The Lurie Garden in March (2018)

March had been a mostly frigid month, and so there aren’t an abundance of blooms. Yet there are patches of color, here and there.

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I love these blue and white Glory-Of-The-Snow (Chionodoxa forbesii).

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They’ve naturalized nicely on both sides of the boardwalk.

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Perhaps I should have mentioned earlier that Lurie has been given a crew cut. Incidentally, it really struck me how the boardwalk is sloping rather than flat. This enables you to look at the garden from different heights – especially important when the only things to look at are very close to the ground.

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Here we’re looking south towards the Art Institute of Chicago. Some of the grasses and forbs were left longer than others, as a favor to overwintering insects.

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Another flower you can find at Lurie Garden these days is Tubergen Squill (Scilla mischtschenkoana). Tubergen Squill is celebrated for the fact that it has 7 consonants in a row in its species name. A dainty-looking flower that is undaunted by cold weather and the blue stripes are very fetching.

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Tubergen Squill hasn’t naturalized here as much as the Chionodoxa, and I must say it doesn’t look as good at a distance.

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There are Crocuses as well. I think these are ‘Barr’s Purple’.

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Crocuses are scattered singly over patches of the garden. I’m surprised they haven’t been eaten by rabbits. Perhaps the fuzzy demons will allow the Crocuses to naturalize.

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Other bulbs and wildflowers are also emerging. You can see the leaves of Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica), Narcissi, and some Tulips. Spring is indeed coming, though at an exceedingly slothful pace.

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On my way to and from the Lurie Garden I always pass Millennium Park’s Cloud Gate sculpture, also known as The Bean (though I did once here someone refer to it as The Potato). I’ve gotten so used to it that I hardly notice it anymore. This time something made me take notice of it again. It is a remarkable piece of public art, and always, always surrounded by a crowd.

48 Comments on “The Lurie Garden in March (2018)

  1. I like the Cloud Gate sculpture, and it is much more elegant than a potato! The Teburgen Squill seems a pretty little plant to carry the heavy burden of such a long and complex species name! Looking at the Crocuses and the lovely Glory-of-the-Snow flowers must be very exciting after such a long winter….enjoy every flower!

  2. The early bloomers look great intermingled among the cut perennials. The blue of the Glory of the Snow really pops. The bean is a great addition to Chicago. I love the reflection of the skyline and the fun photos you can take with the reflections.

  3. Love that garden, even if it’s from afar. In fact, I love Lurie so much that I’ve liked it on Facebook and am now a follower. And all thanks to you. Before I started reading your blog, I had never heard of Lurie Garden. Finally, as we Mainers would say, that is some bean. Wowsah!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing that gorgeous patch of garden in different seasons–it’s been a treat to follow your posts!

  5. I would like to have big swathes of Chionodoxa. That blue really makes my eyes dance. The darned rabbits have eaten all of my crocus. I hope they are stable enough to withstand the onslaught. The bean/cloud does seem to have a magnetic draw. It is always bright and cheerful.

  6. Love that sculpture! Nice to see that spring is making itself known in your neck of the woods, even if it is happening at a snail’s pace this year.

  7. Lovely to see it in spring with so many bulbs. I love the carpets of chionodoxa. The Turbergen Squill looks just like Puschkinia, can you tell the difference?

  8. I’ve always heard the Tubergen Squill called striped squill. It’s one of my favorites but I agree that it doesn’t have the same impact as the Chionodoxa. Right about now I’d love to see either one!

  9. Not much is blooming yet, but what is is lovely. I agree with you on the squill – they look nice up close but from a distance it’s almost as if someone threw a bunch of cut flowers onto the ground. Do you think it’s due to floppy stems, perhaps?

    • I think it’s more the color and size of the flowers. As someone else said, the Chionodoxa really pops. The Squill doesn’t have enough contrast with tan-colored stems and leaves left over from winter.

  10. I love that blue of the glory-of-the-snow! Such a vibrant color. That is quite the name on the squill. It must be Russian (you should see the Russian word for ‘hello’). The Bean is quite impressive. It must have been quite the job sculpting that!

  11. I smiled to see The Bean. One has been installed in Houston recently and I’ve heard there’s been quite a back-and-forth between Chicago and Houston newspaper people over our new piece of art. I don’t know the details and don’t care. I’m happy to admire them both.

    I was quite taken with the sloped boardwalk: quite a clever idea. And it’s amazing to see these unfamiliar-to-me plants beginning to herald spring for you. They’re lovely, and no doubt more than a little welcome.

    • I didn’t know there was a Bean in Houston. No matter. There are enough beans for everyone. It’s odd how I never noticed the sloping boardwalk before this.

  12. Love the Glory-of-the-snow! It really stands out against the wintry background. I am always thrilled to see newly emerging blooms in early spring. The reflections in the Bean are fascinating. My first thought was that the sculpture was a spacecraft!

  13. I always enjoy seeing the Lurie in different seasons through your photos. I must plant more glory-in-the snow! I keep forgetting to text you–I received the Succulent book this week; thanks so much!

  14. Jason, I remember your previous post about Lurie park it looked very pretty. This post showed me a sculpture Bean, I’d love to see my reflection in it!
    By the way I love Chionodoxa very much and have many of them in my garden.

  15. Oh my goodness–this is the time of year when there’s a huge difference between Chicago and Madison, and Madison and Central/Northern Wisconsin! They got more than a foot of snow in the north today, and you have Virginia Bluebells already budding out! Mine haven’t even emerged yet! I do have a few Crocuses and other little bulb-bloomers making an appearance, but not as far along as at Lurie. Thanks for this peek of what’s to come!

  16. The bean is quite an eye-catcher with the reflections of the skyline. Spring seemed to be creeping along so slowly here too, but suddenly it arrived and there is no stopping it!

  17. I do enjoy seeing the Lurie gardens throughout the seasons, interesting seeing the crew cuts. The bean looks like a wonderful conch shell to me, what an amazing building.xxx

  18. Hello Jason, I planted Chionodoxa at the bottom of the garden under the trees last Autumn and the ones that haven’t ben discovered by the squirrels are out and flowering but I’d need a boat to cross the garden to see them. I bet “the bean” takes a lot of polishing to keep it shiny and reflective!

  19. That is an amazing work, The Cloud Gate sculpture. The spring flowers are also very lovely. I haven’t tried growing Squill or Chionodoxa forbesii here yet, but will try some bulbs in planters this fall. Crocus are always such lovely heralds of spring.

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