The Four Seasons Garden Club’s âSecret Garden Walkâ on Saturday, July 13 features gardens in seven private homes, as well as an âIntroduction to Chiwaukee Prairie,â presented by the Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund.
The tour showcases âthe diverse worlds that these talented and generous owners share with us,â said Lynda Guy, a member of the Garden Club, who helps coordinate the event each year.
Guy added that club members are “looking for exceptional gardens” to participate in this popular tour every summer.
The organizers also try to choose tour stops that are located in close proximity to each other to facilitate the participation of those participating in the self-guided tour.
This year’s tour includes:
Dale Van Vlissingen home, 10708 Lakeshore Drive in Pleasant Prairie. Its gardens are “inspired by Lake Michigan in the front and the Chiwaukee prairie in the back.”
The Van Vlissingen Gardens have “evolved over the past 15 years”, she said, and “continue to be a labor of love and a work in progress”.
Its front yard opens onto Lake Michigan across the street, with a white picket fence – interwoven with several varieties of clematis – providing structure. Its courtyard also includes a paved patio with a bubbling fountain, as well as a wooden terrace.
The guy at the Garden Club calls it “a classic ‘cottage garden’ look. It’s so pretty!
Pat and Jodie Cascio House, 9827 Third Ave. in Pleasant Prairie. The couple attributes the “whimsical creativity” of their gardens to their “past experiences, their family and their dreamy imaginations.”
Their garden “started almost 10 years ago with a blank slate, an enthusiastic gardener and a grass cutter.”
Today, this âvirgin slateâ shelters âhundreds of varieties of plants, several flower beds and a variety of trees decorating our yardâ.
As the gardens grew in size, the Cascios became vertical to capture more space, including tall columns of self-watering planters.
Home of Kris and Randy Rich, 9902 11th Avenue in Pleasant Prairie. âWe bought our house 14 years ago from a nice couple who loved gardening,â said Kris Rich. Rich thought that “it would be an easy task to take care of someone’s existing gardens”, but found out “how wrong I was.”
The Rich have spent the past 14 years “pulling, moving, sharing and composting plants”, with Kris Rich adding that “every minute has been a labor of love.”
Now their huge vegetable garden “feeds my family, friends and family of friends – and what is left I can and I keep,” said Kris Rich.
Ruth and Tom Clark House, 6861 Third Ave. in Kenosha. âIn the more than 30 years that we have lived in this house, our garden has changed and evolved many times,â said Ruth Clark.
She calls their garden a series of âhappy accidents,â with plants shared by neighbors and an old sandbox turning into their granddaughter’s vegetable garden. These âhappy accidentsâ also apply to Tom Clark’s mosaic pieces, created from broken porcelain. Look for his works of art throughout the garden.
Heather Carnevale’s house, 1709 79th St. in Kenosha. Carnevale calls his garden ‘January dreams’, talking about the dream of creating an English rose garden after moving into the house in January 2011.
Since then the garden has blossomed and now boasts over 100 roses, with varieties such as English teas, hybrids, floribundas, grandifloras, shrubs and vines.
“My other love is lilies,” Carnevale said, and – thanks to his collection – “the scent of lilies wafts through the neighborhood every summer.”
Liz and Paul Dutton House, 1923 81st Street in Kenosha. “This is the second time that I have taken the garden tour,” said Liz Dutton, “and since then I have doubled the size of my garden.”
Working on such a large garden, she explained, âis not work; that’s how I play. Gardening centers me. It is a fundamental and comforting need for me.
She has “been planting this property for over 30 years, and I continue to plant.” Its objective is to “build a garden that continues to bloom from March to November”. Her gardening style, she added, is “a beautiful imperfection.”
Pat Haun and Belinda Grantham House, 8323 43rd Ave. in Kenosha. When they bought their home, the backyard was so overgrown, a shed was completely hidden, and a thistle weed “was so established,” Belinda Grantham said, “that it had to be cut down. with an ax to be removed “.
Their goal, she added, “is to make our front yard inviting and our back yard relaxing.”
The tour is the gardening club’s main fundraiser each year. Profits are used to support community and scholarship efforts.