Downers Grove Garden Walk 2022

Saturday, July 9, 2022
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 16th 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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  • A river birch, redbud, and Hinoki false cypress stand among boxwoods, hydrangeas, roses, and viburnum. Yews, variegated dogwood, a burning bush, lilac, and more take their place, too.
  • Several varieties of hostas, daylilies, and ornamental grasses ebb, while coneflowers, brown-eyed Susans,  coreopsis, hibiscus, and sedums flow. 
  • It’s all in the compact spaces around a 50 x 132 corner lot in E.H. Prince’s original Downers Grove development where the current owners have resided since 1993. The current house is a result of a complete renovation in 2011.
  • They have put a lot of love and care into the creation of their garden, even copying the design of their front porch railing to create the fence for their backyard.

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“It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.” – Thomas Jefferson

  • These wonderful gardens are tranquil and filled with perennial grasses and flowers with pops of color from annuals.
  • A certified Butterfly Garden with a variety of milkweed, coneflowers, asters, Black-eyed Susans, and grasses welcome monarchs, swallowtails, hummingbirds, bees, and more.
  • The primarily shady yard offers tranquil opportunities to gather on the front porch, back deck, or seating areas along a backyard path.
  • While strolling down the path lined with hostas, ferns, and other shade perennials, visitors are welcomed with a water feature, bird baths, feeders, and a fire pit.
  • The path continues to a raised vegetable/herb garden and shed that offers hours of occupation during the growing months.

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  • The house was built in 2007 and over the next 15 years, the owner did all the planting except for the large oaks and locust trees.

  • Many trees and shrubs came from the Colonial Nursery in Williamsburg, Virginia including dogwoods, fringe trees, hemlocks, azaleas, rhododendrons, sourwood, and magnolias.
  • A rose garden off the west terrace provides wonderful fragrance during summer entertaining. There are two water features — a small stream that attracts many songbirds and a circular pond that the owners’ pet ducks use daily.
  • The property, a certified Wildlife Habitat, provides food, water, and nesting sites for many birds that visit the bird feeders. Hummingbirds summer here every year as the plantings emphasize nectar for these amazing creatures.
  • A vegetable garden yields loads of strawberries, and a variety of vegetables and herbs each year.

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  • In 2017 when the owners moved in, they were challenged with a yard with few existing plantings. With the help of friends offering perennials, hydrangeas, hostas and wise advice, as well as professional help to improve the soil and create flower beds, the garden began to take shape.
  • Although the garden remains a work-in-progress, areas in the yard now include Japanese maples, a purple robe locust, weeping redbud trees, daisies, tall phlox, dwarf lungwort and variegated Jacob’s ladder providing three seasons of color.
  • The owners planted cone flowers, dwarf goldenrod, and chrysanthemums to appeal to pollinators and birds. An additional bed has a Pagoda dogwood, beauty bushes, ferns, ligularia, and columbines.
  • The garden has evolved over time through crop failures and the inability to resist adding plants too great to pass up.

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  • This lot and a half has evolved from a total shade garden to one for perennials and bushes with a minimum of grass. 
  • Bulbs under the trees in the front yard come up and bloom before the increase in shade. Tree peonies, hellebore, mertensia, coneflowers, coreopsis, and hardy roses fill in the spaces for the rest of the summer.
  • Bushes like Korean Spice Viburnum, Sun King Aurelia, and a 50-year-old Weigela help clematis on trellises hide the neighbors, and hosta fill in everywhere. Many hydrangeas, including a climbing variety, are found all around the yard.
  • This garden highlights easy care, little or no watering or mowing, and mulch everywhere to defeat the weeds!


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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