Downers Grove Garden Walk July 10 to benefit Bridge Communities

  • "Rabbit Run," one of the Downers Grove Garden Walk stops, features 160 different hostas, 20 trees, 244 daylily cultivars, and numerous shrubs, perennials, and annuals.

    "Rabbit Run," one of the Downers Grove Garden Walk stops, features 160 different hostas, 20 trees, 244 daylily cultivars, and numerous shrubs, perennials, and annuals. Courtesy of Downers Grove Garden Walk

Posted7/6/2021 4:06 PM

Six home gardens will be featured at the 15th annual Downers Grove Garden Walk on Saturday, July 10. The self-guided tours will be 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event is produced via a partnership between the Bridge Communities, a Glen Ellyn-based nonprofit, and the First United Methodist Church of Downers Grove. All proceeds from the walk will go to the church's Bridge Board program providing transitional housing and mentoring for formerly homeless families.


Tickets for the walk entitle participants to a lovely day viewing beautiful gardens in Downers Grove while helping to support three previously homeless families.

The garden of a Cape Cod home features a stone patio, outlined by snowball hydrangeas and tall grasses, with a flagstone walkway to the garden with a weeping cherry, hydrangea tree, yew shrubs, pine and birch with colorful perennials and annuals.

Another homeowner designed a shady natural garden for pollinators and wildlife, featuring mulched paths which encircle the house. Wildlife visitors have included great-horned owls, screech owls, Cooper hawks, fox, mink, muskrat, a variety of birds, and more.

A highlight of the third home is the children's garden called "Three Sisters' Native American Garden." Each year, the church preschool teachers and students work with the homeowner to design a garden based on the Native American tradition of three sisters: Sister Bean, Sister Corn and Sister Squash. The students learn how to grow these crops from seed and harvest the crops in the fall. The homeowners also designed the "no-grass gardens" with roses, hydrangeas, hosts, evergreens, maple, elm, river birch and more.

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The fourth garden has a Mediterranean feel, with yellow, orange and lavender perennial flowers, and over 50 trees, including arborvitae, hemlock, oak, river birch and maple.

The "Serendipity Garden" surrounds the little cottage bungalow, featuring a variety of perennials, grasses and garden art. During the summer, a model train rides tracks next to a small pond and fairy garden.

The quarter-acre "Rabbit Run" garden includes 160 different hostas, 20 trees, and 244 daylily cultivars, as well as numerous shrubs, perennials and annuals. The garden has been featured on numerous garden walks and is registered with the American Daylily Society.

Advance tickets may be purchased in person by Friday, July 9, at First United Methodist Church, 1032 Maple Ave.; Community Bank of Downers Grove, 1111 Warren Ave. and Anderson's Book Store, 5112 Main St. in Downers Grove; Phillips Flowers & Gifts, 524 N. Cass Ave. in Westmont; The Growing Place Garden Center, 25W471 Plank Road in Naperville, and online (PayPal) at


Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 on the day of the event at the church.

Bridge Communities provides housing and support for homeless families in DuPage County.

One hundred percent of the proceeds from the Garden Walk go to providing housing costs, mentoring, direction, encouragement, and a stable environment to assist our families in becoming self-sufficient and independent. The cost to support each family is around $12,000 to $14,000 annually. Each family is mentored for two years.

The Garden Walk is the church's main fundraiser for the Bridge Communities. However recent years have included concerts both in person and, for 2021, virtually highlighting the musical talents of the congregation. To learn more about Bridge Communities, visit or

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