A Publication of WTVP

The Peoria Garden Club will host its biennial Garden Walk this year from 10am to 7pm on June 12th. The Garden Club, a non-profit organization which has been around for more than 80 years, has hosted the Garden Walk in Peoria for 20 years. It serves as a fundraiser and fulfills the mission of the Club, which is “to work on civic projects, provide scholarship funds and present informative programs for our members and guests,” according to Club President Susan Davis.

The funds from this year’s Walk will go to plant a tree for Arbor Day and fund several civic projects. The group invites neighborhood alliances to present their plans for how they would like to use scholarship money to enhance their area’s natural beauty. At several of these meetings, Peoria’s city manager and police chief have stated that the areas of Peoria in which residents take care of their lawns and gardens statistically have less crime. For this reason, the neighborhoods selected to receive money toward landscaping will each receive about $350. This is the third year the Garden Club will donate to various civic projects.

For each Garden Walk, the Peoria Garden Club forms a committee to decide which gardens will be included and organize the event. This year, Lynne Marsho, Cathie Crawford and Susan Davis served on the committee.

In the past, the Garden Walk has included houses from throughout Peoria, requiring walkers to drive to each of the five or six locations. This year, however, the Walk will feature six gardens, all in the High Point neighborhood located in north Peoria. The committee always chooses an assortment of gardens—those of the shade, sun and container varieties. Davis explained, “We choose gardens that are really gorgeous, but something an average person could do.”

This Year’s Highlights

The Bushell Garden

The front garden is comprised of plants that love the shade: bleeding heart, Lenten rose, hostas, holly, trimmed boxwood, oak leaf hydrangea and Sweet Williams. The backyard is a 200-foot-long linear-shaped area with peonies, French lilacs, Joe Pye Weed, columbine, astrilbe, coral bells, and more. The Bushells add several annuals each year to achieve a cottage garden effect, which finds its peak in late June and early July.

The Marsho Garden

Dick and Lynne Marsho have worked hard to create their senior-friendly garden. They put in several paths and perennials in efforts to limit the amount of maintenance work they have to do throughout the year. The back of their yard is lined with the same Osage orange trees used by Charles Lindbergh to guide his plane to a parallel landing strip. The Marshos have taken the necessary steps to make their garden a Certified Wildlife Habitat, which means the yard contains four basic elements needed by wildlife: food, water (heated in winter), cover and places to raise young year-round.

The Penca Garden

This spontaneous, ever-changing garden is filled with ivy, ferns, hostas, perennials, evergreens, grasses and annuals in beds and pots. Several tropical plants can also be found in the Penca garden, including a real banana tree which will grow to 15 feet by the end of July. Several pieces of garden art can be found there, which were inspired by the Pencas’ trip to the Musee National d’Art Moderne in Paris.

The McBride/Crawford Garden

White pine trees and a smoke tree act as a privacy fence between the front garden and the street. The circular drive is lined with numerous perennials, including Miss Kim lilacs, carex sedge and Anabelle hydrangea ornamental grasses. A teak bench on a half-circle brick patio is shaded by the smoke tree. A ceramic fountain and bird and squirrel feeders have helped turn the front island into a haven for wildlife. The compact backyard offers a retreat for artists and summer enjoyment around the pool. The small space offers several exciting vistas.

The Zeller Garden

The redesigned circular driveway showcases an exquisite Italian fountain and four planters full of annuals of every color. Magnolia trees and several varieties of pine trees surround the yard, and large stone walls and walkways lead to the Italian-inspired backyard, which includes a pool and a pond with a waterfall.

The Davis Garden

The front and back yards of the Davis garden both contain 100-year-old oak trees. With six varieties of hostas, hydrangeas, astilble, coral bells, pachysandra, roses, rhododendrons, Shasta daisies, coreopsis, day lilies and white coneflowers, all complement the beautiful river view. The summer is pretty, but takes a back seat to the colors of fall.

Refreshments will be served at the Davis home by members of the Peoria Garden Club. There will also be a raffle of several tablescapes made up of donated items from local businesses.

Shuttle service will be provided from Keller Grade School to the High Point neighborhood in efforts to alleviate some of the parking problems. Participating in this self-guided walking tour can offer ideas on how one can improve his or her own personal garden. The walk will take place rain or shine, and tickets can be bought ahead of time at a reduced rate.  TPW