Shida Evaluation Garden

The Mitsuzo and Kyoko Shida Evaluation Garden triples the evaluation space at the Chicago Botanic Garden and features the unique design of Peter Wirtz. Find mounds of ornamental grasses that look like sleeping cats, sweeping beech hedges in ribbon shapes that weave back and forth across the road, as well as vine pergolas, crabapple tunnels, hornbeam arbors, and newly restored shoreline. Find tranquility and wonder—and even a secluded fountain—at the southern end of the Garden.

The Shida Evaluation Garden is the first to use our sustainable soils protocol from the very beginning. As permanent plants establish, we expect to see excellent vigor, stimulated by a healthy soil ecosystem. The benefits of careful soil construction will also enable a diverse palette of evaluation plants including shrubs and herbaceous perennials. A maturing canopy of dawn redwoods will allow shade trials. Sunnier areas to the south will feature rose trials and sun-drenched pergolas to the north will support vine evaluations.&

Along with the Bernice E. Lavin Plant Evaluation Garden and the Green Roof Garden, the Shida Evaluation Garden allows scientists to study plants to determine which are best suited for midwestern gardens and those in similar climates. Visitors are invited to see this research for themselves and pick their own favorites. 

Detailed findings are published in Plant Evaluation Notes, where you can find the best plants for your garden. Learn more about the Plant Evaluation Program.

Shida Garden - spring  
Shida Garden - summer  
Shida Garden - fall  
Shida Garden - winter