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"Secret" Gardens: Nurturing Natural Beauty in the City

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Secret gardens, you say? Is trespassing involved? The gardens we fell upon for this special feature aren't quite that secret. They're in the public domain— we're not sending you over fences and past guard dogs to uncover them. So yes, you may well have seen or heard of them before. Thus, our aim is partly to compile and partly to jog memory. Some of our gardens are in parks and one is atop a roof. As for the scores of community gardens out there, we chose a few that were more physically open and available to passerby, exceptionally attractive, or in unlikely locations. We also made an effort to pick a constellation of spots that fan out across the length of the city. Our list is in no way exhaustive, so, if you've a garden in mind, drop it in the tipline and we'll see about adding it to the map. We looked for Mary everywhere, finally nabbing her at the Rogers Park Metra Gardens, crouched in the high grass. But alas, she slipped off into the underbrush.

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1. Indian Boundary Park Gardens & Lagoon

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2500 W Lunt Ave
Chicago, IL 60645

2. Hermitage Triangle Garden

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N Hermitage Ave & W Potomac Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

3. City Hall Rooftop Garden

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121 N La Salle St
Chicago, IL 60602

4. Osaka Garden

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5. Growing Station Comm. Garden

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966 W 21st St
Chicago, IL 60608

6. Drake Garden

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4645 N Drake Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

7. Arcade Park Garden

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11100 S Cottage Grove Ave
Chicago, IL 60628

8. Rogers Park Metra Gardens

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7000 N Ravenswood Ave
Chicago, IL 60626

9. Thomas St. Comm. Garden

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2655 W Thomas St
Chicago, IL 60622

10. Merrick Rose Garden

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Lake St & Oak Ave
Evanston, IL 60201

11. University of Chicago Gardens

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1212 E 59th St, University of Chicago
Chicago, IL 60637

1. Indian Boundary Park Gardens & Lagoon

2500 W Lunt Ave, Chicago, IL 60645

2500 W Lunt Ave
Chicago, IL 60645

2. Hermitage Triangle Garden

N Hermitage Ave & W Potomac Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

N Hermitage Ave & W Potomac Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

3. City Hall Rooftop Garden

121 N La Salle St, Chicago, IL 60602

121 N La Salle St
Chicago, IL 60602

4. Osaka Garden

5. Growing Station Comm. Garden

966 W 21st St, Chicago, IL 60608

966 W 21st St
Chicago, IL 60608

6. Drake Garden

4645 N Drake Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

4645 N Drake Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

7. Arcade Park Garden

11100 S Cottage Grove Ave, Chicago, IL 60628

11100 S Cottage Grove Ave
Chicago, IL 60628

8. Rogers Park Metra Gardens

7000 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60626

7000 N Ravenswood Ave
Chicago, IL 60626

9. Thomas St. Comm. Garden

2655 W Thomas St, Chicago, IL 60622

2655 W Thomas St
Chicago, IL 60622

10. Merrick Rose Garden

Lake St & Oak Ave, Evanston, IL 60201

Lake St & Oak Ave
Evanston, IL 60201

11. University of Chicago Gardens

1212 E 59th St, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637

1212 E 59th St, University of Chicago
Chicago, IL 60637