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Take a stroll to this year’s Garden Walk

With high temperatures and humidity expected to remain for the weekend, Bureau County residents may want to put any outdoor work on hold and take a driving tour to flower and vegetable gardens around the county.

The Bureau County Tourism Board is sponsoring its annual garden walk from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. There is no charge to the walk, and the event is self-paced. That way, people can go to as many gardens as they like, Tourism Board spokesperson Kathy Costerisan said Wednesday.

This year’s walk will features gardens in Princeton, Tiskilwa and Sheffield. Maps are available at Hornbaker Gardens south of Princeton, Garfield Stier Co. in Sheffield, and at the Prouty Community Building in Princeton. More information is also available by calling Bureau County Tourism at 815-915-3192.

Saturday’s garden walk begins at 9 a.m. at Hornbaker Gardens, located at 22937 1140 North Avenue, south of Princeton, with a demonstration on the dividing and caring for irises, daylillies and hostas. After the demonstration, people can tour the garden center, which features hosta gardens, a waterfall and pond, as well as numerous varieties of plants and grasses on display.

Costerisan said the next stop on the garden walk could be Plow Creek Farm, one mile east of Tiskilwa on the Bottom Road, where people can pick their own blueberries on the farm’s Blueberry Hill. Or, people may call ahead at 815-646-4862 to have fresh picked blueberries ready for them.

In Tiskilwa, Jerry and Helen Murphy have opened their extensive garden for the first time for the annual walk. Located at 305 N. Jefferson St., the Murphy garden features a water pond, stone wall and garden path.

The Bureau County Tourism Board also has two Princeton gardens on this year’s tour, Costerisan said.

“Father Ed Harkrader has done amazing work in his small yard,” Costerisan said. “The Asian-themed garden provides a tranquil area to walk and contemplate nature.”

The Harkrader garden is located at 545 S. Fifth St., one block east and one block north of Perry Memorial Hospital.

Also in Princeton, the perennial flower beds of Brian and Jill Husted have been added to this year’s tour, Costerisan said. Located at 802 S. First St., the Husted home is surrounded by flower beds. Also, there is a backyard Koi pond and also a large vegetable garden.

There are also three Sheffield gardens on this year’s tour.

Jeff and Monika Sudakov, owners of the Chestnut Street Inn located at 301 E Chestnut St., have opened their gardens for the tour. The Sudakovs have a delightful mix of perennials, annuals and shrubs, as well as an herb and vegetable garden which Chef Monika uses in her specialty meals.

Also in Sheffield, first time participants Pam Heil has a display of grasses at her 340 S. Main St. home, and Jenn Nottrott has a unique vegetable garden at her 438 E. Chestnut St. residence, Costerisan said.

In addition to the planned stops on the walk, Costerisan urged people to visit the various garden centers throughout Bureau County to find a perennial, shrub or tree for their own gardens.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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