Lurie Garden in November

Time for another installment in my monthly series on Chicago’s Lurie Garden. By November, the flowers have pretty much vanished, and yet there is still plenty of color.

Lurie nov 16

The sky was grey and overcast on the day I brought the camera downtown, which was a little disappointing. On the other hand, November tends to be a gray and overcast month, so perhaps the weather was fitting. If the day were sunny with blue skies, it just wouldn’t look like November.

switchgrass lurie nov 16

Something about the light made this patch of ‘Shenandoah’ Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) look more intensely red.


But actually it had faded to more of a tan.



The cold weather had enhanced the color of the Arkansas Bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii). You can see the incendiary orange-red of the A. hubrichtii above next to the more subdued yellow-green of the Eastern Bluestar (A. tabernaemontana).

Amsonia 3

The masses of Bluestar have the appearance of golden waves or cloud banks.

Amsonia (2)

Here we’re looking south towards the Art Institute of Chicago.

lurie nov 16 4

Looking west towards the Chicago skyline. The Red Maple (Acer rubrum) trees (I think someone told me they were ‘Autumn Blaze’) that run in a line parallel to the Lurie’s eastern hedge have lost most of their leaves.


Little Bluestem

Other plants have also seen their color intensify, such as the ‘Blue Heaven’ Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), above.

prairie dropseed

And Prairie Dropseed (Sporobulus heterolepis).

russian sage

The Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) has retained some of its pale blue color.

Blue Grama

The Blue Grama grass ‘Blonde Ambition’ (Bouteloua gracilis) has done a good job of holding on to its eyelash-like seed heads.

japanese anemone

Before now I had never noticed the fluffy seeds of Japanese Anemone (Anemone hupehensis ‘Splendens’) before. Isn’t that odd? They look very much like cotton bolls.

Lurie nov 16 6

Let’s finish with a shot taken atop the stairs of the ‘Dark Plate’ on the east side of Lurie Garden.

That’s all for now.

32 Comments on “Lurie Garden in November”

  1. Is the landscape designed to resemble the natural environment of that region? I know that some of the plants, especially the anemones, are not native, but I would guess that perhaps the Chicago region looked something like that before Chicago was there.

  2. I just love those waves of Amsonia–beautiful! The Lurie is where I first saw Amsonia, but in the spring time, and vowed that I had to have some in my own garden. Thanks for sharing all these photos of the Lurie over the year, Jason; you are so lucky to be close by to see it so often!

  3. How beautiful. Such a skyline! Such colours. I had to dash out and have a look at my anemones, and yes, they do that those cotton wool seed heads just now. Well, I probably won’t ever see the Lurie garden in person as I’ve been ill and can’t travel. So I’m relying on you to post photos instead. Thanks so much for sharing your view. All the best. Karen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: