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Update on the Lily Pool Restoration

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Caldwell's original lantern sketch

Ongoing restoration work on Caldwell’s iconic pavilion has allowed for additional repairs and enhancements to the site as well as intensive horticultural work to bring the garden closer to Caldwell’s historic design.
So far, power has been restored to the lantern east of the Fullerton entry, a little piece of the Lily Pool that can be enjoyed when the gates are closed. This subtle feature, omitted in the original build, was included in the Conservancy’s first restoration of the site in 2000, informed by Alfred’s drawings (see image). In recent years, the lantern sat dark, the result of damage to underground wiring. This spring’s closure allowed for the necessary trenching inside the main entrance to re-run the connection and the continued closure allows for the plantings to be restored quickly and without the risk of trampling and compaction. Though we are closed for now, stroll past one summer night or early morning, and spot the small glow.
 
Lily Pool Lantern for blogThis spring, we have been able to focus on continued removal of persistent invasive plants like dame’s rocket, garlic mustard and buckthorn. Also on the target list are aggressive grasses seeded in the past as a quick fix for erosion control. These weeds are being replaced with over 250 native forbs, ferns and sedges representing over a dozen species. Work completed over the past two seasons has increased sunlight in the understory and this spring’s rains have made for excellent conditions for establishment.
 
Purple Flowering RaspberrySpecies in Caldwell’s original design feature prominently—Illinois rose, blue phlox and prairie crabapple. Others are natives that increase the pool’s plant diversity while achieving the goals of Caldwell’s vision—purple flowering raspberry(pictured), wild ginger, shooting star. Many have only recently become commercially available, but all are species that could be found in a remnant glacial ravine or woodland meadow. Look forward to an overall more floriferous experience as our restoration work in the garden continues and stay tuned for more updates from the Pool this summer. 

 

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