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.
David Stran garden
David Stran of Sycamore lives in town, but you would never know it when you are on his property. When he purchased the house, his goal was to create a park-like setting and that has been achieved. Top priorities were developing screening, creating interesting views, and buffering the noise from the school across the street. David’s passion is finding and growing beautiful specimens, ornamental trees and most recently, the start of a collection of dwarf conifers.
There are huge Norway spruces to the north and mixed shrub borders to the west and south. This creates a backdrop for specimen flowering shrubs, and then annual and perennial borders. An emerald green lawn is a requirement to David.
For many years David has shared his home landscape with clients to help them visualize what his plant suggestions will look like in their own gardens.
Sycamore History Museum
The Sycamore History Museum, previously known as the Engh Farm, is a fairly new venture for the city of Sycamore. The University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners are working with the museum’s Garden Committee and other groups in the community to recreate the feel of a traditional farm kitchen garden with vegetables, perennials, herbs and an orchard. The intent is to involve as many young people in the garden as possible, as well as the community garden component. The vegetables grown here are donated to local food banks, and water-smart gardening and composting can be seen in practice. The Museum is sponsoring a series of talks on gardening throughout the summer, open to the public.
While this is a relatively new project, and will take more years to complete, there is already much progress toward a vintage farm feel.
Tom and Bonnie Riley garden
Tom and Bonnie Riley have been gardening for 40 years, eight at their present home. Besides working on his home gardens, Tom is long-time president of the DeKalb Garden Club, so it is evident that he is deeply interested in all aspects of gardening.
The Riley property is “cottage style” and includes an organic vegetable garden. At last year’s Gardeners’ Pathway seminar, Tom learned about lasagna gardening and has incorporated that into his vegetable garden with great success.
The home is decorated in front with a rock garden and raised beds including small evergreens and many flowers. There also is a plant island surrounding a flag pole in which there are different flowers each year, and various shrubs. The beds are accented with large rocks. In back is the vegetable garden, as well as an assortment of shrubs and trees. A variety of yard ornaments completes the picture.