Chicago Botanic Garden

Explore the Garden

garden highlights

• Crescent-shaped beds

• Bold seasonal displays

• Water terrace

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featured video

Tim Pollak shows us some of the plants he and his team grew in Production for the fall displays.

The Crescent

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Circle Garden

As part of the Esplanade, the Crescent reflects architect Dan Kiley's belief in merging classic elements of garden design with a clean, modern perspective.

Bold planting ideas are front and center in the Crescent's annual beds, while hundreds of evergreen boxwood give shape to their curves. The evergreens create a mass of green "steps" flanking the eight concentric tiers, which increase in size as they slope gently down to the water's edge. Brick walkways lace through the beds, encouraging visitors to step close to the plants.

Both the Crescent and the Heritage Garden, which sits to the south, share a similar design scheme of crescent-shaped beds filled with seasonal plants. When frost claims the last of the autumn annuals, the solid trees and shrubs command attention, giving the garden a sense of permanence and form. This is when the signature weeping willows, green pillows of cloud-pruned boxwoods, and the fastigiate beech trees that stand so straight are particularly evident.

Springtime in the Crescent blooms with color blocks of thousands of tulips, and fall features chrysanthemums in warm harvest tones. But for a real treat, don't miss summer in the Crescent. As the plants fill in, tumble against each other, weave throughout the beds, or send up surprising seedpods, they create a changing kaleidoscope of pattern, color, and amazement — a very special gift to Chicago Botanic Garden visitors and gardeners everywhere.

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