Over the past several months I've had the opportunity to visit two amazing Botanical Gardens, one in Chicago and one in Naples, Florida. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring both of them, but Naples was the brighter surprise (I'll explain in a later posting).
The Chicago Botanical Garden is a sprawling expanse of gardens, much in keeping with the city itself, and the sheer scale of it is impressive. I was told that there were over 2000 voluteers involved in the maintenance of the gardens.
Botanical garden it is, but I found the most attractive part of the CBG was the architecture that was blended into the gardens. The interplay of structure and plantings is still what powers the best garden scenes.
Of course, I love allees, and they have a striking one at CBG. They have used Hornbeams to create large blocks of greenery, with cast stone spheres beneath for contrast. If I thought it would inspire them, I'd show this picture to the ones I've planted in TO.