A Crash Course in Garden History

Orangery at the Palace Versailles, near Paris, France. Takashi images/Shutterstock

Landscape Historian Barbara Geiger, will teach “A Crash Course in Garden History” from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25, at Dole Library, 225 Augusta in Oak Park.

In this lecture full of images Barbara will hit high points in the story of gardening through the ages. How the constraints of water, gravity, soil, and climate shaped design. How major design styles leapt national boundaries to take root in new environments. You’ll visit the great Midwestern naturalistic designers O. C. Simonds and Jens Jensen. And finally a few late 20th-century designers who saw no need for plants at all. Which gardening style have you inherited?

BARBARA GEIGER is a landscape historian who has taught the subject for over 20 years at cultural institutions such as the Illinois Institute of Technology, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Botanic Garden, and the Newberry Library. She presented her enormously popular program, “Downton Abbey: Centuries in the Making,” well over 100 times at libraries all over the metropolitan region. As a specialist in the Prairie School designers, Barbara published her biography of Chicago landscape-gardener O.C. Simonds (Graceland Cemetery, Lincoln Park, Glenview Club among 1,000+ projects) in 2011. Her motto is:  “Each of us needs to know about the landscape we inhabit if we are to create true sustainability.”

This free event is sponsored by the Learning Gardens of Oak Park.


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