Chicago Gardens: The Early History

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-08-18
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr

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Once maligned as a swampy outpost, the fledgling city of Chicago brazenly adopted the mottoUrbs in Hortoor City in a Garden, in 1837.Chicago Gardensshows how this upstart town earned its sobriquet over the next century, from the first vegetable plots at Fort Dearborn to innovative garden designs at the 1933 World's Fair. Cathy Jean Maloney has spent decades researching the city's horticultural heritage, and here she reveals the unusual history of Chicago's first gardens. Challenged by the region's clay soil, harsh winters, and fierce winds, Chicago's pioneering horticulturalists, Maloney demonstrates, found imaginative uses for hardy prairie plants. This same creative spirit thrived in the city's local fruit and vegetable markets, encouraging the growth of what would become the nation's produce hub. The vast plains that surrounded Chicago, meanwhile, inspired early landscape architects, such as Frederick Law Olmsted, Jens Jensen, and O.C. Simonds, to new heights of grandeur. Maloney does not forget the backyard gardeners: immigrants who cultivated treasured seeds and pioneers who planted native wildflowers. Maloney's vibrant depictions of Chicagoans like "Bouquet Mary," a flower peddler who built a greenhouse empire, add charming anecdotal evidence to her argumentthat Chicago's garden history rivals that of New York or London and ensures its status as a world-class capital of horticultural innovation. With exquisite archival photographs, prints, and postcards, as well as field guide descriptions of living legacy gardens for today's visitors,ChicagoGardenswill delight green-thumbs from all parts of the world.

Author Biography

Cathy Jean Maloney is a senior editor at Chicagoland Gardening.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Growers and Sowers: Planters of the Plains and Parkwaysp. 27
Planting the Prairie: Defining the New Plant Palettep. 103
Chicago by Design: A Blank Canvas for Cultivated Gardensp. 153
Suburban Sojourn: Gardens in the Countryp. 233
Fairs and Flowers: Chicago Hosts a World of Fairsp. 287
Prairie Pastimes: Entertaining in the Gardenp. 319
The Next Centuryp. 349
Plant List by Time Periodp. 359
Chicago Plantsp. 365
Key Names and Groups in the Garden City. 1833-1933p. 369
Notesp. 279
Bibliographyp. 403
Indexp. 411
Color gallery follows page 84
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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