Downers Grove Garden Walk 2017

Saturday, July 15, 2017

To benefit the DGFUMC Bridge Board program

providing transitional housing and mentoring
for formerly homeless families

The 11th 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 view them on Flickr

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4533 Downers Drive

  • This property is set on a large lot with mature oak trees. The tranquil perennial shade garden features a large variety of hostas, such as ‘Blue Angel,’ ‘Candy Hearts,’ ‘ June,’ ‘Blue Umbrellas,’ ‘Frances Williams,’ ‘Royal Standard,’ ‘Daybreak,’ ‘Guacamole,’ ‘Wrinkles and Crinkles,’ ‘Krossa Regal,’ ‘Sum and Substance,’ ‘Great Expectations,’ ‘Gold Standard,’ ‘Halcyon,’ ‘Little Aurora,’ which provide a wonderful and peaceful place to unwind. 
  • The home owner also hosts a variety of ferns, such as ‘Maidenhair,’ ‘Ostrich,’ ‘Sensitive,’ ‘Royal,’ ‘Christmas’ and ‘ Male.’ There are a variety of grasses and ground covers throughout. 
  • When you walk around the garage area and open the gates, a lovely arbor covered with climbing hydrangea will come into view. The cobblestone walkway, which is cleverly constructed with reclaimed bricks from Curtis Street in downtown Downers Grove, leads you to a backyard pool oasis that is surrounded by wild geraniums, hostas, arborvitae, hemlocks and evergreens.  
  • The pool and pool house have been nestled into the wooded backyard to create a relaxing “spa in the woods.” And, the surrounding area has been carpeted with a large bluestone patio for relaxing and entertaining.

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4704 Linscott Avenue

  • The gardens along the front, side, and back of the home are best described as a simple rural setting that resembles a scene you might find walking thru a homestead near the woods. The area predominately consists of large oak and black walnut trees that block the sun most of the day. A multitude of hostas dominate the front surrounded by miniature pickets and wall art to add interest.  
  • A tamarack stone walkway leads to the rear yard that is filled with ferns, hellebores, and more hostas. Along the rear side yard are astilbes, sedums, delphiniums, and grasses. A live fence of ivy and clematis line the property, giving a soft backdrop to the garden. 
  • The main visual is a newer project composed of a large arbor that has wisteria growing up the side. A gate leads into a large organic vegetable garden. The side of the garage is the sunniest spot, so dahlias of many varieties fill the spot.
  • The back of the house is planted with canna lily, lilac, rhododendrons, and hydrangeas. The entire area is a work in progress, which began ten years ago.

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1232 Gilbert Avenue

  • This wonderful home is on the historic register. In addition, the home owner is an organic gardener. She prides herself in the fact that no chemicals are ever used in her gardens. 
  • The grounds of this 1891 home contain a courtyard in the front of the home, which transitions to a native garden in the backyard. Both of these gardens are maintained using all organic gardening techniques.
  • The courtyard, which contains heirloom plants, such as hydrangeas, hollyhocks, iris, peony, spiraea, wisteria, and phlox, surrounds a fountain that mimics an antique horse trough. Native perennials such as tall bellflower, nodding wild onion, and beard tongue all blend well into the wildflower garden along the east side of the house.
  • A rustic bridge crosses over water, which is a tributary of St. Joseph’s Creek. This is a floodplain area that includes jewelweed, which are our native impatiens. Although the backyard floods during a rainy event, the deep roots of the Golden Alexanders, obedient plant, iris, and Joe Pye weed are quickly absorbed by the water.

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1429 Thornwood Drive

  • Over two hundred varieties of hostas, from minis to giants, enhance the mostly shaded area in the side garden of this property. To add to this delightful garden, there is a water feature and a pergola.
  • Next you see a small Japanese-style bridge that leads you through the hostas around to the sunny front garden. This area is filled with a variety of classic mid-western perennials, such as phlox, coneflowers, daylilies, and even some grasses. 
  • The front window of the home is framed by a climbing hydrangea that is estimated to be about seventy (70) years old. It provides a suitable backdrop for ferns, coralbells and some Korean boxwoods. 
  • In the back garden, there resides a mix of shade-loving plants, such as lambs ears, Solomon’s seal, and ladies mantle. The bird feeders added in the garden manage to keep the squirrels happy and 
    well fed.

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4824 Florence

  • A wonderful pondless water feature in the front yard greats you as you walk up to the house. The entire front lawn has been removed and replaced with both native and non-native perennials, ferns and grasses, which bloom throughout the entire growing season.
  • As you walk around the corner of the screened-in porch in the back yard, you are greeted by the sound of flowing water from the 15-foot wide by 20-foot long pond that contains a 20-foot stream and three (3) waterfalls.  
  • As you stroll along the paths that are filled with wood chips, there are several seating areas where you can stop for a while and enjoy the peace and quiet in this mostly shade garden. In this area, both native and non native perennials, ferns, grasses and shrubs make their home.  
  • In this garden, you can expect the unexpected. And, you never know what type of bird or butterfly might linger a while to keep you company.

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5255 Grand Avenue

  • This Dutch colonial home is situated on a half acre of land that once included a commercial green house. The deep-wooded lot is segmented by St. Joseph’s Creek, creating a forest retreat where you can spot coyotes, foxes, great horned owls, red-tailed hawks and many other wild animals.
  • The front yard features more than one hundred tiger lilies, hostas, catmint, lavender, poppies, stonecrop, boxwoods and lilacs. There are more than a dozen different varieties of peonies and numerous hydrangea species, which are scattered around the park-like yard.
  • The flagstone pathway in the backyard leads you to the bridge crossing the creek, through a sitting area, which features a fire pit, a fairy garden and a tic-tac-toe board from a salvaged tree trunk. The walkway ends at the vegetable and fruit gardens, which include four raised-planter beds that yield a full summer’s organic harvest of vegetables.
  • The area alongside the creek has been landscaped in the last two years to allow safe and close viewing of the ducks and tadpoles that travel along it, while enjoying tiger lilies, hostas, false blue indigo and ferns under a canopy of mature black locust trees.

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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