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Demonstration Gardens at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Glencoe, IL

Pashek + MTR Firm Principal Missy Marshall has designed numerous gardens and exhibits at the 385-acre Chicago Botanic Garden (CBG), one of the top five public gardens in the United States.

The award-winning Enabling Garden showcases barrier-free garden design elements, tools, techniques, and plants, and is a beautiful and functional event space. It provides a hands-on space for horticultural therapy and demonstrates that a garden can be both beautiful and accessible. The garden is the home of CBG’s groundbreaking horticultural therapy programs. In addition, the Enabling Garden is a wonderful place for events and gatherings. The raised beds provide informal seating, and the arbors and trellises provide cozy nooks for conversation. Children love to interact with the pools and fountains.

The 4 acre Fruit & Vegetable Island is one of the most popular exhibits at CBG and the ideal setting for connecting visitors with healthy living through gardening and food-themed events and gatherings. Local chefs give cooking demonstrations using fresh-picked ingredients in the kitchen amphitheater. The garden has more than 400 varieties of edible plants and makes sophisticated use of trellises, arbors, brick and stone walls, wooden latticework, crushed granite paths, and edged garden beds.

We also designed the 1.25-mile Edens Expressway Soundwall between the Garden and the highway, affectionately dubbed the Garden Wall. The wall, which mitigates the noise and visual impacts of the highway, was designed to be a sculptural element, serving as the backdrop to plantings that mix four-season interest, horticultural quality, and durability in the face of roadside conditions. It also serves as the Garden’s public face along one of the most traveled routes in Chicago.