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Gardening Fri Jul 09 2010

Mid-July Chicagoland Garden Walks

Editor's Note: This story was submitted by Patrick Boylan, editor of The Welles Park Bulldog.

It's mid-summer, the gardens are well watered from a continuing series of storms in late June and they should be at a glorious height of color. The issue in late June and also in mid-July is one of choice. There are far too many garden walks crowded in a few weeks and some of the largest take place at this time of the year.

However, some small, underappreciated neighborhoods also feature their yards. What a great chance to meet neighbors and see what the character of a neighborhood is. Bowmanville, a small North Side community with a tiny commercial heart, is tucked between a cemetery and Ravenswood. Yet it has award-winning gardens, community gardens, landscapes and has won the attention of Chicagoland Gardening Magazine. 
Bucktown devoted considerable attention to identifying its trees and put out docents and guide materials for its walk. It was very successful. Plus this trendy area has gotten its business community, principally its taverns, involved by offering entertainment to guests. What a winning combination!

Roscoe Village couldn't be ignored in the list of trendy neighborhoods. Bisected by Roscoe and bound by Addison and Belmont, the area is alive with venues and great gardens. In Evanston, you'll need transportation between the gardens, which look out on the lake, sit by the North Shore Channel, and include private and public spaces. Exclusive? Well, just about everyone has the same flowers, though not many of us have gardens overlooking Lake Michigan.

Two smaller and quieter neighborhoods are showing their yards, too, that first weekend back from Independence Day: Graceland West, tucked north of Wrigleyville, is a place with older Victorian homes and larger yards. It is not as well known as Ravenswood, its cousin to the north. Also appearing this weekend is Edgewater East Glen. You know you've come home when the word Glen is part of your neighborhood name.

I can't finish the weekend off without mentioning Mount Greenwood's Garden Walk. I'm intrigued by the idea of a garden walk in what I perceive as the bungalow belt. These homes became the solid bedrock of the city. What challenges do gardeners face in an old urban subdivision? How do they differentiate themselves?

The Sheffield Garden Walk is the mother of all garden walks, with close to 100 gardens, a major and respected street festival and a beautiful and trendy area to boot. Don't even think about trying to walk this entire festival. There is always next year.

The Southwest Side comes back again in my final entry for this period, with a garden walk that will benefit the Evergreen Park Public Library. While in the Gold Coast the established Dearborn North Association opens its gates for a peek inside their exclusive gardens.

We've listed all the garden walks we know of through mid-July. Missing is the Lakeview Garden Walk. Last year it had nearly 100 gardens. This year? Who knows if it is even happening. The web site hasn't been updated and the group won't return messages.

Would you like to be certain your event is listed and up to date? You need to send a message to me so we can list you. Remember, even if the event is passed, if you send the materials, I'll use this list again to develop next year's entries, so contact us now!

There are some really cool events coming up, things that will appeal to the cook in the house as well as the gardener. So stay tuned and keep the sangria cold for me.

Bowmanville Garden Walk
July 10, 11am to 4:30pm

Bowmanville Community Organization
1801 W. Balmoral
$3 donation

The Bowmanville Garden Club has maintained a number of community spaces and gateways. In 2009 the walk had three such community gardens and 20 residential gardens. Bowmanville gardens have been featured in Chicagoland Gardening magazine and have won first place in the city's landscape awards program for their region.

Bucktown Tree and Garden Walk [PDF]
July 10, 11am to 5pm

Bucktown Organization
Club Lucky, 1824 W. Wabansia

The tree walk was added last year and proved very popular; over 50 variety of trees in the neighborhood along the garden walk were identified by volunteers. The walk includes more than 100 public and private gardens in parkways, on rooftops, in public spaces, in containers and in community gardens. There are vegetable gardens, formal gardens, container gardens and informal gardens. The Bucktown organization is proud that most gardens were created by the homeowner. Proceeds from the walk were used to plant a thousand daffodils at the community's library. In addition the Bucktown Organization sponsors a gateway green project for the expressway. The walk has an unstated purpose of encouraging conversation. A trolley is available. Local businesses are participating with their own entertainment.

Lurie Garden Guided Walks
July 11, 18, 25, 10am to 1:30pm; July 13, 6pm

Millennium Park, Michigan Avenue at Monroe Street, near Cloud Gate
Sundays all summer 10am to 1:30pm except July 4

A 20 minute guided tour of the Lurie Garden in Millennium Park. Evening strolls offered at 6pm July 13, Aug. 24 and Sept. 21; meet at the south end of the garden on the wooden walkway overlooking Monroe Street.

Graceland West Garden Walk
July 11, noon to 5pm

Graceland West Community Association
4334 N. Greenview

The 28th Graceland West Garden Walk! WOO HOO! The walk includes 40-50 gardens, most of them residential. This is a self-guided tour. Call Donna Forsberg at 773-348-1469 for more information.

East Edgewater Glen Garden Walk
July 11, noon to 5pm

Edgewater Glen Association
1420 W. Glenlake
$5, children free

Over 30 gardens within a six block radius. The gardens include back yards, front yards, flower, fruit, vegetable and water gardens. The Chicago Tribune's small space winning garden is on the tour. Door prize drawing and refreshments at some gardens. Call Kim Kaulas at 773-761-3668 for more information.

Evanston Garden Walk
July 11, noon to 3:30pm

Keep Evanston Beautiful
Evanston Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd., Evanston
$15, $25, KEB members are $10 in advance and $20 on the day of the event.

In its 21st year, there are seven private and one public garden featured this year. The gardeners say this is one of the most popular events in Evanston each year. The range of gardens is broad. Everything from a lake-front garden to a garden with whimsical art and an English cottage garden, a container garden. Adjudicated decision to enter a garden. This is not suitable for walking.

Mt. Greenwood Garden Walk
July 11, 10am to 4pm

Mt. Greenwood Garden Club
10559 S. St. Louis
$8 at participating local businesses or at the start house.

Roscoe Village Neighbors Garden Walk
July 11, noon to 6pm

Roscoe Village Neighbors
Victory's Banner, 2100 W. Roscoe

10th annual walk. About 40 private gardens.

Sheffield Garden Walk
July 17-18, noon to dusk

Sheffield Neighbors Association
Webster and Sheffield
$7, $10 after 3pm

More than 90 gardens. The walk is closely associated with one of the city's best known neighborhood festivals: the Sheffield Festival.

Evergreen Park Library Garden Walk / Blossoms for Books
July 18, 11am to 4pm

Evergreen Park Library Foundation
9400 S Troy, Evergreen Park
$10, $12 day of event. Children free.

Last year there was a sunken garden, a friendship garden, a monarch butterfly way-station and more. There will be a quilt show and a raffle.

Dearborn Garden Walk
July 18, noon to 5pm

North Dearborn Assoc.
1300 N Dearborn (corner of Goethe & Dearborn)
$30, $35 day of.

This is your chance to see how the other side parties. Jazz and classical music will be playing in select gardens in about 20 gardens. This walk has been a fixture for 52 years.

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Kim Kaulas / July 7, 2015 12:04 PM

East Edgewater Glen Garden Walk is Sunday July 12th- not Sat. July 11th!

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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