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Thursday, June 10, 2004 05:18 pm

The not-so-secret gardens

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When we aren't in our own gardens, we gardeners love to share ideas and frustrations and get new ideas for our own back yards. University of Illinois Extension master gardeners and other groups have created unique experiences across central Illinois by hosting tours of area gardens.

Macon County Master Gardeners will host "An Array of Gardens," 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, June 13, featuring six private gardens in Decatur. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 on the day of the walk. You may purchase tickets by contacting the Macon County Extension office at 217-877-6042. On the day of the walk, tickets may be purchased at the Decatur Public Library, 130 N. Franklin St..

Champaign County Master Gardeners will host "Gold Medal Gardens" in Urbana-Champaign, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, June 20. The nine private gardens included in this tour will highlight ways to dress up a shade garden and emphasize diversity in the style and size of water gardens. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 on the day of the walk. You may purchase tickets by contacting the Champaign County extension office at 217-333-7672. On the day of the walk, tickets may be purchased at most garden centers in Champaign.

Logan County Master Gardeners will present "Thru the Garden Gate," 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, June 26. Tour 10 private gardens in Lincoln. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 on the day of the walk. Call 217-732-8289 for information.

Adams/Brown Unit Master Gardeners will host a garden walk in Quincy, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, June 26. One of the four gardens featured on the tour is the courtyard garden at the Quincy Public Library. A plant sale will also be held as part of this year's tour. Tickets, which cost $5, may be purchased on the day of the event or in advance by contacting the Adams/Brown extension office at 217-223-8380.

Proceeds from garden walks go back into the communities by funding master-gardener projects. Master gardeners are available at most garden locations to point out unique plants and answer your gardening questions. Garden walks are held rain or shine. Don't forget to bring your camera, sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and paper and pencil to write down names of new plants to include in your garden.

The Illinois Symphony Guild will host its annual "Symphony of Gardens 2004," 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, June 27. Garden locations include 12 Bay Ridge, 7 East Lake Shore Lane, 1907 Bates Ave., 1037 Woodland Ave., 1709 West Jackson St., and the Washington Park Botanical Gardens. Tickets are $10 in advance and may be purchased at Green View Nursery, Pleasant Nursery, Wild Birds Unlimited, Iris and Ivy, and Beatty TeleVisual. On the day of the walk, tickets are $12 and can be purchased at each featured garden. From 12:30-2:30 p.m., the Debbie Eddy Flute Choir performs at Washington Park Botanical Gardens. This is a great opportunity to visit gardens in Springfield. Proceeds from the Symphony Guild garden tour support the Illinois Symphony Orchestra. For more information contact Rose Hutchcraft at 217-793-3148 or Karen Barber at 217-529-1236.

Rose program

Join master gardeners from the University of Illinois Extension Sangamon-Menard for a discussion of roses -- summer pruning, watering, fertilizing, insect, and disease control.

"Summer Care of Roses" is presented at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 22, in the Master Gardener Demonstration Gardens, located in front of the Extension Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The presentation will last 45 minutes.

For more information, call 217-782-4617. 

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