Sustainable Features of the Plant Science Center

Join us for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Plant Science Center with Bill Brown, the Garden’s vice president of facilities and planning. The building was designed using materials and systems to earn a gold LEED rating for sustainable design from the U.S. Green Building Council. Bill will tell us what that means for the Garden and how he and his team made it happen.

Creating Coneflowers

Here at the Chicago Botanic Garden, Dr. Jim Ault has developed and introduced many plants, including a series of coneflowers: Orange, Mango, and Pixie Meadowbrite. Jim works with plants that are native to the Midwest and are adapted to this environment, creating new plants that can enhance a primarily native garden. We talked with him about some of the coneflowers he is looking to introduce in the next few years, and how he goes about the breeding process.

Selecting and Evaluating Green Roof Garden Plants

How do you decide what to plant in a green roof bed? What will grow best? What will grow at all? We asked Richard Hawke, the Garden’s plant evaluation manager, about the plants they selected to evaluate in the Green Roof Garden. Talking in the shade of mature trees near the Plant Science Center, where the plants are being stored until they are installed, we learned what grows best in the clay medium of our roof garden, and what experiments we’ll be trying to grow in our first year of plant trials on a roof.