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English Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden

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Published on Aug 4, 2008

With such foggy weather and beautiful surroundings such as these, you might think I'm standing in the middle of England somewhere. But, actually this is one of most exceptional examples of the English gardening style and it's in the heartland of America at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Allen: Why an English Garden here in the middle of the heartland of America?
John Beaudry, Chicago Botanic Garden, Senior Horticulturist: Well, it has been a dream of the Women's Board for many years to have an English walled garden and they wanted to have it because it's the roots of where gardening in this country has come from. The English Walled Garden is something people can really relate to; it's intimate and yet it has many elements that are classic English features.
Allen: Yes, people can relate to it. I think it's the sense of enclosure, don't you?
John: The sense of enclosure is a big part of it because that's how most of our yards are.
Allen: Someone can come and look at this English garden and come away from it with ideas they can apply in their own garden.
John: That's something that we try to point out people when they come through-that they may not be able to create an English walled garden in their back yard, but they can take some of the simple ideas, like this pergola behind us, or this checkerboard on a smaller scale.
Allen: The element that's quintessentially English is, of course, is that border out on the outside of the wall.
John: Yes it is, the perennial border, it's actually a combination of many different types of plants. There are trees, there are shrubs, there are perennials, annuals, vines-all of the layers of a garden are there.
From the garden, I'm P. Allen Smith.
Copyright: 2001
P. Allen Smith Gardens
Hortus LTD.

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