, catch a glimpse of this unique floating tropical garden in the Lincoln Park south rowing lagoon.

Located east of the Lincoln Park Zoo and west of Lake Shore Drive in the south end of Lincoln Park’s rowing lagoon between Fullerton and North avenues, the floating tropical oasis was planted in a retired lifeguard boat, that is a seventeen inch Boston Whaler and secured by three concrete block anchors.

Designed by Kathleen Mullaney of Moore Landscapes Inc., the tropical oasis themed Floating Garden provides an element of surprise and delight to those who pass it. Bright red bamboo poles were added to compliment the bright plant palette and acts as a trellis for the vining flowers.

The plants in the Floating Garden were selected for their bright colors, texture and bold foliage such as annual vines (potato vine and Algerian ivy), annual flowers and ornamental grass (star flower, lantana, petunias, Brazilian verbena and purple fountain grass.) The tropical selections include croton, mandevilla vine, shrimp flower, annual hibiscus, canna, cordyline, and bamboo. For variety, fall ornamental grasses (millet and Juncus) were added, as well as ornamental cabbage.

From a distance, the Floating Garden displays a vibrancy of red, orange and yellow flowers with green and burgundy foliage. Vines and flowers drape over the top deck of the boat into the water.

All of the plants used in this visual display came from local suppliers. Pots and containers from all plant material are collected, sorted and picked up by area growers who will reuse or recycle the plastic materials. All landscape debris (including the soil) will be composted. The bamboo will be reused in future special projects.

After mid-October when the Floating Garden is dismantled, the appropriate plant material will be recycled and used in next year’s annual garden displays in parks throughout Chicago. Moore Landscapes Inc. works closely with the Lincoln Park Conservatory staff to reuse the tropical plants each year.


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