Gardening tips and ideas are in bloom this weekend at the Fox Valley Garden Walk.
The Elgin area American Association of University Women will showcase seven of Elgin's finest gardens from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 23 on the west side of town. This biennial event gives people the opportunity to see beautiful arrangements, ask questions and learn about creating a garden.
If you goWhat: Fox Valley Garden Walk, a scholarship fundraiser for the Elgin Area American Association of University Women
When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 23
Where: Seven gardens on teh west side of Elgin, along with the Hawthorne Hill Nature Center, 28 Brookside Drive, Elgin
Tickets: $12 in advance, $15 day of event
Details:aauwelginarea.org; (847) 742-3205
Every two years, the Elgin area AAUW sets up these garden walks to raise money for women's scholarships. The organization switches from the east to the west side to ensure every garden has a chance to be recognized.
Jan Jones, co-chairwoman of the walk, said the scholarships were the main reason she came up with this idea 10 years ago. The event has grown just as much as each garden, though.
"A common thread is the sharing of plant material between friends and neighbors," she said. "Gardening encourages people to work together."
Cuttings from one plant cane be shared with another gardener to prosper in that garden. Jones said sometimes plants need more room to breathe, and giving pieces away helps both parties.
"People share all the time, that's just the thing with gardeners," Jones said.
Terri Grow, a featured gardener, said her mom taught her how to become a great gardener. She has then taught her daughter the skills and helped her start her own garden.
"I will divide any plants in my yard that she would like to include in her landscape ... Perhaps she will also develop a love of this hobby," Grow said.
Grow's neighbor, Claudia Sadlon, is also featured on the garden walk, and they help each other's gardens prosper.
"Since we share a common border, we tend to plan and share plants with each other. We are always available to advise and critique each other's plans," Grow said. "It's great to have a common interest and friendship."
These walks attract 100 to 300 people each time. And the gardeners love to share their ideas and stories with anyone who asks, Jones said.
Gardens are scouted out by AAUW members and friends and asked to join the event. This year, the walk will feature three of AAUW's Elgin members, three nonmember home gardens and the Hawthorne Hill Nature Center. On the tour will be the gardens of:
• Terri Grow, 619 Wood Ridge Court
• Claudia Sadlon, 617 Wood Ridge Court
• Jean Pechpel, 597 North Lyle Ave.
• Bruce Zierk, 250 South Melrose
• Jean LeRoy, 670 Oak St.
• Pat Hill, 626 Orange St.
The nature center will have local artists' paintings in the garden. Other works of art will be exhibited also. Artists include Carol and Ed Zack, Charles Cassell, and Marvin Causey. A painted rain barrel will be raffled off as well. Other locations will have special events and people too.
The tickets for the event are sold for $12 at Ziegler's Ace Hardware stores at Spring and South streets, Elgin area Jewel Food stores, Books at Sunset and Heinz Brothers Greenhouse in St. Charles. The tickets include booklets filled with coupons to nearby nurseries and stores, to help people start their own gardens at discounted prices.
Tickets can be bought on the day of the event for $15.
For information and scholarship applications, visit AAUWelginarea.org or the national site at AAUW.org.