Vegetation in The Square is natural to the environment


There are numerous flower beds throughout the square.


Each is filled with vegetation carefully selected and natural to the environment here in northeast Ohio.

Here are a few more facts about the design of Public Square, and how the vegetation was selected.


  • The Northeast Ohio community joined together to redesign Public Square and invested $50 million into the landscape design and construction. The city of Cleveland enthusiastically participated in the process, selection of plantings, and design.

  • The Group Plan Commission currently manages the programming, maintenance, and ongoing operations of Public Square, protecting the investment made by the philanthropic and business communities.

  • LAND Studio led the team that designed the new Public Square. LAND staff is experts in public space design and land staff managed the ongoing task force meetings with the city of Cleveland to ensure process and decisions were in alignment with goals and mission. LAND Studio continues to consult with Public Square through an annual partnership agreement.

  • Famed Landscape Architect James Corner Field designed the new Public Square and the result received rave reviews by both the planning community and the public. In fact, The American Planning Association honored Public Square as one of the Top 10 Public Spaces in America in October, 2018.

  • Over 30 different species of grasses, bulbs, and perennials, combined with 75 flowering trees and shrubs in addition to over 130 trees are all combined to create the rich planting palette of Public Square. Designed specifically for Cleveland, we took into account its climate and urban context – leveraging its unique characteristics to design a palette of beautiful fall colors, rich summer and winter textures, and perfect springs.

  • The Square is surrounded by a green perimeter: layers of plants that create a vivid expression of nature and seasonality; a strong threshold at its edges; and a sense of cohesiveness from the interior. The Perimeter Gardens consist of a continuous allee of Homestead Elms and a collection of sculptural garden beds, richly planted with a mixture of meadow grasses, perennials, bulbs, and flowering shrubs. The perimeter gardens were designed to be a seasonal attraction -- adding pleasure and delight to the range of experiences at Public Square.

  • While some have said that the taller grasses appear to be weeds, they are in fact intentionally planted grasses that create barriers for entry into the garden, and more importantly, have an ornamental presence throughout the Square. These grasses reflect the natural habitat throughout our region. The grasses are trimmed seasonally according to plant management standards as advised by both James Corner Field Operations and Royal Landscaping.

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The reimagined Public Square is part of The Group Plan's mission to better connect Public Square, the Malls, and the lakefront.

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