In the Garden: Attend a garden walk near you

In the Garden: Attend a garden walk near you


Each year, University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners throughout the state coordinate and carry out area garden walks to showcase the beauty found in our communities.

Garden walks provide a perfect opportunity for the public to see impeccably kept private gardens and public gardens that the Master Gardeners help keep.

These garden walks let you slow down and enjoy the beauty of summer. Plan to attend one of this year's walks, bring a friend or family member and find new ideas for your own garden.


Vermilion County Master Gardeners will hold their 17th annual garden walk from noon to 5 p.m. June 11 in Danville. Tickets are $10 and are available at the Vermilion County Extension office (Plaza 31, 3164 N. Vermilion St., Danville), Danville Gardens, Berry's Garden Center and Big R in Danville and Tilton. Tickets may also be bought on the day of the walk at Sunset Memorial Park or at Bismarck Elementary School in the Cunningham Children's Garden.

The walk will feature seven gardens, including five home gardens.

John and Bonnie Bodensteiner have created an artist's botanical garden with more than 200 varieties of hosta, unusual shrubs and trees, fountains, garden art and a vegetable plot next to John's orchard. This year's garden has an "Alice in Wonderland" theme.

Larry and Bonnie Messmore's garden illustrates how innovative gardeners can be with meticulously pruned fruit trees and self-watering vegetables.

Marjorie Loggins and Bill Cannon have a diverse garden, including hydrangeas, hostas, magnolia trees and more.

Simon and Shirley Leung's garden includes gorgeous landscaping around a koi pond, fountains and animal topiaries.

Julie and Bob Colby like to co-exist with nature and have built a garden that is friendly to wildlife.

The garden walk also will include the Cunningham Children's Garden and the gardens at Sunset Memorial Park. The Cunningham Children's Garden was planted by children and is filled with color, texture, butterflies and other garden elements. The gardens at Sunset are full of mature trees, flowering shrubs, annuals and perennials. A large pond is home to two swans and their babies.


Champaign County Master Gardeners will hold their annual garden walk from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 17. Tickets are $10 and are available at the Champaign County Extension office (801 N. Country Fair Drive, C), Prairie Gardens, Illini FS, Country Arbors, Danville Garden Too, Schuren Nursery in St. Joseph, Ropp's Flower Factory in Mahomet and Green View in Mahomet.

The Champaign walk will feature nine gardens throughout the city, including six home gardens.

Richard and Barbara Schroeder's garden includes more than 430 different hostas and 650 varieties of trees, shrubs, conifers and perennials.

Japhia and Dave Ramkumar's garden includes a monarch waystation, where the two raise and release monarch butterflies.

Maggie and Tim Roberts' garden is focused on being beneficial to birds, bees and butterflies.

Lynne Hellmer and Bill Fillman have constructed a garden that feels like a small park full of life.

Margy and David Palmisano are experts at incorporating shapes and texture into their garden, which is shady and full of hosta.

Mary Schroer's home features multiple gardens spanning two properties.

The walk also will include the award-winning Idea Garden in Urbana, the garden at the Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center and the Champaign County Nursing Home garden.

Gibson City

Ford-Iroquois County Master Gardeners will hold their second annual garden walk throughout Gibson City from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 24. Tickets are $10 and are available at the Ford-Iroquois County Extension office (916 W. Seminary Ave., Onarga).

Horticulture program coordinator Ava Heap feels that garden walks offer great opportunities to attendees: "Master Gardener garden walks are more than just an opportunity to appreciate gardeners' handiwork, though that itself is a joyful experience. The walks offer an opportunity to learn from Master Gardener volunteers, as well provide the opportunity to escape our modern world for some respite. They are a reminder that nature is playful, beautiful and available for everyone. We just need to step outside."

Proceeds from the walks fund Master Gardener involvement and educational programs in our communities. For more information, contact your county UI Extension office: Champaign, 217-333-7672; Ford-Iroquois, 815-268-4051; and Vermilion, 217-442-8615.

Melissa Kuhl is the UI Extension publicity and promotions specialist.

Sections (1):Living
Topics (2):People, Gardening