From flower gardens, to backyard fountains and statues, vegetable gardens and barn quilts ... Saturday’s Garden Walk through Bureau County has something for everyone.
The Bureau County Tourism and Princeton Tourism groups are partnering together to bring its semi-annual garden walk to area residents.
Saturday’s garden walk begins with a short program at 9 a.m. at the People’s Garden, the recently-planted pollination garden next to the Princeton Public Library on East Peru Street in Princeton. Free to the public, the garden walk is self-paced, so people can visit the various gardens in Princeton, Tiskilwa, Spring Valley and Malden anytime from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Bureau County Tourism coordinator Kathy Costerisan said.
“With all of the rain we have been having, the plants are green and lush,” she said.
Maps of all locations on the Garden Walk will be available at the Princeton Public Library, at the Prouty Community Building on South Main Street in Princeton, and at each location on the map.
To start the day at the pollination garden, area biologist Ellen Starr with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, will talk about the 710 plants growing in the garden. The garden has been designed specifically to attract pollinators like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, Costerisan said.
“If you’ve ever eaten a blueberry, chocolate bar or tomato, you can thank a pollinator,” Costerisan said. “Pollinators are birds, bats, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, wasps, small mammals, and most importantly, bees. They are responsible for pollinating one out of every three bites of food we eat.”
From the pollination garden, people can head out to four other garden sites in Princeton, three in Malden, two garden spots in Tiskilwa, and three garden spots in Spring Valley.
Also included in Saturday’s garden tour is a special kickoff of the Barn Quilts of Bureau County trail, Costerisan said. The kickoff starts at 11 a.m. at 15945 2625 East St., about seven miles east of Princeton, where a 6-foot wooden barn quilt will be hung on Costerisan’s barn. Direction signs will be posted on Route 6.
Photos of the 24 barn quilts already hung up around Bureau County will be displayed at the kickoff, with maps of those barn quilt locations available. Maps for the Barn Quilt of Bureau County trail will also be available at the Princeton Public Library and the Prouty Community Building.
A lunch stand will be available at the Costerisan barn site from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be a drawing at noon for a 2-foot-by-2-foot red, white and blue barn quilt.
In addition to the garden spots and the barn quilt trail, people could also take time to stop at the Veterans Park in Princeton, as well as the sculpture garden at the former Children’s Home in Princeton, Costerisan said. There are also garden shops and vegetable vendors throughout the county to visit.
For more information about the Garden Walk or the Barn Quilt Trail of Bureau County, see www.bureaucounty-il.com or visit the Facebook pages for Bureau County Tourism, Barn Quilts of Bureau County or Princeton Tourism. Costerisan can be contacted at 815-866-3606.
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Princeton garden stops
• The People's Garden, the pollination garden next to the Princeton Public Library on West Peru Street.
• The community vegetable gardens located on Dover Road, behind the former Children’s Home, where 20 different families have 10-foot-by-20-foot spaces for growing vegetables.
• The home of Mark Friedrich at the Park Avenue East/South Euclid Avenue intersection, where tour participants can see a pair of five-foot tall Italian marble lion statues and an 8,000-pound marble fountain.
• The hillside flower garden of Bob and Marilyn Prince at 1312 W. Central Ave. The Princes have added a sidewalk around their hillside garden for easy walking.
• The many flower beds in the yard at the Barry Mayworm home at 416 W. Washington St.
Malden garden stops
• The Bob and Ruth Hix home at 202 Prospect St. where tour participants will see little nooks tucked among the tree branches in the yard where Ruth can sit and read and enjoy her flowers without being seen from the street.
• The Dan and Nancy Hollinsaid home at 201 W. South St. where they have made a garden tribute to their son Sgt. Lincoln Hollinsaid who died in 2003 while serving in Baghdad.
• The John and Jewell Potter home at 209 W. South St. features a perennial garden and large fountain.
Tiskilwa garden stops
• The Jim and Jane Jones home at 445 W. Owens St. features day lilies and hostas.
• A unique flower bed located in a triangle space next to the West End Park.
Spring Valley garden stops
• The Elaine Templeton home at 620 W. Cleveland St. features a space of garden art tucked in the corners of the backyard, a goldfish pond and stepping stones through the flower beds. There is also a barn quilt hanging on the garden shed.
• The Paul and Rosemary Yerley home at 720 W. Erie St. has flowers banking all edges of the yard and a veggie garden full of tomatoes, lettuce and garlic plants.
• The Sam and Cheryl Pagoria home at 705 W. Erie St. features a landscaped yard with hostas and water fountains.