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Fairmount Park, Philadelphia-Proposal, 1981
Sol LeWitt's Lines in Four Directions proposal.
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Horticulture of the Garden

Keeping with the nature of his Conceptual Art practice, Sol LeWitt chose the site for Lines in Four Directions in Flowers and planned the design, yet he left the ultimate realization of the project to others. In his original proposal, LeWitt noted, "The type of plant, height, distance apart and planting details would be under the direction of a botanist and the maintenance by a gardener."

Landscape architecture and urban design firm OLIN, in consultation with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, worked in partnership with the Philadelphia Museum of Art to interpret LeWitt’s drawing and written description and oversee the installation of his work. Groundswell Design Group, LCC, worked closely with OLIN, planting the flowers and installing a running irrigation system throughout the flower beds.

Each of the four rectangular flower beds is 4,320 square feet, resulting in an overall installation that measures 18,850 square feet (nearly one-third the size of a football field). In total, the four colored quadrants contain over 7,000 plantings. Each quadrant is made up of four to five plant species that bloom sequentially, creating a variation in height and texture within each line of LeWitt’s design. The first of the flowering perennials planted in each section will begin to bloom in May, with other flowers of the same color blooming throughout the summer and early fall. The flowers planted in each quadrant are listed below by their common name followed by scientific name and variety:

  • peachleaf bellflower (Campanula persicifolia 'Chettle Charm’)
  • wand flower (Gaura lindheimeri ‘So White’)
  • obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana 'Miss Manners')
  • purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan')
  • garden phlox (Phlox paniculata 'David')
  • false indigo (Baptisia 'Carolina Moonlight')
  • perennial sunflower (Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’)
  • yellow coneflower (Echinacea 'Sunrise')
  • yarrow (Achillea 'Coronation Gold')
  • red yarrow (Achillea millefolium 'Paprika')
  • blanket flower (Gaillardia aristata ‘Gallo Red’)
  • sage (Salvia splendens ‘Lighthouse’)
  • cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
  • red avens (Geum 'Flames of Passion')
  • Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Little Spire')
  • great blue lobelia (Lobelia Siphilitica)
  • sea holly (Eryngium 'Big Blue')
  • false indigo (Baptisia 'Midnight' Prairieblues)
  • woodland sage (Salvia nemerosa 'Blue Hill')
Hedge Border
  • boxwood (Buxus 'Green Mountain')