Downers Grove Garden Walk

Saturday, July 11, 2015

To benefit the DGFUMC Bridge Board program

providing transitional housing and mentoring
for formerly homeless families

The 9th Annual Downers Grove Garden Walk will give you an opportunity to view some of the most beautiful gardens in the area. All proceeds benefit the DGFUMC Bridge Board in providing transitional housing and mentoring for homeless families. 

Click on photos to enlarge them


Garden bulletDeRosa GardenDeRosa Garden

4736 Seeley Ave

  • This residence radiates a Mediterranean ambiance with its architectural features, patio containers, and a blend of flowering as well as shade plants which serve to complement the style of the home. The center courtyard is a favorite outdoor haven for relaxing and entertaining friends. A dwarf tree at the entryway over a bench and the open trellis with an arbor flanked by burning bush shrubs provide a natural barrier from the sidewalk where neighbors can be viewed as they pass along.
  • Stepping stones are placed throughout the garden to guide visitors to colorful ornamental grasses that are bright green in the spring and summer and golden yellow in the fall. During the warmer months, flowers such as columbine bloom in the spring while coneflowers put on their display in late summer.
  • For a short while, the pirate ship in the garden provided a wonderful play area for the residents’ children. However, currently it is a home for raccoons and some of the neighborhood chipmunks.

Garden bulletThurston GardenThurston Garden

4909 Middaugh

  • The garden delights the homeowners and their guests from early spring until mid-fall. A pin oak tree greets visitors in the parkway, after which a red bud tree with pachysandra groundcover, several pink hydrangeas, ‘green velvet’ boxwood, roses, Siberian bugloss and white anemones provide an interesting journey throughout the front yard. Rhododendrons, spotted dead nettle, and purple clematis reside along the front porch. Along the south and north sides of the home French lilacs with English ivy groundcover, Knock Out roses, clematis, witch-hazel shrubs, day lilies, hosta and an oakleaf hydrangea put on their glorious display.
  • The back brick patio is shielded with hardy arborvitae and a star magnolia tree. A Dutchman’s pipe vine climbs the porte cachere while lily turf, hostas, and pachysandra surround. A linden tree, ‘Annebelle’ hydrangea, and periwinkle can be seen north of the curved driveway.
  • Spice bushes, lamium, geraniums, and ladies’ mantle create a pleasing ambiance around the grill area while two yews flank the rounded stone steps of the screened-in back porch. Along the south side of the lot, witch hazel shrubs, ferns, astilbe, dogwoods, a serviceberry, a crabapple tree, hemlock trees, just to name a few, are a delightful sight. 

Garden bulletMoore GardenMoore Garden

5604 Middaugh

  • This home is situated amid a thick grove of Oak trees surrounded by perennial gardens. A curved, natural stone retaining wall creates two levels and frames the plantings. The north path around the house toward the back leads to the lower terrace and wide-curving stairs that then lead to the patio.
  • The gardens have evolved through a process of trial and error to an eclectic mix of shade plants, such as hostas and Japanese forest grass that are mingled with sun plants, such as balloon flower and coreopsis.
  • Further down the path and into the back yard, past a variety of perennials and lawn, there is another path that invites visitors into a shady wood. Amid the natural vegetation Celandine poppies, ferns, and ginger provide a cool and calming space. Some less common perennials are being trialed in this area so evaluations can be made regarding new and underused perennials for gardeners in the Chicagoland area. They include cultivars of barrenwort (or bishop’s hat), Solomon’s Seal, bee balm, phlox and prunella, a hardy native herb groundcover.

Garden bulletMcNeely GardenMcNeely Garden

5432 Bending Oaks Place

  • Strong geometric forms with the inclusion of natural elements are incorporated to create an engaging space in this garden. The transitional areas match the existing hardscape on the east side of the house to create a cohesive design. The circular landscape forms lead visitors comfortably throughout the space and out to the lawn to the north. The larger seating and entertaining areas under the pavilion and fire pit have been installed with Rosetta flagstone to add contrast and function. The ramada, or pavilion, structure draws its inspiration from the architecture of the house. Natural stone has been used for the fireplace so that it matches the stonework on the inside of the new addition to the home.
  • The waterfall is one of the most striking features of this garden. While it embraces a natural visual aesthetic, the sound of the rushing water adds to create a feeling of tranquility for all of the senses. The newly-constructed waterfall was designed to flow up to the edge of the structure and fire pit, while also tying into the existing water feature that flows south. This creates a visual connection between two water features that have one point of origin with two streams flowing in different directions.
  • The plant design transitions from a more formal organization near the house to a relaxed environment with large trees and screening further away. The plantings along the deck feature a tiered arrangement with boxwood hedges in the foreground, perennials & grasses in the middle, and flowering shrubs in the background.

Garden bulletZimmerman GardenZimmerman Garden

5831 Elinor

  • This garden wraps itself around the entire property. The front garden and front porch are shaded in the late afternoon with trees, such as maple, linden and an unusually large mulberry tree. The back yard features a variety of plants, trees, shrubs and flowers from Rose of Sharon to peonies, roses, lilies, and native plants and grasses.
  • A mini arboretum with 14 varieties of trees extends across the back of the house and provides shade for hostas and hydrangeas and a respite from the sunny open spaces. In the back of the garden, colors, textures, shapes and sizes of plants and flowers flow comfortably to create a soothing rhythm for the eyes. Tucked away among the plantings are surprising and delightful garden art and antiques that provide places just to sit and enjoy. The stone patio by the children’s playhouse includes seating for one to either be served “tea” or to watch the children play on the antique children’s surrey with the fringe on top!
  • Further back in the garden, raised beds are filled with vegetable plantings and grapevines for freezing and canning. A fire pit is situated at the far end of the garden. On cool evening nights, homeowners and guests roast marshmallows and enjoy the tranquility of the garden. Large open spaces and small intimate spaces are each designed to allow for multiple group settings.

Garden bulletDuPraw GardenDuPraw Garden

5841 Elinor

  • In this colorful purple and yellow floral front garden combinations of perennials, such as purple coneflowers, black-eyed Susan, lilies, lamb’s ear, and colorful Hibiscus reside. The back yard is a special delight with its combination of a variety of bulbs and tubers, dahlias, evergreens, maple trees, white hydrangeas, ferns, and colorful zinnias which creates an interesting back yard from spring to fall.  
  • A functional organic garden features onions, lettuce, kale, peppers, and fresh herbs that provide nourishment and enjoyment for the homeowner.
  • Containers and baskets of flowers bursting with caladiums, grasses, Calla Lilies, and Canna Lilies that attract hummingbirds surround a brick paved patio. On the patio is a wonderful water fountain, cozy outdoor seating areas with a fireplace feature, a white pergola, and a large hot tub.

About the work of the Bridge Board

The Bridge Board of First United Methodist Church is a program partner with Bridge Communities effecting change for formerly homeless families — leading them to a better future. The Board provides housing, mentoring, direction, encouragement and a stable environment so that families may become self-sufficient and sustain their independence.

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