The University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners’ fifth annual Gardenwalk and Plant Sale will feature eight gardens in the DeKalb-Sycamore-Genoa area.
The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 14, rain or shine.
The featured gardens include Nancy Baker of DeKalb; Sycamore History Museum (formerly Engh Farm) of Sycamore; Janet Giesen of Sycamore; Tom and Mary Love of Genoa; Ron and Jan Peabody of Genoa; Tom and Bonnie Riley of DeKalb; David Stran of Sycamore; and Pat Vary of DeKalb.
The Plant Sale will be held at the DeKalb County Center for Agriculture, 1350 W. Prairie Drive, Sycamore, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the same day. In addition to numerous plants at reasonable prices, there will be a Garden Boutique, a Children’s Corner and the Master Gardener Helpdesk. A number of handmade garden obelisks also will be for sale.
Gardenwalk ticket donation is $10 in advance; $12 the day of the event. There is no admission charge for the plant sale. Tickets are available at the University of Illinois Extension Office, 1350 W. Prairie Drive, Blumen Gardens, DeKalb Florist and the Garden Market in Sycamore. Proceeds support University of Illinois Extension programs.
For more information, call the University of Illinois Extension office at 815-758-8194.
Nancy Baker garden
Nancy Baker of DeKalb has been gardening for 10 years, and nearly that long at her present location. She describes the garden as artistic and relaxed, with both sun and shade areas. She has done all of the work herself, with some help from her son. This includes the construction of a number of brick-bordered beds and brick pathways into the gardens. Many of the plants came from yards of family and friends.
In addition to her many flowers, there are apple and pear trees, shade trees and two vegetable garden areas. The garden is accented by a deck, a gazebo, many handmade glass art pieces and bird houses.
Ron and Jan Peabody garden
Ron and Jan Peabody of Genoa have been gardening for 43 years, and at their present home since 1977. They describe it as “an ever-changing, evolutionary experience.” The Peabodys consider their garden a combination of ornamental and native features, with an emphasis on wildlife. Many species of birds and animals started showing up and as their enjoyment in observing wildlife has increased, the venture has become more planned. They now are a National Wildlife Federation certified wildlife habitat.
The primary focus is the back yard, since that is visible from the deck, the family room and the breakfast area. Besides many bird species, there are regular sightings of red fox, whitetail deer, rabbits, red and gray squirrels, and of course, raccoons and possums.
The original intent in establishing the border planting beds was to create a “woodland” feel and create a natural privacy screen. A number of native trees, primarily red oaks and hickories, were planted in 1977 and 1978 and now provide the backbone for the wildlife sanctuary. The border beds contain other native species of shrubs and provide a corridor for wildlife movement, feeding, nesting and safety.
As the Peabodys have evolved as gardeners they have moved to more environmentally friendly green practices, such as utilizing rain barrels, composting, mulching with natural materials, and less dependence on pesticides.