Murna Hansemann's garden is splashed with bright colors. Geraniums line the house, and the garden is filled with perennials that continue to bloom every day. It changes all the time, she said, as rose bushes are added and annuals are replanted.
And it's all in remembrance of her mother, who died just as Hansemann was moving into the Elgin house in 1995.
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If you goWhat: Fox Valley Garden Walk
When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 28
Where: Homes throughout the Gold Coast and east side of Elgin. Purchase tickets at: Books at Sunset, Elgin; East and West side Jewel stores; Ziegler's Ace Hardware stores on Spring and Lillian streets, Elgin; Heinz Brothers Greenhouse, St. Charles; and Elgin Public Museum.
Cost: $12 in advance, $15 on the day of the walk
Details: Call (847) 742-3205
"I have to say, my garden is beautiful," Hansemann said. "It's very special to me."
Hansemann's garden is one of the six gardens featured in the sixth Fox Valley Garden Walk, hosted by the Elgin Area American Association of University Women, an organization that provides scholarships for young women.
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, visitors can admire the beauty of various gardens found at homes on the "Gold Coast" and the east side of Elgin, said Mary Navin, an event coordinator and AAUW member.
As participants walk from garden to garden, they can speak with the homeowners and gardeners who are responsible for the gardens featured at the event, she said.
"This is something that gives them a lot of pleasure," Navin said. "The gardens are unique because they're all different. I like the idea that people can relate to these gardens."
Gardening specialists will also be found throughout the walk, Navin said. For example, representatives from Heinz Brothers Greenhouse of St. Charles will be answering questions at one of the featured houses.
Another stop along the way is the Elgin Public Museum at Lords Park, where local artists will exhibit their work.
Navin said finding the right gardens to feature in the walk is "hit or miss." The AAUW's Garden Walk Committee chooses the featured gardens in a variety of ways. Navin said she found two of this year's participants through the Elgin Garden Club, in which she is involved.
Other gardens were found by luck, she said.
"Sometimes we know somebody who knows somebody who has a really great garden," Navin said. "Or we've lived in the area for so long, sometimes we just get in our cars and drive around."
Of the gardens that are featured on the walk, some are planted and maintained by the owners themselves, she said. Others are created by professional landscapers.
Hansemann said her neighbor oversees her garden -- and that neighbor, Laura Anderson, happens to be another participant in this year's Garden Walk.
"(Anderson) oversees several of the gardens in our neighborhood," Hansemann said. "She's ambitious, and the gardens are beautiful."
Other Elgin residents whose gardens are featured include Cherie Murphy, Krissy Palermo, Kirsten Pedersen and Sue Schulz.
Tickets to the Garden Walk are $12 through Friday, June 27, and $15 on the day of the walk. Tickets can be purchased at two Elgin Jewel-Osco stores, one on Larkin Avenue and one on Summit Street; and two Ace Hardware locations, one on Spring Street and one on Lillian Street in Elgin. Also selling tickets are Books at Sunset in Elgin, Heinz Brothers Greenhouse in St. Charles, and Elgin Public Museum in Lords Park.
Proceeds will go toward scholarships for young women.
For more information, call (847) 742-3205.