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The Garden Scoop

The Garden Scoop is a collection of reflections about the Master Gardeners in Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion.
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Garden Destinations

Posted by Ava Heap - Pollinators

On Saturday, June 18 Champaign County Master Gardeners hosted their 24th annual Garden Walk featuring 10 eclectic and exquisite gardens. Gardeners of all ages and stages were able to connect with one of the gardens. The theme "Garden Destinations" was elected as each garden was a retreat. Each garden held peaceful caveats allowing a person to stow away their troubles and ponder the day away. If you were unable to join us, enjoy a portion of our journey in the following pictures taken by Champaign County Master Gardeners.

Illinois Prairie Hosta American Hosta Society National Display Garden

This garden has a blend of over 200 hosta and over 100 companion plants. The goal is to show the public how hostas can be the foundation of visual appeal. Master Gardener Phyllis Williams reflecting accounts "I come to the arboretum for a walk – for quiet and contemplative meditation – whenever I can; and the Hosta Garden makes the experience even more beautiful."

Japan House

The James and Lorene Bier Gardens surround the Japan House highlight the culture, architecture and detailed pruning techniques practiced in formal Japanese gardens. The garden invites people to enjoy, relax and connect with what nature has to offer, away from the hustle and bustle of campus and the community.

Urban Gardens Company

Vegetable lovers rejoice, for a gardening haven has been erected! The Urban Gardens Company have mastered the art of a beautiful and productive garden. The Urban Gardens Company is an organic vegetqable garden specializing in super-tasty, organic vegetables, herbs, fresh fruit and flowers. If there was a recognition for the most tabulated and taking rows of tomatoes, they would win gold.

Frank and Holly Thompson

Frank and Holly Thompsons garden is the epitome of a homeowner's hard work and devotion. They have resided in the home for over 30 years and have devoted much of their labor to creating a natural breathing space for respite. Their home features whimsical hostas and other shade plants along with a coy fish pond which serves as their main feature in the garden.

Valerie and Murray Wise

The Wise estate houses many alcoves reserved for sitting and enjoying the space. No matter where you stand, your gaze is enraptured by the beautiful view of blooming trees, fragrant roses and overall charm of the elegant cottage garden.

Patricia Vilchis

Perhaps the most stunning feature of Patricia Vilchis's garden is that among gardening standards, it is a young 7 years old. Homeowner Patricia fought the typical clay soil created in subdivisions and is continuously working to amend it. Patricia's garden speaks to the humble gardener sees a challenge, such as a yard without a garden border, and begins to dig and plant. As she said, "gardens are an every changing phenomenon."

Kate Hunter

Kate Hunter's garden is a plant lover's paradise. Her mixed borders brim with collections of perennials, trees and woody shrubs. In this whimsical garden, you can get lost amidst the dense plantings. Here, plants support each other, grow into each other and complement each other.

John and Jan Fisher

Jan Fisher has been a Master Gardener for 15 years and gardening at her homestead for over 30 years. Her expansive garden is a plant and pollinator paradise among the sea of corn and soybeans on the southern edge of Savoy. As a farmer's wife, my heart delights in the structural use of aging farm equipment around the garden. Likewise, gardeners can rejoice with her mass plantings and bountiful borders. Woody shrubs and hardy perennials fill the garden with blooming and structural interest all year long.

Barb Socha

Barb's garden sanctuary can be informally dubbed an arboretum. Her varieties of native cultivars, woody shrubs, flowering trees and everything in between enraptured visitors encouraging them to get lost in her winding trails and peaceful paths. In fact, on behalf of the Champaign County Master Gardeners I apologize to Barb if she is still plucking people from her garden a week after the event. Words cannot truly describe this Central Illinois gem, but Barb eloquently states "I love the garden all year long, from the sweet fragrance of the vernal witch hazels in January to the last of the bright red winterberries in December; there's always something wondrous out there."

Idea Garden

Of course, a Champaign County Master Gardener Garden Walk wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Idea Garden. The garden is constantly changing and offers year-round interest. If you haven't stopped by yet this season, you're missing out! Come and be inspired by the intricate designs and multitude of plants. Experience nature in the Idea Garden – it's open sunrise to sunset.

For more images of Garden Walk 2016, visit our Facebook:

For a visual walk-through of a select few of the gardens, view our Garden Walk 2016 video:

Please be sure to join us for Garden Walk 2017, our 25th anniversary! Save the date for Saturday, June 17.

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