Beauty and Community: BAPA Hosts the Beverly/Morgan Park Garden Walk

It almost seems ironic that the blessings of a warm and rainy spring and the need to be productive during the isolation of a global pandemic were a winning combination for Beverly/Morgan Park’s gardens. Inspired by the exceptional beauty of our community and the need for our close-knit community to come together safely, BAPA is hosting its first Beverly/Morgan Park Garden Walk on Sun., Sept. 13, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Due to the restrictions enforced by Covid-19, BAPA’s Ridge Run/Memorial Day Parade, Home Tour and Beverly Hills Cycling Classic were cancelled. This new offering will be BAPA’s only community-wide special event for 2020.

From the time the event was announced, community residents have been coming forward to offer their gardens, volunteer to help and purchase tickets. So many gardeners invited us to come see their yards, it was very hard to choose the ten private gardens that will be featured this year! Planners have included several don’t miss points of interest in public spaces, and are already looking ahead to Garden Walk #2 next summer.

This year’s Garden Walk will begin with check-in at the Edna White Community Garden where people are welcome to walk among the beautiful plantings while enjoying music and merchandise from Home Grown vendors.

Masks will be required at all Garden Walk locations. Visitors will be expected to follow the rules of social distancing and adhere to the map in order avoid overcrowding at gardens.

Featured locations range between 89th and 117th Streets, West Beverly to East Beverly, and many points in between. Each stop is distinctive for its style, variety of plantings, and beauty. Three are award winners in the Chicago Bungalow Association’s annual garden contest, and all of them are uniquely beautiful. No matter whether you’re going home to a sunny or shady yard, a mature garden or a freshly dug flower bed, you’ll be inspired by the hard work, creative vision and delight shared by the gardeners.

Among the locations are:

  • A sunny yard where seating areas and paved pathways offer endless ways to enjoy an eclectic variety of colorful and lush shrubs, trees and plants, many of which were purchased on clearance and nursed back to life.
  • A winner of this year’s Chicago Bungalow Association Garden Contest for the front yard where there is a mix of perennials and annuals anchored by evergreens and a shady back yard where lawn was replaced with garden beds separated by curving pathways and seating areas, and an unusual water feature.
  • A serene garden of native plants and prairie style garden fixtures and ornaments, including a stunning pond.
  • Side-by-side yards (one of which earned a Chicago Bungalow Association garden contest award!) where sisters have taken down the fences and joined efforts to create a showcase of flowers, vegetables and herbs as well as beautiful spaces for entertaining and places for the kids to play.
  • A true garden hideaway which surely what they had in mind when Urbs in Horto was chosen as Chicago’s city motto! A cozy yet expansive yard that features a small stage for live music, serpentine garden spaces and a perfectly manicured putting green.
  • A welcoming multi-tiered oasis filled with fabulous plantings and appealing decorations that just three years ago was a concrete jungle. Wait until you see the “before” photos!
  • An expansive yard filled with abundant and colorful interest throughout the blooming season, including whimsical fairy gardens, a dramatic front garden, and an elegant elevated patio.
  • A lovely space situated next to the Dan Ryan Woods that features a meditation pond with sand and ceramic fish, a garden of kitchen herbs, and an array of shade-loving perennials and potted plants that create an ever-changing garden experience?
  • A sprawling double lot with garden spaces that have evolved over 20 years, incorporating quiet seating areas, flower beds bursting with color and texture, and built elements for form and beauty.
  • A lovely garden filled from early spring through fall with outstanding flowers and plants lovingly tended by a group of volunteer garden experts.

Points of Interest to be showcased on the Garden Walk include three school gardens where students and community volunteers create magical outdoor education; a peaceful baptismal garden behind a church; and selected residential front yard gardens that are simply not to be missed.

Garden Walk sponsors include OSF HealthCare Little Company of Mary Medical Center, Beverly Bank & Trust, Southtown Health Foods, The Beverly Review, Chicago Bungalow Association, and County Fair Foods. Garden Walk partners are Steuber Florist & Greeenhouses, City Grange, The Blossom Boys, Edna White Garden and Oak & Bloom.

Garden Walk tickets are $20 in advance at www.bapa.org and $25 on the day of the event.

For information on becoming a Garden Walk sponsor or volunteer, call 773-233-3100 or email bapa@bapa.org.