Sunday, July 27, 2008

More Garden Walks

The Neville Garden

The Neville’s moved to a smaller home on this Kane County property in 1976 and then to a bigger house on the property in 1989. The garden has been a work in progress ever since.
Whereas the Hartmann garden is an oasis of peace and tranquility, this garden is ablaze with color. I particularly loved the annual bed of cosmos and annual poppies that greets guests as they arrive and the well placed statuary and other permanent structures found throughout the gardens. The butterfly and hummingbird perennial garden was also well done.

The main interest on this property is the 2-acre native garden. Carved out of farm acreage, this native area is truly a labor of love. Once established, native gardens such as this are fairly easy to maintain, but getting to that point involves a lot of weeding and removal of unwanted plants.
As if the ornamental beds aren’t enough, the Neville’s also have a large vegetable garden. I was pleased to see them using the "Better Reds" plastic mulch around the tomatoes. University research has shown that using the red mulch reduces nematode growth and reflects light rays back up to the plant resulting in greater growth above ground. The upshot is that production is increased and Mrs. Neville reports similar findings.
Gail Johnson
Anyone who drives down Pomeroy Street in Crystal Lake has seen Gail’s front garden and the back is just as pretty and well maintained. It has been featured on Master Gardener Garden Walks before and this year was on the Countryside Pond Tour. For a small city lot, Gail has packed in a lot of plants and features.
The pond in her garden is not the main attraction, but it does add an element of calm and one can imagine unwinding after a stressful day at work with a glass of wine.
We get a lot of inquiries at Countryside about wisteria and there are several varieties of wisteria that will grow here. Gail purchased this one at Countryside several years ago and it is thriving. The variety is "Aunt Dee." Like all wisterias, this variety prefers deep, moist well drained soil however it blooms while still very young. Most wisterias are very slow to establish and don’t bloom until they are 5-7 years old! Gail is quite the plant collector and she loves roses, especially rugosas.
To see more pictures of the gardens I visited, click here. Also, don't forget the Open Day at Ball Seed in West Chicago on August 3.

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