On the Record

Garden Inspiration

On the Record with Holly Gresholdt

David Lehman's garden
David Lehman's garden

The University of Illinois Extension DeKalb County Master Gardeners’ 11th annual Garden Walk will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, rain or shine. Seven private gardens showcasing various styles and one public educational spotlight, the Mayfield Monarch Waystation in Sycamore, have been chosen for this year’s event. The featured gardens are located throughout DeKalb County in DeKalb, Sycamore and Kirkland.

Tickets cost $10 each and can be purchased at the DeKalb County Center for Agriculture, 1350 W. Prairie Drive in Sycamore, Blumen Gardens in Sycamore, The Garden Market in Sycamore, Glidden Campus Florist in DeKalb and Lloyd’s Landscaping and Everything Floral in Genoa. Proceeds support University of Illinois Extension programs. Tickets also can be purchased the day of the event at the DeKalb County Center for Agriculture or at any of the gardens.

Holly Gresholdt, a Master Gardener, is the liaison between the committee and gardeners. As the liaison, Gresholdt helps organize the gardener’s luncheon and pre-walk, takes photographs of the gardens and compiles the gardens’ descriptions.

Gresholdt spoke to MidWeek reporter Katrina Milton about the gardens featured in this year’s Garden Walk.

Milton: Tell me about the Garden Walk.

Gresholdt: The Master Gardeners feel that the event is a great opportunity for gardeners to share their gardens with other people, the community. It’s also an opportunity for education. By attending the event, you can learn gardening techniques and learn about new plants and designs to add to your own garden.

Milton: What is the educational spotlight?

Gresholdt: Each year during the Garden Walk, we like to have an educational spotlight. In previous years, we had a spotlight on vegetable gardening or one particular plant. Often it’s a public garden. This year, the Garden Walk includes the Mayfield Monarch Waystation. Our educational spotlight is a great way to experience a garden you’ve heard or known about but have never visited.

Milton: Why is having a spotlight on these local gardens important?

Gresholdt: For most gardeners, gardening is a full-time job. Especially in summer, gardens require a lot of work. Gardeners are adding new plants, changing areas from shade to sun. Gardening is a constant changing process, a constant transformation. After all of their hard work, gardeners are extremely proud. They want to share their gardens with others. Visitors to the gardens can talk to the gardeners to learn new planting techniques. It’s a wonderful experience for everyone involved. We’re very appreciative of the gardeners for sharing their gardens and all their hard work with the community.

Milton: What can people expect to see on the Garden Walk?

Gresholdt: The gardens have sheds, “she sheds,” garden art, glass and concrete sculptures, bottle trees, fountains, native plants, container gardens, vegetables and flowers. You can expect to see almost every type of perennial, including coneflowers, milkweed, hostas, verbena, Black-eyed Susans, roses, herbs, clematis vine and ligularia. There is also a lot of farm-implement art, farm tools like a disc from a plow or a hoe made into garden art.

Milton: Who would you say is the intended audience for the Garden Walk?

Gresholdt: Everyone, anybody who appreciates nature and the beauty of nature. We hope people get inspired to go home and use the ideas and techniques they learned on the walk. Each of the gardens is different from the next, so they can see some different flowers and gather new ideas.

Milton: How is the money raised from the event used?

Gresholdt: The money raised helps University of Illinois Extension programs. We have programs at schools, libraries and camps. We have speakers that can visit clubs and groups. We also offer therapeutic horticulture and education programs at local nursing homes. Education is always our main goal. The Mission of the University of Illinois Master Gardners is “helping others learn to grow.”

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