Downers Grove Garden Walk

Saturday, July 13, 2019

To benefit the DGFUMC Bridge Board program

providing transitional housing and mentoring
for formerly homeless families

The 13th 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. 

Click on photos to view them on Flickr


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1523 Janet Street

  • A lovely rock garden and waterfall greets visitors where a pond used to exist. Planted throughout the rock garden are a variety of perennials and grasses.
  • There is an eclectic feel to the gardens as they have evolved over the past few years. Along the west side, a natural barrier now exists of shrubs, grasses, and perennials for the homeowners’ privacy.
  • A colorful variety of annuals and perennials are interspersed throughout the front, side, and back gardens. Milkweed, purple salvia, a variety of grasses, and hydrangeas have been added to bring in even more color, variety, and to bring more wildlife to the area.
  • The homeowners’ ultimate goal is to add more color into the garden spaces by planting potted annuals throughout.

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1130 Franklin Street

  • Over the past six years, the owner of this two-story Queen Anne home completely transformed the gardens.

  • The front yard now includes new lawn, hydrangeas along the open front porch, a magnolia that anchors the corner of the home, and colorful potted plants that complement the accent color of the home. Along the left side, an herb garden surrounds a sculpture of Mary.

  • Outside her back door, the owner often sits on her new patio watching hummingbirds and butterflies. The garden in the back provides a restful, shady area containing ferns and hosta.

  • A lush, green lawn with evergreens, a Japanese maple, and several burning bushes add privacy for the residents and erases the memory of an earlier semi-circular drive filled with boulders.


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806 Rogers Street

  • This lovely home with interesting architectural features sits on a corner lot surrounded by “no-grass gardens” that exist throughout. The owners’ gardening journey began about 20 years ago and is constantly evolving, reflecting their love of roses, hydrangeas, and hostas.

  • Around the front corner of the home, magnolias, arborvitaes, shrubs, vines, and perennials, such as black-eyed Susans, coneflowers, and milkweed, along with fountain grasses now reside.

  • A dry river bed meanders around the front of the property flanked by grasses and perennials adding interest to the design of the front garden. Their container gardens set off the extensive hardscaping, and provide color spring thru fall.

  • The gated arbor brings one into a “secret garden” which features a container garden, raised bed, and a water feature.


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1909 Hitchcock

  • This 1923 Cape Cod home has a new front paver patio, entrance, and foundation plants containing yews, heucheras, hydrangeas, mugo pines, and boxwoods.

  • Wildlife are drawn to the natural barrier in the three-season garden along the west side of the property that host Rose of Sharon, lilacs, weigela, phlox, sedum, day lilies, daffodils, asters, and little blue stem and maiden grasses.

  • In the deep backyard, there exists a paver patio seating area covered by a pergola and surrounded by small trees and potted plants, a wonderful shed with a window box of flowers, short grasses around the shed’s foundation, and a fenced-in, raised garden bed. The interesting small shed in the far back corner of the yard was previously a chicken coop


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5312 Turvey Court

  • This Southern Colonial home reveals a well-designed garden including pink dogwood, Galaxy Magnolia, Forest Pansy Redbud, Canadian Hemlock, an Espaliered Apple, arborvitae, plum and blue spruce trees. In spring, the front yard lights up with dwarf fothergilla, ‘PJM’ Rhododendron, and Northern Lights’ Rhododendron.

  • Seven varieties of hydrangea shrubs reside throughout the gardens. The fountain in the fragrance garden near the side door is surrounded by lilacs, fragrant hosta, shrub roses, clethra and Knock Out roses. A wisteria vine trails along the fence, while Easy Elegance roses, grasses, and allium surround the pool with a backdrop of river birch and black walnut trees.

  • An artistic, wrought iron gate opens into the backyard where Mock Orange, David Austin climbing roses and numerous hydrangea abound with color.

  • In the butterfly garden nearby, dwarf chocolate Joe-Pye weed, echinacea and a butterfly bush attracts these lovely creatures all season long


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1424 Thornwood Drive

  • Eleven years ago this home was completely surrounded by lawn. Since then, the homeowners installed terracing in the front and back yards and a wildlife habitat with trees, shrubs, and their favorite perennials. Now, only general care and deadheading are required.

  • A redbud tree resides along the front corner of the home, and a kidney-shaped garden extends out to the front sidewalk.

  • The back shade garden contains 250 varieties of hosta, plus ferns, heucheras, goat’s beard, and anemones. A charming vignette awaits across the bridge of the pondless waterfall and a hammock behind the vignette beckons visitors to come and relax.

  • The homeowners emphasize their love of art by carefully placing statues and iron work throughout the gardens to create surprises for viewers.


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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