Lake County’s finest on display at Day in the Gardens

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Story image for Garden Supply from Chicago Tribune


In 2012,Lake County Master Gardeners Association opened its annual garden walk to the public.

Five years later, Purdue Master Gardeners present A Day in the Gardens on July 8 with nine stops in Crown Point, Dyer and Lowell.

“We are a day in the country and a day in the gardens,” said Elaine Hough, a master gardener and chairman of the Lake County Master Gardeners Association 2017 garden walk.

“They can take their time. There’s absolutely no place that they have to be at any certain time.”

Attending the garden walk can inspire some people to add elements to their backyards. One of the stops includes a Victorian claw-foot tub.

“She’s got it filled with flowers and it’s got a rubber ducky in it. It’s just whimsy,” said Hough, of Crown Point.

“A lot of people go for the beauty of it and to get ideas. They like to say, ‘Oh, I can do that.’ They’ll see a plant or flower they like. Sometimes they want to know the name of it or they’ll take a picture of it and take it to the nearest nursery and say, ‘I want one of these.'”

A Day in the Gardens includes a stop with a she shed, which is described as being similar to a man cave but geared more for a woman gardener.

Other features on the garden walk include a French potager garden, life-size bronze statues, fairy and pixie gardens, peacocks, and ponds.

“We have a hosta farm. He has thousands of hostas. His yard is beautiful. He has these gigantic elephant ears growing in his yards. He propagates his own hostas and he’s got them from itsy-bitsy to gigantic hostas,” said Hough, about one of the gardens in Lowell.

Violinist Kourt Bruder of Crown Point returns for A Day in the Gardens to perform from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

“She will be featured at one of the gardens in Crown Point. This is her third year. Now she’s studying biology at Purdue University in West Lafayette. She’s now with the Purdue Philharmonic Orchestra so she’s very good,” said Hough.

“We have some really wonderful gardens. We have a couple of waterfalls. We have a nice stream and you can take a walk in the woods along the stream and go to the lake. It’s really pretty nifty. Even though they’re different addresses, their backyards connect along the lake.”

On the day of the walk, tickets may be purchased in Crown Point at the Artful Garden, 118 S. Main St., and Niemeyer’s Landscape Supply, 810 N. Indiana Ave.; in Dyer at Elzinga Farm Market, 1587 Joliet St., and Walt’s Food Center at 1218 Sheffield Ave.; and in Schererville at the Secret Shed, 8125 Austin Ave.

Tickets also may be purchased in advance at those locations as well as Century II Insurance Agency, 322 E. Commercial Ave., Lowell, and Purdue Extension — Lake County, 2293 N. Main St., Crown Point.

“The flowers are out in full bloom,” said Hough about what A Day in the Gardens has to offer.

“There’s different plants. Just have a breath of fresh air out there. Come and enjoy the country and stay away from the hustle and bustle of real life.”

Upcoming Lake County Master Gardeners Association events include the fifth annual master gardener symposium on Sept. 16 at Avalon Manor Banquet Center in Merrillville. Tickets are $40 and include lectures, vendors and lunch.