Rockford garden walk set for Wednesday, June 20

Online Staff Report

The Council of Rockford Gardeners will present their 2012 garden walk from noon to 8 p.m., Wednesday, June 20.

Titled “Art in the Garden,” the event will offer self-guided tours of eight diverse gardens throughout the Rockford area. Maps are available at various Rockford-area garden centers and online at

Admission to the event is free.

For more details, call Marilyn at (815) 399-1924.

Following is the list of participating gardens:

1. Ross’ Garden (council member), 4844 Braewild Road, Rockford (NOT handicap accessible) — The creativity of this garden starts at the curb and continues throughout with its eclectic mix of lyrical themes and its colorful and textural diversity. As you wander the meandering paths, you’ll discover an unexpected and extensive mix of native and woodland plants, flowering shrubs, vines and trees. Surprises and whimsy are abundant in this garden, whether it’s a darting humming bird amid the Honeysuckle vine, the erratic flutter of a butterfly juxtaposed against the Japanese maple or a castoff ski boot now overflowing with flowering annuals. Contemplation and reflection are encouraged within its casual sitting areas, weathered gazebo and wooden swing.

2. Eliasons’ Garden (council member), 1884 Plum Orchard Lane, Rockford (NOT handicap accessible) — This is a 14-year transformation of a heavily wooded, non-descript area into a perennial garden retreat for people, flora and fauna. Garden features a variety of hostas, astilbes, hydrangeas, lilies, ferns and conifers.

3. Elias’ Garden, 4703 Augustana Drive, Rockford (mostly handicap accessible) — The M & J Garden has been tended to with much inspiration, love and creativity. There are 23 water features, a garden train and 68 birdhouses that have been collected on many travels. Enjoy the Rock Garden, the Meditation Garden, the Dome Garden and the Cactus Garden. Take advantage of the many benches where you can sit and enjoy it all. (Artist: Linda M Hoch Auman will be at this garden with her artwork.)

4. Luther’s Garden, 319 Calvin Park Blvd., Rockford (handicap accessible) — The treed expanse of the boulevard sets the stage for the wonderful gardens hidden behind the homes of Calvin Park. Behind Luther’s home you will find a “tea cup” garden that extends the living area of home to an outdoor entertainment area. Container gardens help fill the compact area with surprising color and texture. Hostas, boxwood and a large Drake Maple anchor the space accented with colorful coleus and other annuals

5. Person’s Garden, 1820 E. Gate Pkwy., Rockford (mostly handicap accessible) — This garden is an eclectic mix of perennials, annuals, herbs, roses and vegetables. You will find raised beds, unique containers and a “secret garden.” There is continuous color from a variety of flowers; many shades of green from ferns, hostas and shrubs. The back yard is a private haven offering a peaceful place to relax. (Artist: John Linquist, Rockford Area Arts Council member.)

6. Krebs’ Garden, 7492 Renfro Road, Cherry Valley (handicap accessible) — In a quiet neighborhood, you will walk up the driveway and next to the garage you will find an arbor covered with honeysuckle. Enter the ever-flowering garden and bird and butterfly haven. To your right are perennials properly placed down the long right side of the property. You will see a large metal tree with occupied birdhouses hanging from it. Compost bins are at the end, hidden by lilac bushes. To your left, you will see ferns and perennials, a large bird cage, a self-built pond using an old cattle watering trough, and a fairy garden at the base of the pond. Check out the owner’s designed deck railings. They are quite unique. Large hostas are along the back of the deck and artifacts blend throughout the garden.

7. Passmore’s Garden, 5321 S. Main St., Rockford (handicap accessible) — Whether it be a walk in the park or just a stroll through a flower-filled garden, visit the country-style garden and take a 15-minute walk around a field with 10 years of untouched nature, or spend all the time you want wandering around the many flower beds that bloom from early spring to late fall filled with daffodils, hostas, astilbes , bleeding hearts, lilies, vines, honey suckle and much more. Be sure to take enough time to see all a garden has to hide, including a small koi pond, concrete ornaments and metal art work. For the veggie lover, check out the large greenhouse and container garden (take home a weed or two), and for your inner child, be sure to check out the vintage ’50s Ford tractor and pay a visit to the friendly free-range chickens. (Artist: Inge Dohm, Rockford Area Arts Council member.)

8. Edson’s Garden (council member), 7378 Montague Road, Rockford (handicap accessible) — This country garden is planted in a peaceful, serene setting spread out over several acres with large old oak trees. You may even catch a horse watching as you walk. The gardens are in full sun, full shade and semi-shade, which allow a variety of perennials dotted with annuals. Special areas are devoted to hostas, lilies, grasses and a very long garden with a mixture of many plants to create constant color.

Posted June 18, 2012

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