BAPA Garden Walk Blooming with Inspiration: Join BAPA for 5th Annual BAPA Beverly/Morgan Park Garden Walk set for July 21 

By Grace Kuikman 

Whether you’re a dedicated gardener seeking new information, a hobby gardener looking for ideas, or a plant lover longing for a day among flowers and veggies, you will find innovation, inspiration, and just plain fun at the BAPA’s 5th Annual Beverly/Morgan Park Garden Walk, Sun., July 21, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

The Garden Walk begins with check-in at the Edna White Community Garden, 1850 W. Monterey Ave., where people are welcome to walk among the beautiful plantings and observe butterflies and bees. All Garden Walk tours must begin by 1 p.m.  

The gardens being showcased on this year’s Garden Walk are located throughout the historic Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood. Each stop is distinctive for its style, variety of plantings, design components, and unique beauty. Tastings and experiences will be offered at garden locations.  

Gardens are: 

Edna White Community Garden. Garden Walk advance ticket check-in and will call, day-of sales and the first stop for visitors is our outstanding community garden. Established in the 1990s, it was created and is tended by volunteers who are committed to providing a beautiful space to gather and grow. The garden grows fresh produce, maintains bee hives, pollinator gardens and a bee observatory; and hosts events. Today, enjoy the sights and sounds of the garden, and visit with Garden Walk sponsors and vendors.  

Living Sculpture Garden. An artist, the gardener has worked on this landscape for over 15 years, creating a stunning space with both visual and sculptural interest. The front garden is composed mostly of evergreen shrubs and trees in low maintenance geometric sculptural forms. The back garden features multiple “rooms,” including a patio/deck area, a circular sunny grassy area, a shady area filled with a variety of evergreens, and a fenced in orchard/vegetable garden featuring raised beds filled with herbs, berries, and a stunning variety of roses and climbing perennials. The evocative hardscape blends harmoniously with the unique variety of the landscape, providing places to sit, meditate, and walk 

Hidden Garden. Hidden behind this modest looking house is a visual treat for gardeners and architecture buffs alike! The house itself is an example of how mid-century modern design from the early 1960s transitioned to large windows, expanded living areas, and spacious landscapes. Entry to the yard is through a gate and beneath a Rainer cherry tree. Up the steps is a patio area outfitted with a built-in grill and mini-fridge, as well as a comfy seating area. The kids step down into a circular area perfect for the inviting swimming pool. Continue up, and enjoy garden sections that include a sunny swath of native pollinators, and raised garden beds dedicated to all manner of vegetables and herbs – two of the garden beds are connected to the elevated club house, and planned, planted and tended by the kids – an inspiration for getting children involved in gardening! 

Fantastical Garden. The 2023 Chicago Bungalow Association Garden Award-winner is filled with eclectic garden architecture, fantastical décor, and abundant plantings in the ground and in pots that create a riot of color and visual appeal. The gardeners have been tending their space for three decades, adding fanciful new and found objects to their fairy gardens, and unusual plants and shrubs to the back, side and front yards. The pond has been part of this yard for 30 years, and some of the colorful koi have been swimming there for just as long. Despite damage from a fallen tree during a spring windstorm, this garden is uniquely and beautifully inviting.  

Small Spaces|Big Garden. Surrounding a lovely house on a standard City lot is a really big garden composed of economically and ecologically planned small spaces. The current owners had been gardening in the back yard for decades, but it wasn’t until Covid hit that the front yard was intentionally denuded of grass and grubs, tilled up, blanketed in mushroom compost, and reclaimed as a space for native pollinators and veggies. Most of the plants in the front yard were divided from plants in the back yard, gifted from the yards of other gardeners, or planted from seeds. Companion planting helps herbs, produce and flowers to flourish. From April through November, the lush space is now filled with color and alive with activity from birds, bees, butterflies and the helping hands of the gardener’s grandchildren.  People walking down the street frequently stop to say hello or ask questions about the garden. “The best part of it is how many people I meet,” the gardener said.  

Nature’s Palette Garden. A yard where the gardener, an artist whose work reflects the subtle textures of nature, has created a masterwork with a palette of vintage log structures, a separate vegetable and herb garden, and lovely garden beds where unusual trees and ornamental shrubs embrace a particular selection of perennials chosen for color, texture, and design. Among the many unusual specimens are an Austrian pine in the front yard, a path of wild strawberries that leads to the honeysuckle hemmed entry to the kitchen garden, a native purple Ninebark shrub, and a blueberry patch bursting with fruit-laden bushes, which are difficult to grow around here.  

Lifestyle Garden. When the current family moved into their historic home in the 1990s, the expansive property was a blank slate. It took a lot of planning, planting, hard work and time to create this beautiful space where the lavish gardens now provide a perfect backdrop for leisure and entertaining. The color and beauty begin with the walk down the long driveway where flowering shrubs, planters filled with cascading annuals, and versatile veggies usher visitors to their first view of the breathtaking backyard. A multi-level deck hugs the back of the house, offering the perfect areas for relaxing from morning to night, each with a view to the yard’s beautiful fountain and lush landscape. 

Hilltop Heritage Garden. The longtime owner of this stately house at the peak of the Longwood Drive hill began gardening here with her late husband in 1990. They fell under the spell of the Chicago Botanic Garden and planted many areas of the yard under that institution’s influence. Throughout the expansive garden areas are art works and water features. The gardeners created a Hilltop Heritage garden, populated with a wide variety of mature plantings in beds that range from wooded shade to blazing sun; joyously naturalized to creatively contained. The garden attracts bees, butterflies and birds – this year’s special guests are house wrens who wing and sing every morning and evening. Human visitors follow winding flagstone paths to discover new delights around every curve.   

Woodland Retreat Garden. A charming Victorian cottage where the front and side yards are beautifully planted with a variety of exceptional rose bushes, perennial pollinators, trees and shrubs, has a back yard that transports visitors from the city to a woodland retreat. When the family moved in 40 years ago, the yard was geared to the kids – fort, pool, toys and noise.  Today, it’s an oasis of tranquility with rolling hills built from rocks and boulders; gurgling waterfalls and busy ponds filled with koi and edged in ferns, colorful native shade plants and hosta; wondrous evergreens, pines and ornamental trees (the gardener planted all but one of them!); and seating areas tucked among the rocky landscape and soaring tree branches.  

Experiences at the gardens include tastings of Twisted tea, wine and alcohol-free beverages; bite size snack tastings; live music; information and free raffles from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and Garden Club of Morgan Park Beverly Hills; and more.   

Volunteers are now being sought to help with the Garden Walk. You don’t need to be a gardener – information on the garden where you are placed will be provided. Shifts are 2.5 hours and volunteers get complimentary admission to the Garden Walk on their off shift. Email bapa@bapa.org for information on volunteering.  

Join BAPA on Sunday, July 21, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the 5th Annual Beverly/Morgan Park Garden Walk. There is no rain date. To purchase tickets or sign up to volunteer, go online to bapa.org/garden-walk/. Tickets for current BAPA members are $30 in advance; advance tickets for non-members is $35 and day-of tickets are $40.  

Thank you Beverly/Morgan Park Garden Walk Sponsors: Mike Haggerty Buick GMC, Davey Tree, County Fair, Beverly Bank and Trust, Michele Pettiford @ Properties, Original Rainbow Cone, Buona Beef, Beverly Companies, Guaranteed Rate/Bob Thompson, Bespoke Fence, PRS Professional Real Estate Services, State Farm Insurance/John Harrell, Smith Village, Keir Foot and Ankle Specialists, Franconello, Beverly Hills Animal Hospital, 19th Ward Youth Foundation, Southtown Health Foods, and The Beverly Review.  

 

 

 

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