The Homeowners Column

The Homeowners Column

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From trains to trees Vermilion County Master Gardener Garden Walk offers it all

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Sandra Mason
State Master Gardener Coordinator

A couple of intense months of gardening and I am ready to stand up straight and take a break. Garden Walks are a great way to work your brain rather than your back. I always get lots of ideas from other gardeners.

One of those idea intensive garden walks will be held Sunday June 14 from Noon-4pm in Danville. UI Extension - Vermilion County Master Gardeners will host the viewing of lovely gardens tucked into several Danville neighborhoods.

Jim and Sandee Holman's fabulously landscaped home is a show-stopper. The landscape theme is Alice in Wonderland. People familiar with Danville call it, ' The Bunny House' for their myriad of bunnies tastefully placed throughout the gardens. Their home and yard creates a natural slowing of traffic as onlookers (myself included) gawk at their dazzling design. They won the 2013 Make it Bloom contest Grand Prize and have added even more since then.

The garden is an artistic blend of plants and yard art with 100 year old wrought iron fences and other antiques scattered creatively among unique perennials and beautiful shrubs and trees.

The landscape structure includes hydrangeas, clematis, unusual evergreen specimen trees, paperbark maples and a tri-colored beech. Unique features are a Japanese garden, a stone-walled herb garden and an espalier apple tree with six varieties grafted to its trunk.

Jack and Jody Legett have been developing and changing their two acre landscape for the past 19 years. The centerpiece of their garden is the garden railroad. Bridges and trestles carry the trains past villages, an American Indian settlement, farms, people, a European castle and a variety of miniature plantings. If the weather permits, some floral quilts will be displayed on fence rails and benches to add visual interest and color to the gardens.

Dr. John Mason's home offers a tranquil garden with potted ferns and impatiens. Four white dogwood trees grace the front of this stately home, along with a large weeping cherry tree. Mason's home is a beautiful example of challenged gardening with the shady backyard on a steep slope.

Donna Edington's front garden, which she has named "Sinfonia di fiori" (symphony of flowers) was established in 2013 and contains full-sun flowers. In this garden, musical instruments and music-related items serve as flower containers and garden artwork. Donna also incorporates succulents to add texture and utilizes containers on poles, vines on the arbor and fence and flower boxes to create vertical interest.

Monies from the Garden Walk are used to fund several Master Gardener garden projects throughout Vermilion County including two featured on this year's walk, Danville Library's Children's Wonder Garden and Center for Children's Services. At the Children's Wonder Garden children and adults learn and explore gardening through a variety of projects such as growing flowers, fruits and vegetables from seeds, weeding and cooking with fruits and vegetables they have grown. This garden is certified and registered by Monarch Watch as an official monarch way station and by the National Wildlife Federation as a wildlife habitat.

Aunt Martha's Center for Children's Services is home to a collection of therapeutic gardens hidden amidst the campus. One cannot appreciate the tranquil beauty of the 12,000 sq. ft. of planted beds or the dozens of dedicated evergreen and deciduous trees by simply driving by. A wide variety of unusual trees and plants highlight the courtyards.

Tickets for the Vermilion county Master Gardener Garden Walk are $10.00. Purchase at the Vermilion County Extension Office at 3164 North Vermilion across from the Village Mall in Danville. PH: 217-442-8615 Tickets may also be purchased at Danville Gardens, Berry's Garden Center, Big R and the Danville Public Library.

Join Master Gardeners and other garden fanciers during the 2015 Garden Walks:

Saturday June 20 from 9am-4pm Champaign County Master Gardeners. 8 gardens and plenty of shopping at Idea Garden in Urbana. 217-333-7672

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