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Garden Walk returns July 9th in Princeton

Garden Walk, Princeton ILThe 2016 Garden Walk will be held on Saturday, July 9th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free and the Walk is self paced. There are seven gardens located in Princeton and two just outside of town.

To kick off the semi-annual Garden Walk there will be a short program at the Princeton Library Pollinator Garden at 9 a.m. You can pick up your maps there, at the Prouty Building, or at any stop along the Garden Walk. Ellen Starr will tell us how pollinators in your garden can affect your life. Come out and see how the Pollinator Garden has changed in two short years.

Stuart & Mary Ackerman at 718 N Chestnut have a whimsical garden behind their home which features repurposed items used as planters and bird houses. A little path winds around among the many flower beds. Some of the rocks in their landscaping came from the foundation of a home built in the 1890's. Watch for a few characters tucked away among the plants like a frog smoking a pipe. Bird feeders bring songbirds to the heart of their garden. Their home is two doors south of Douglas Elementary School.

Garden Walk, Princeton ILEllen Starr is one of the originators of the Pollinator Garden at the Princeton Library and she has brought her love for the pollinating flowers and plants to the garden in front of her home on 417 W Hudson Street. Not a fan of mowing, Ellen has a large collection of flowering plants in her front yard which the butterflies and bees enjoy. She has a love for gardening that has been cultivated in her family for many generations. Turn west on Hudson Street which is just north of Princeton Pharmacy.

Barry Mayworm, 416 W Washington (corner of Mercer St, 1 block south of Elm Lawn Cemetary), has used his artistic flair in his design of his back yard. A grape arbor with 25 year old grape vines provides a secluded location to stop and rest. A huge Norwegian Spruce tree stands as a sentinel to visitors to his home. Raised vegetable beds and flower beds fill his yard.

Bob and Marcia Hudson, 443 E Peru Street, have worked on their yard for a dozen or more years. They have added a cascading waterfall and a pond with water lilies which makes a relaxing oasis right in their back yard. You will also find several varieties of flowers including coreopsis, daisies, roses, cattails, and a new plant called a tree lily in their yard. Watch for the fireman memorial in memory of their son Mark.

Marilyn and Bob Prince of 1312 W. Central Street (at the intersection with Fairgrounds Road) have spent over 15 years transforming the steep hillside behind their home into a lovely perennial and flower garden. A sidewalk takes you around the home, making the lower level easily accessible. The hillside and their yard is truly a floral work of art.

Garden Walk, Princeton ILThere are two stops at the former Covenant Children's Home. Stop and enjoy the babbling brook, daisies, and the lovely sculptures of children at work and play at the Children's Home Memorial Garden on Elm Place. Pull around behind the buildings onto Dover Road and you will find the large community vegetable gardens with everything from radishes to pumpkins growing there. Twenty different gardeners have their own 10' x 20' spaces to plant as they choose. Owen Johnson has over 75 tomato plants growing there with dozens of different varieties.

There are also two additional gardens located 7 miles east of Princeton, just off of Rt. 6.

Tim & Kathy Bauer have a very unusual garden at 15945 2625 East Street. There you can see the Rain Gutter Grow Garden System. This uses a system of rain gutters and provides a self watering system for their plants. The plants are in 5 gallon buckets or large storage tubs. With this system the plants pull the amount of water they need and there's no watering or weeding needed. You can compare potatoes grown in the self watering system with ones grown in the ground. Take Rt. 6 east of Princeton. At the top of Coal Hollow hill turn north on 2625 Road ( 1 mile west of the Mushroom plant) and go 1 mile to the house with the white plastic fence.

Garden Walk, Princeton ILNext door neighbors, Andy & Sophie Niewiara at 16081 2625 East Street have a vegetable garden with several types of herbs and a new raspberry patch. Behind their home is a large wildflower meadow with yellow and pink coneflowers, milkweed, black-eyed Susans, cosmos, gaillardia, coreopsis, wild bee balm, glorious daisy, wild lupine, Mexican hat, and crimson clover with lots of butterflies and bird species. Keep your eyes peeled for the doe and her twin fawns that hide in the timber.

The Bureau County Barn Quilt Trail kick off will be held at the exhibit hall at Bureau County Fairgrounds on Saturday, July 9th from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Stop at the Fairgrounds and pick up a map for the 65 Barn Quilts that are now on display all around Bureau County. Valerie Jensen will have a demonstration of how to create a barn quilt. She will have samples of Barn Quilts in various stages of production on display with information about where the quilts are located.

The 2016 Bureau County Visitors Guide will be available at the Prouty building, the Princeton Library, the Fairgrounds and at each stop of the Garden Walk. It features a map of Bureau County with all of the Barn Quilts of Bureau County marked on it, the schedule of events for all of the fund activities around the county and feature stories about area highlights. They are free. For more information about the Garden Walk or Barn Quilts, please call Kathy with Bureau County Tourism at 815-866-3606 or visit our Bureau County Tourism Facebook Page.