Downers Grove Garden Walk

Saturday, July 15, 2023
9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

To benefit the DGFUMC Bridge Board program

providing transitional housing and mentoring
for formerly homeless families

The 17th 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. 

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  • Pull up a chair to the big metal fire pit on the brick patio and marvel at this garden.

  • Four years ago, the back half of the yard had only weeds and trees. Now, the yard is a reflection of years of friendship, girlfriends, and nurse friends and all the lovely perennials and flowers that come along with it.

  • Wander and view the Zebra grass gifted by a 20-year   neighbor and Russian sage and Solomon’s seal from longtime friends. You’ll also see bursts of color and texture from Marigolds and Artemisia “Silver Mound” as hummingbirds gather to the red bee balm.

  • Secluded in the garden is a miniature fairy garden created by the next-door children who continue to play with this delight.

  • This garden is truly a magical place!

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  • Monarchs, hummingbirds and pollinators dance in the wind as milkweed, cow parsnip and Joe Pye weed stand tall.

  • Occasional non-native species are scattered amongst this whimsical garden so informal and sweet.

  • Jack in the Pulpit, Canadian Anemone and a Pagoda Dogwood tree are among the more than 100 varieties of native Illinois prairie plantings that will make you smile in this garden.

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  • This garden is built around a 43-year collection of trees and shrubs. Although some of the remnants of Black Locust and Hawthorns remain, invasive Honeysuckle and Buckhorn are mostly gone, allowing for the collection of several species of Maples, Oaks, Dogwoods and Magnolia room to thrive.

  • Many of the other species of woody plants include Hornbeam, Ironwood, Hackberry, Yellowwood, Tulip tree, Kentucky Coffee Tree, Gingko, Katsura, Bald Cypress, Japanese Kerria, Bottlebrush Buckeye, White Pine, Hemlock, False Cypress, Spruce, Juniper, and Yew.

  • The perennial herbaceous plants and flowers connect the woodland setting into a relaxing and ever-changing scene of constant enjoyment.

  • The pond with its waterfall and fish, the espaliered apple trees, and the raised vegetable and herb garden complete the landscape.

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  • An in-town garden representing a beautiful harmony of perennial color blooms.

  • White Hydrangea bushes, Red Hibiscus shrubs, Purple Iris blooms, violet Coral Bells, massive Hosta groupings, and more can be enjoyed at this home.

  • It is not noticeable from the outside, but the original structure of the house dates back to the 1880s, and at one time Pierce Downer’s grandson actually lived in the home.

  • The gardens and landscaping were designed to give the house a subtle, historic, and calming appearance, similar to the time period when the location was much quieter and more nature-dominated.

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  • This yard is a designated Pollinator Habitat with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation as part of their “Bring Back the Pollinators” campaign, providing nest sites and flowers, and avoiding pesticides.

  • Inspired by an llinois Tallgrass Prairie, the front yard is bursting with Blazing Stars, Coneflowers, Compass plants, and many stunning native prairie plants.

  • The backyard is a welcoming haven for people and nature with organic vegetable and herb gardens surrounded by  native shrubs and trees including Spicebush, Elderberry, Hazelnut, and Willow, along with a Pawpaw grove, Oaks, Sassafras and Wild Plum.

  • As a Monarch Waystation, three varieties of milkweed and an expansive array of nectar sources are found throughout the yard. Butterflies, bumblebees, birds, wasps, native bees and beetles abound in this sanctuary.


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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