Gary Comer Youth Center, Chicago IL


Roy was the designer and grower for a new contemporary planting concept around the youth center. Using plantings of mixed grasses and perennials, he created a nature inspired look, focusing on durability and managed care. He also planted the first raised perennial gardens along South Chicago Avenue.

Roy says, “This is one of my favorite projects and places to work.  When the youth center opened, I was asked by Margi Hess the Horticulturalist at Comer to help her re-do the roof top garden.  It was planted in linear patterns of mono culture perennials. Which was nice for the ribbon cutting ceremony, but useless for horticultural activities to educate the children at the center. Margi and I worked together and designed ‘Vegetable Meadows’. We incorporated perennials and vegetables together, relating seasonal growth rates of perennials to the frequent cropping of vegetables through the season. What evolved and continues to evolve are the interactions of vegetables supported by the changing aesthetics of the perennials.  The gardens are active, educational and beautiful.”