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Rooftop Garden of the Future

The Rooftop Garden of the Future is very different than Reflections, the Asian themed garden, but in some ways they are very similar. I'm a sucker for modern design but I'm not sure how I feel about this rooftop garden. The part of me that likes the use of austere lines, reflective surfaces and sci-fi channel lighting drools over this garden.

rooftop garden of the future

You can click this image for a larger view of the Rooftop Garden of the Future. They were taken from the second top level of the show floor.

detail view of rooftop garden of the future, Chicago Flower & Garden ShowThe materials used to build the rooftop garden are reclaimed. The electrical system is powered by solar panels.

Rooftop garden of the futureWater is collected in cisterns and is re-circulated through drip irrigation. There is also a composter that recycles waste. The collection of succulents at the foot of the steps are a nice touch.
Rooftop garden of the future Chicago Flower & Garden ShowHere is a view into the rooftop garden from the floor of the exhibition hall. Back by the blue lighting there is a small pond that you'll be able to hear in the short video. This garden has everything I like; sustainable construction, good use of green technologies, looks- but I still can't help feeling like I should dislike it. It looks a bit like a nightclub or restaurant that is trying to hard to be hip and modern to entice sparkling water- sipping yuppies. I can almost see and hear them sitting there wondering out loud when Whole Foods will move into the neighborhood and make the gentrification process complete. The Rooftop Garden of the Future or a sound stage for CSI: Miami? I love this garden but I hate it because I do.

Related posts:
Garden Marketplace at Chicago Flower & Garden Show
Reflections: A spirited Garden of Asian Inspiration


  1. Thanks for the tour, Mr. BrownThumb. The rooftop does look nice, though personally I'd rather see a lot less metal and glass and a whole lot more green. (The wood helps.) It feels a little too cold and clinical to me--you nailed it with the "CSI: Miami" comment. The succulents are very nice.

  2. Cold was my first thought too ... all metal and steel. When I read your post title, I immediately thought raised beds (with wood) and natural sunlight .. too modern for me ? Yeah probly .. LOL

  3. Different taste. Some of the modern looking designs I have seen are beautiful. Not what you would find at our home but wonderful just the same.
    Thanks for the pictures.
    Did you enjoy participating in the Garden Blogger presentation?

  4. Anonymous12:24 PM

    I think you're right about that weird nightclub/restaurant feel. When I see a design with a lot of metal and concrete, I think how relentlessly hot it would be here in So Cal.

  5. @ Donna, I think you're right on with the clinical comment. It looks like a cool hospital from a movie or tv show.

    @Ohiomom, You're a Mother Earth type person so I knew you wouldn't drool over it :0)

    @Gloria, It was a good experience. I'll make a blog post about it when I'm done with the pics of the gardens I saw.

    @Nikki, I hadn't thought of how it would feel in a climate like yours. May be better for a night time entertaining and gathering place.

    I'll post more stuff about the show today.

  6. Yeah I agree with everyone who said it needed more green! (although the water feature area was cool)

  7. J-Dog, I thought the water feature was cool too. Although I felt bad about sitting on the white sofa because it looked to clean to sit on.

  8. Anonymous8:47 AM

    It is beautiful.



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