The Paradise in a Parking Lot garden is a departure from gardens like Reflections, Rooftop Garden of the Future & Hope for the Healing Planet. When I first saw it I during the media preview of the Chicago Flower & Garden Show I thought to myself that people would either love it or hate it.
The day the show opened I made sure to spend some time near the section of the garden pictured on the left just so I could eavesdrop on the reactions. You can click on the image for a slightly larger view. When the show opened the section on the right had even more garbage strewn about. But the garbage had information written on it on how to conserve newspaper and how to re-purpose plastics and Styrofoam containers that end up in the landfills.
If the name of the garden brings to mind the Joni Mitchell song that's because this a twist on the song. Instead of paradise being paved over-this time paradise rises out of the parking lot. I heard one little girl point to the section on the right and tell her mom that it was "WALL-E" that same evening my nephew and niece were watching the movie when I saw them. Kids are smarter than I give them credit for. Heck, that kid who was reminded of WALL-E is smarter than the adults who were standing around saying they didn't "understand" it.
I'm not really sure what to call these three planted towers but they were really cool and gave me an idea I'd like to incorporate into my garden. The garden was designed by Community Garden volunteers and the kites you see in the background were crafted from recycled paper and plant material by children in the Park Kids Grow Programs. This is probably my favorite garden because it emphasis the power that people have when they come together to create something beautiful and enhance the quality of life around them.
Related posts from the Chicago Flower & Garden Show:
Hope for a Healing Planet
Reflections: An Asian Inspired garden
Rooftop Garden of the Future