Six gardens, unlimited ideas: Lisle Garden Gait walk marks 20 years

Bright colors, majestic plants and playful surprises will give Lisle Garden Gait Walk visitors a bushel full of gardening ideas. The Lisle Woman's Club is celebrating its 20th walk featuring six gardens from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 12.

Schlytter garden

The front landscaping of the Schlytter house works together to frame the home's design.

Large landscape outcropping stones are stacked near the casement windows where three bird's nest spruce and an American hornbeam tree stand. Red creeping thyme fills in the space in front. In the area closest to the street, pachysandra ground cover highlights three deutzia bushes. A redbud tree near the driveway flowers in spring.

The patterned walkways add visual interest to the design of Schlytter's garden. Courtesy of Joan Broz

A little Quick Fire hydrangea paniculata and hanging pots of annuals trim the backyard.

The artistic design of flagstones trimmed with rocks creates a pathway through an area that was frequently muddy, and where grass would not grow.

The pendulous branches of a cypress tree add a graceful note to the Schlytter garden. Courtesy of Joan Broz

"Don't be afraid to move on if something is not working," said the homeowner. "Look at it as another opportunity for something else. Sometimes it is the smallest details that brings charm to the garden."

Tijunelis garden

Tall spruce trees form the backdrop to the Tijunelis yard and are home to a variety of birds.

The Tijunelis garden shows there's always a place to personalize a garden with art. Courtesy of Joan Broz

Large paver stones purchased at a historic Zook-designed home that was being demolished now sit upon a river rock pathway where once mud collected.

With a heated outside room and swimming pool, enjoying nature firsthand comes effortlessly in all seasons. Day lilies, ferns, hostas, verbena, coral bells, and geraniums add to the beauty.

The Tijunelis created a twig trellis with a red mandevilla climber flowering plant. Courtesy of Joan Broz

A twig trellis the homeowner made adds charm to the side yard. Phlox came from a friend.

Honeysuckle bushes form a hedge in the front yard. Near the front door, a trio of stacked pots overflow with colorful plants.

The stone walkway in the Tijunelis garden includes a whimsical rock ladybug created by the homeowner's father. Courtesy of Joan Broz

"If you are going to plant something, remember to take care of it while it gets established," said the homeowner to new gardeners. "Be flexible with your plants."

Fox garden

A fallen tree in the Fox backyard was trimmed to a four-foot height and cut into a wedge upon which the homeowner used cedar shingles to create the roofline for her Fairy B & B. The small details are charming; for instance, the 10-inch fairies are in scale to the house, and a small crown over the entrance adds a regal touch.

"I wanted to create a space that you might see in the woods," said Fox. "I love being creative and integrating found items into useful objects."

A small fairy house was personalized with miniature door and windows using the base of a fallen tree stump by the homeowner of the Fox garden. Courtesy of Joan Broz

Another labor of love is an actual front door that was found as a discard and repurposed as yard art. The wreaths that hang on each side change with the seasons. Fox's parents were adept gardeners. "Seasoned gardeners have a real emotional connection to their property," Fox said. "It is clearly hard work, but to see all of nature integrates our soul with Mother Nature."

Fox encourages new gardeners to go on garden walks and shows like the Garden Gait to explore and get ideas.

Kosar garden

Five years ago, orange poppies from an empty lot on Main Street in Lisle have become a personal favorite in the Kosar garden.

"The poppies are a favorite because they are hard to transplant, but once they take, they can spread," said the homeowner.

In the Kosar garden, poppies flourish and bring bright color to the yard. Courtesy of Joan Broz

A metal trellis arch near an enclosed patio was a gift from a friend who was moving and would no longer have a garden. Many other plants were also received from friends who gratefully shared their plants.

In the yard, the couple planted coral bells, hostas, wild geranium, phlox, and grasses.

An ornate metal trellis invites visitors into the Kosar's flagstone garden to sit a spell on the stone bench. Courtesy of Joan Broz

Both gardeners have learned if a plant is not thriving, move it somewhere where it may flourish.

Boehm garden

When the Boehms lost a large maple tree in their front yard, they planned a renovation to include plants such as bee balm and butterfly weed to attract pollinators.

A colorful display of flowers greets visitors to the Boehm home. Courtesy of Joan Broz

The garden also includes a variety of herbs, strawberries, blueberries, and elderberry used in the family's kitchen. Visits to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, inspired the layout.

A chokeberry bush and azalea garner attention near the front door.

The Boehm garden is all about details such as this angel planter with yellow petunias. Courtesy of Joan Broz

In the rear yard is the family's "summer house," complete with an inground pool, small vegetable garden, and an abundance of potted flowers. Columbine grows wild near the family's cafe seating area, which features a bright red honeysuckle bush that attracts hummingbirds.

The Boehm garden includes an inviting pool and a cozy spot to sit and enjoy the view. Courtesy of Joan Broz

"We have done our best to create a place where you want to stay," said Boehm.

Wroble garden

On a one-acre lot, there is room for anything a gardener wants to try. A large tulip tree graces the front yard, and flowering pear trees line the driveway. Carefully placed hostas of all sizes are intermixed with ferns in the side yard highlighted with an antique wagon wheel to welcome visitors to the garden.

The Wroble garden welcomes visitors with an antique wagon wheel and inviting stone walkway. Courtesy of Joan Broz

The homeowners created a wrought iron four post decorative structure to support a variety of vines near a koi pond. One of the yard's newest additions is a fenced-in vegetable garden that has peppers, cauliflower, lettuces, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, herbs, pole beans, carrots and kale. Nearby, a fallen tree stump carved at different heights accommodate a whimsical fairy village.

The gardening shed is a treasure trove of ideas housing pots, tools, and plants. The homeowners built it to accommodate all their gardening interests.

The Wroble garden also features a raised vegetable garden enclosed by a fence with two gates. Courtesy of Joan Broz

Throughout the yard, metal fanciful sculptures are placed to add a whimsical feeling of delight. A brood of three chickens, made of bright metals, has a visitor wondering how colorful the group's eggs might be.

• Start at The Museums of Lisle Station Park where visitors receive a booklet about the local gardens. The museum campus also will have a garden-themed craft fair, raffle, and summer tea garden. Advance tickets, available at local businesses, are $15 or $20 day of the event.

The Lisle Woman's Club is a charter member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs. The nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization was instrumental in starting the Lisle Public Library in 1964. The club's fundraisers provide support to many local, national, and international causes, including five $1,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors in the 60532 ZIP code. Details on the club and its activities are available at

Lisle Woman’s Club Garden Gait

Where: Starts at the Museums of Lisle Station Park, 921 School St.

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 12

Cost: $15 presale at local businesses or $20 on day of event. Tickets for sale in Lisle at Bicycles Etc., 6460 College Road; Crème de la Crème, 4710-3 Main St.; The Collective and Makery, 4724 Main St.; The Stone Center, 2127 Ogden Ave.; Tina’s Closet, 4745 Main St., Unit 105; Yarns Untold, 6476 College Drive; UPS Store, 1042 Maple Ave.; and Wild Birds Unlimited, 1601 Ogden Ave. In Downers Grove, Anderson Bookstore, 5112 Main St. In Naperville, The Growing Place Garden Center, 25W471 Plank Road.


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