On October 15th I had the honor of being one of the APA aesthetic pruning instructors for the NAJGA hands-on workshop held in the Garden of the Phoenix in Jackson Park Chicago. It is a very historical garden built for the 1893 Worlds Fair. There is way too much history for me to get into so check here for more information about the garden.
The workshop consisted of three parts. Installing a moss garden (with Rick Smith and Dale Sievert), a stone pathway with John Powell and Hironori Kamoshita and aesthetic pruning (with Grant Foerster, Greg Kitajima, Peter Bowyer and myself). The only problem with being an instructor is that I missed out on the moss and stone! The work was wonderful and it is amazing what a group of people can accomplish in one day.
The moment I stepped into the garden I felt peaceful and relaxed and that is saying a lot considering I had a full day of pruning instruction ahead of me! There is a great combination of intimate spaces and broad vistas. I felt a closeness with the landscape yet at moments could appreciate the vastness of nature. Definitely a garden worth visiting!
I wish I had more photo’s of the garden but I was too busy meeting interesting people and pruning!
The signature pine in the garden. It is beautiful with the bridge, the water behind and the reflection in the front.
We began the workshop discussing the focal pine. It was a little drizzly but no one seemed to mind!
Attendees of the workshop opened up these crab apples, lifting the canopy and simplifying the structure.
A big thanks goes to Karen Szyjka of the Chicago Park District (in the yellow slicker giving introductions) for making the workshop possible!
Another big thanks goes to Bill Coons (in the blue coat). He is the head gardener who keeps it looking so wonderful. Bill guided us through the garden and selected the plant material that needed to be worked on the most.
An unexpected bonus to the workshop was meeting Koichi Kobayashi (wearing the black coat and hat in the center of the photo). He was the designer for the main gate and pathway leading into the garden.
Karen, Mr. Kobayashi and participants listen to Greg Kitajima summarize the pruning goals for an area of Euonymus alatus.
This is the garden’s waterfall with the pavilion behind it. It was the end of the day and we were all admiring the work that was accomplished.
Someday I hope to return to this beautiful and unique garden!