Get out of the house and into the garden -- actually, seven private gardens and two community gardens -- at the McHenry County College and University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners of McHenry County Garden Walk from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 14, starting at the college, 8900 Route 14, Crystal Lake.
Visit one garden or all seven, each with their own unique features, including at least three gardens with water features, one with alpacas that may greet you at their entrance and one with a front yard restored as a prairie, reminiscent of McHenry County hundreds of years ago. A special highlight this year is the Harvard "Growing Together" Community Garden, a productive all-vegetable garden spanning over 11,000 square feet that generated more than 6,000 pounds of produce for the Harvard Food Pantry last year. The community garden flourished last year without any herbicides or pesticides.
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Stop to smell the flowers and take advantage of the educational opportunities offered at the Master Gardeners' Demonstration Garden at MCC. Learn about prairie/native gardening, how to attract butterflies to one's garden and how to perk up a garden soil using coffee grounds -- all while enjoying a free cup of iced coffee. The Demonstration Garden showcases a variety of garden types including eye-popping annuals grown from seed and perennial gardens for both sun and shade. Visitors will receive maps to drive to the other gardens.
Co-sponsored by McHenry County College and University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners of McHenry County, the self-guided tour allows participants to view the gardens at their own pace. Featured gardens will include a terraced garden with a fountain, a rain garden with plants that attract birds and butterflies, a natural garden with a pond, stream and small waterfall; a 30-foot wooden windmill, and a garden with 143 varieties of hostas.
Tickets are $17. Tickets can be purchased by calling the MCC Registration Office at (815) 455-8588 or at the garden the day of the event. No pets will be allowed at the tour. For more details, visit www.mchenry.edu/gardenwalk.