Learning Garden

Learning Garden Header Image

The Lake Bluff Library Learning Garden was established in 2022 for the purpose of providing the community with hands-on, educational opportunities to engage with the process of growing food and caring for a garden. Located on the Library’s west lawn on Oak Avenue, the Learning Garden is the site of various gardening programs and activities hosted by the Library.

The Lake Bluff Library Learning Garden is sponsored by Davey Tree Expert Company.

Raised Beds

The Learning Garden raised beds were built by River Valley Gardens, Inc. The wood for the raised beds was harvested locally and treated using a Japanese technique called Shou Sugi Ban. This process consists of charring the wood with fire, which makes the wood resistant to insects, rot, and warping. It is eco-friendly and a sustainable way to preserve our garden beds.

Raised Bed Installation Images


Each year we map out our garden beds using a method called square foot gardening. This process allows us to maximize our gardening potential by only picking plants that will live sustainably in one square foot. This increases the amount of plants we have available and creates a biodiverse garden. We take into consideration the way that the plants will interact, from companion relationships to sun access for growth. Plants need good companions to thrive, especially in square foot gardening. Certain plants grow rapidly, crowd others and take more than their fair share of water, sun and nutrients. Some plants invite pests that are especially challenging for nearby plants to fight off. Companion planting ensures that the plants surround each other will help support their plant community instead of hindering their growth.

Left Raised Bed

Right Raised Bed


In early spring, we plant seedlings in the Youth Services Department as part of our Garden Task Force program. Vegetable seeds get planted in compostable newspaper pots and are then transplanted to larger eco-friendly pots. After they are planted, they are placed under grow lights and watered 2-3 times a day. They will then be hardened outside as the weather turns warmer, until they are eventually transplanted into the raised beds. Other plants like carrots, cucumbers, okra, lettuce, and radishes will be sowed directly into the raised beds.

Seed Planting Images

Help Grow Our Garden