Topiarius Pays Homage to Ernest Hemingway with Whimsical Vignettes for Dearborn Garden Walk
The North Dearborn Association, an organization dedicated to the preservation and beautification of its Chicago Near North neighborhood, annually holds the Dearborn Garden Walk , allowing neighbors a sneak-peak look at Chicago’s unique private, rear gardens. Each year, the Association selects a handful of top landscape designers to add theme-based vignettes to some of the gardens. This year’s theme was centered on American author and journalist Ernest Hemingway. Those who attended the garden tour witnessed all the whimsical and theatrical displays paying homage to Hemingway’s artistic style.
One of the vignettes that stood out the most were designed by Topiarius , a Chicago-based leader of urban garden and floral décor services, and Oak Street Design a visual resource for hotel, retail and corporate clients specializing in custom design, fabrication and installation . Together they created two scenes that brought Hemingway’s visionary lifestyle to life.
The first garden vignette dubbed, “Beyond the Old Man and the Sea…” showcased the life and times of Hemingway on expedition. Creating an artistic cabana, the realistic scene included a typewriter, books and bottles of scotch all surrounded by inspiring containers filled with mix of rich plants accented by tropical palms. Stanley Smith and Amanda Wolfson from Oak Street Design decorated the scene and Topiarius added the flower-filled containers of Mocha Fern, white New Guinea Impatients, topical yellow Canna and various Begonias.
The second vignette called, “The Old Man and the Sea” took place at Hemingway’s home, at 1239 North Dearborn, where he lived for four months in 1921 with his first wife, Hadley Richardson. Stanley Smith, owner of Oak Street Design set the beautiful scene in the front of the house with a parked antique fishing boat. Topiarius filled the boat with bursts of colors using imaginative plants like Agave, Croton, Bromeliad and Bamboo Palm.
Garden Walk goers were able to view more than 20 distinctive garden vignettes, and a narrated architectural walking tour of historic Dearborn Street.
The Dearborn Garden Walk is something that all gardeners should see and experience. We loved it. Now the bigger question is, what would Hemingway thought?