Friday, July 23, 2010

Dearborn Garden Walk

Last Sunday I attended the Dearborn Garden Walk in the Gold Coast region of Chicago. It's a lovely neighborhood with gorgeous brick and stone homes; a quiet enclave of calm civility tucked inside the otherwise bustling shiny steely big city. It seemed so much like another world, I hoped I wouldn't need my passport. It was a scorcher day, so hot and steamy I worried I might be cited as a public nuisance for sweating too profusely. In the end, I think it was my uncharacteristically dressy blouse and Liz Claiborne necklace and shiny bracelet that saved me from embarrassing myself.

The ever-patient friend who invited me on the tour covered the event in a style I couldn't hope to match, so I'm mostly just going to show you photos.

This elegant wood structure with copper filials is a tool shed. A shed!...

...and check out this doorknob!

This is also a garden shed...

...I love the bamboo.

Are you seeing this? The garage doors are wood. Real wood!

And look at this classy sidewalk! (Cool shadow patterns thrown in free.)

Can you see the escapist cuke?

We're so not in Kansas any more.

Green roof at the Latin School...

...looks out on a park and Lake Michigan!

Grasses and sedum were interplanted on the roof...

...with veggie containers maintained by students around the edges.

Why, no, I would never lay down on the ground to get a closeup of noogie sedum and to show the edging specifically designed to hold in the green roof soil media. Why do you ask?

Digging the colors in a stairwell at the Latin School.

I wonder how hard it would be for you to guess my favorite photo? I'd be tickled if you tried. Big hints: It's not the glass bowls or the orange bouquet! I'll dig around and see what I can send the winner! Don't hold back now!


  1. LOL, was about to comment on those shoes when I realized mine looked just about the same. Of course mine don't have heels or open toes but they do have grass, grass stains and mud decorations.

    Love those houses. Must have been a wonderful old neighborhood.

  2. Oh, so that's how the other half lives! Good to know :)

    Your photos are great as always. Loved the wooden cobblestones. There are still some alleys around paved with those; I would love something like that for a patio.

  3. This looks like a lot of fun. I love the shoes!

  4. The picture of the first stairway is so inviting. What a lovely neighborhood you were in. I think that pitcher of ice looks good right now too. Is the sedum photo your favorite??

  5. Your favorite photo is either the shoes, the gazebo, the tall pitcher with ice or the stairs. Am I close??
    This looks like a fun walk. Your pictures fabulous.

  6. Stupid rain made my photos of the Gatsby Garden come out all blurry. I wish I had gone back to see it.

    BTW, that front yard next to the mansion that had been reduced to 4.5 million got more attention than some of the gardens. I love the little fence leaning against the wall.

  7. Glad you finally got your act together and updated your blog. None of this looks at all like "my" Dearborn. :-)

    My guess is that your favorite picture is the one from the Latin school.

  8. Just beautiful! It reminds me of the Back Bay of Boston.

  9. I love the staircase and all of the details. Beautiful!

  10. Obligatory pinko curmudgeon remark: Gosh, must be hard to have a beautiful garden when you're a millionaire who hires someone to do the garden design. I'll take Monica's wild Michigan wilderness over imported Italian tiles any day.

  11. Monica those are some very nice pictures, what a fun neighborhood to visit..

    I liked the Door knob, The tool sheds, The Stairs, potted plants and of course those shoes"... What Fun!

  12. I love the ice/orange bouquet one. Just because I am fascinated by the thought of how they kept ice in the glass on a hot day (constantly running our and refreshing?)

    As to your favs - can't decide if it's the shoes, or the rooftop tomato one.

    Wait, maybe I'm still guessing my favorites

  13. Well, I don't know for sure, but I'll take a wild stab and say your favorite is either the curled iron sculpture--whatever that is--or the last photo; both are very artistic. As for mine, it has to be those mossy "ruby" slippers!

    Looks like such a fun walk; I'm not sure, though, I would have had anything appropriate to wear in my closet:) Love the gazebo with the white tablecloth. So this is how rich people garden!

  14. Hi enjoyed that tour. What a lovely place to sold it to me anyway.

    I love the green man door knocker and the tiny shed is gorgeous (I have a thing about sheds) I know it is a bit sad.....

    Your favourite photo....a random guess....the Kew Garden sign. No sorry, thats my favourite. Your favourite.......your such a colourful person, I go for the tomato on the living roof.......

  15. I love your photos. I've never toured those gardens, but I like their style. The shoes are fantastic. I should try that with some of my old pumps I can't wear anymore because they hurt my feet.

  16. That top photo - my dream house. I'll trade 'em mountain views and sagebrush and horses and, hell, I'll even throw in Bad Dog for good measure. Could you put in a good word for me? I wanna be a city slicker again..

    All whining aside, loved this grand tour. :)

  17. Love the tour, Monica! (Your photos are all great ... the shoes are nifty ... but the ending photo grabs me)!

  18. Well MY favorite are the shoes. I used to have a thing for the Wizard, so they're a natural. Looks like a lovely neighborhood. Glad you wore your fancy clothes. :-)

  19. Wow Monica - I had no idea Chicago was so pretty!

    So many lovely photos to choose from that you may have stumped me this time!

    I'm loving the first and last photos, but also the close up of the flowers through the black metal staircase ....... but I'm suspecting your favourite is the sedum and the posh edging!

    How did I do?! :D

  20. Okay it kicked my comment out I think. :( I love the metal staircase with the cool cutouts and pots. Such a beautiful urban setting.

  21. Enjoyed walking the walk with you Monica ~ glad that I was not wearing those shoes :)

  22. I'd guess the single ivy leaf, or the mossy shoes. Although the stairwell window one is pretty cool, too.

  23. Wonderful photos Monica - wish I could have made it for the walk. Well, sort of. It was HOT that weekend, and I probably would have melted. And, my middle girl was in Florida that weekend for family festivities. (She said it felt like just like Miami here.)

    The Lawn Man's kids attended the Latin School. I think the green roof is new since then, though. And I'm guessing the Latin School stairwell is your favorite.

  24. um, the middle girl was in from Florida.