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Thursday, June 15, 2006 05:34 am

Walks in the Garden

Prepare yourself to be dazzled and inspired

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Gardens come in many colors and sizes, each reflecting a unique personality. In the coming weeks, you will have some wonderful opportunities to be inspired by what other gardeners have accomplished.  Five beautifully diverse gardens will be featured in “A Symphony of Gardens 2006,” sponsored by the Illinois Symphony Guild of Springfield, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, June 25. Tickets, which cost $12 in advance, are available at Wild Birds Unlimited (1930 S. MacArthur Blvd.), Beatty TeleVisual (1287 W. Wabash Ave.), and the Illinois Symphony Orchestra office (524 E. Capitol Ave.). The price for tickets on the day of the event, which are available at the garden locations, is $15. This year’s gardens are the Muller Japanese-style garden, 1520 Denison Dr., where you’ll find a waterfall and koi pond as focal points; the Riseman shade garden, 2205 S. Park Ave., featuring a “bog bed” for moisture-loving plants; the Dinges garden, 1924 Noble Ave., boasting a collection of hydrangeas, rhododendrons, and viburnums; the Noonan garden, 1525 S. Willemore Ave., in which a 60-year-old magnolia is the focal point of English-style plantings; and the McDonald garden, 1136 Woodland Ave., with a charming cottage garden in front and peaceful bird sanctuary in back.  Spend a day strolling through nine beautiful gardens in Edwardsville and Glen Carbon, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, June 17. Get new ideas for your garden, take pictures, and chat with the homeowners and master gardeners. To purchase advance tickets, which cost $10, send a check to the Madison County Extension Education Foundation, P.O. Box 427, Edwardsville, IL 62025. For $28, you can get an advance ticket that includes lunch at the historic Stephenson House. Tickets on the day of the tour cost $12; they are only available at the University of Illinois Extension, 900 Hillsboro in Edwardsville. A plant sale and garden flea market will also be held at this location. For more information, call 618-650-7050.  The largest sycamore tree in Logan County, a raised-bed worm farm, native woodland flowers, formal English gardens of roses surrounded by boxwood hedges, and butterfly gardens are just a few of the features of the “Thru the Garden Gate” garden walk, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, June 24. Advance tickets, costing $8, may be ordered through the Logan County Extension Office at 217-732-8289. Tickets cost $10 on the day of the walk and may be purchased at one of the Lincoln garden locations, including 31 Illini Dr., 134 DeBruler Dr., 521 Second St., 10 Oakwood Dr., 404 Tremont St., 216 Tremont St., and 606 N. Hamilton St.  The “Along the Garden Path” garden walk will feature eight private Champaign-Urbana gardens. Master gardeners will also showcase their award-winning display garden, the Idea Garden. Garden vendors will be at the Idea Garden for your shopping pleasure. This event, sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension Champaign County Master Gardeners, will be held 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, June 24. Ticket are $8 in advance. Tickets cost $10 the day of walk and may be purchased at the Idea Garden, located at the corner of Lincoln and Florida avenues in Urbana. For ticket information, call 217-333-7672.  Plan to explore several beautiful gardens owned or maintained by University of Illinois master gardeners in the Quincy area 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, June 24. Gardens to be featured on this year’s tour are Patty Vogel’s, at 2600 Old Orchard Rd.; Barb Richmiller’s, at 720 Pawn Ave.; and Carrie Edgar’s, at 2040 Prairie Ave. The Illinois Veterans Home Memorial Garden, maintained by the Adams/Brown Master Gardeners, is also included on the tour. The cost of the tour is $5 per person; tickets may be purchased at any of the garden sites the day of the tour. For more information, call 217-223-8380. Some guidelines for anyone going on a garden walk: Wear comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, and a hat, and don’t forget to take your camera, pen, and paper to help you remember great ideas. Remember, most events are held rain or shine.  .
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