Landscaping Ideas: Take a Chicago Garden Tour

Find design ideas and inspiration in this personal garden.

Garden Swirl: A double lawn labyrinth serves as the centerpiece of our garden. For those times when the garden is having a "bad hair day" try diverting the eye in creative ways!

Garden Swirl: A double lawn labyrinth serves as the centerpiece of our garden. For those times when the garden is having a "bad hair day" try diverting the eye in creative ways!

Garden Swirl: A double lawn labyrinth serves as the centerpiece of our garden. For those times when the garden is having a "bad hair day" try diverting the eye in creative ways!

Garden Swirl: A double lawn labyrinth serves as the centerpiece of our garden. For those times when the garden is having a "bad hair day" try diverting the eye in creative ways!

One look at our one-acre garden in suburban Chicago, and you’d swear it’s always been there. Fact is it’s been 15 years in the making. From the boxwood and gravel courtyard, to the double lawn labyrinth, to the sunken fountain garden, to the exuberant perennial borders to this year’s newly planted hornbeam hedge, you would never know that a self-taught gardener could pull it all off. Despite the challenges of harsh Midwest weather, clay-packed soil, annual bug invasions and hungry critters, this garden is a lesson in optimism, patience and perseverance.

Shop This Look

My advice to others wanting to create an inviting backdrop for family and friends to enjoy: visit other gardens for inspiration. Enlist the advice of experts for the bigger jobs like adding trees and pathways. Read everything you can about your growing zone. Get to know the experts at your local garden centers. Above all, be fearless. While you’re bound to make a few mistakes, like I have along the way, you’ll also be rewarded by both the experience of being close to nature and the outcome of creating a place of beauty.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Take a Virtual Tour of Charleston's Historic Gardens

Stroll down Chareston, S.C.'s historic streets and take in the views of some of the most beautiful private gardens in the world—all without leaving your home.

An Upper Midwest Sensory Garden Plan

This landscape plan provides a fragrant, colorful "wrap" for any patio.

Tour a Grandmother's Fairy-Tale Garden

An English-style garden with fairies, faces and other whimsical details delights a gardener and her granddaughters.

Upper Midwest Meditation Garden Plan

Native plants and bamboo panels help make this a beautiful, low-maintenance garden retreat.

Upper Midwest Water-Wise Garden Plans

Huckleberry, bluestem, blue sage and other native plants help create this water-conservation garden.

Lower Midwest Water-Wise Garden Plans

A mixture of drought-tolerant and moisture-loving plants give this entryway garden an A+ in smart use of available water.

Road Trip: The Atlanta Botanical Garden

Anyone stopping in the city would be strongly advised to check out this local treasure.

Asheville, North Carolina, Is a Garden Mecca

These hills are alive with farm to table cuisine and a thriving garden culture.

Garden Tour: A Shade Garden in Atlanta

Tour this charming personal garden that makes great use of a sloped and shady backyard.

A Lower Midwest Sensory Garden

The plan is easy to install. No hardscaping is involved, and the bed can be adapted to any patio edge.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.