As all good Midwesterners know, when those first 60-degree weather days begin to appear, our beautiful local gardens aren’t far behind. At least that’s what the co-chairs for the Garden Walk sponsored by the Junior Garden Club of Lake Forest hope.
“This year we made it our goal to showcase gardens from all over Lake Forest,” says co-chair Kristin McCain, who is at the helm of this event with Becky Nagle and Lana Raines. “We have gardening gems on both the east and west sides of our incredible community and we can’t wait to show them off.”
The June 14 garden walk will feature five stunning Lake Forest grounds under the theme “East Lake Forest Meets West Lake Forest.” Representatives from award-winning landscapers will be on hand to answer questions at their featured gardens. As a bonus, two of the gardens belong to club members. Mariani Landscape and Arrow Land and Structures are lead sponsors for this event.
“It was really important for us to find gardens that would inspire the master and amateur gardeners alike,” adds Raines. “Any nature lover or outdoor enthusiastic will enjoy the mix of outdoor entertaining elements and our expert gardeners will appreciate one of the garden’s that has more than 500 different varieties of hosta.”
In its 65th year, the Junior Garden Club supports local civic beautification and conservation efforts, including causes like Land Forest Open Lands educational intern program and its work with invasive species removal efforts. It also supports Elawa Farm, Neal Math & Science Academy’s student greenhouse, Forest Park, Deerpath Middle School’s garden club, Chicago Botanic Garden’s greenhouse revitalization, and other educational efforts focusing on gardening and local food initiatives. The Junior Garden Club maintains Lake Forest’s Belvedere Garden, a native Illinois garden showcase at the steps of Lake Forest Park Beach.
The club’s Garden Walk is its primary fundraiser and occurs every other year. With 110 members ranging in age from 30 to 70, the Junior Garden Club of Lake Forest meets on the third Wednesday of every month. The gardening acumen of club members varies as widely as the demographics of the group.
“Aside from our informative monthly meetings and the fabulous women in the Junior Garden Club, raising funds to support local endeavors is so positive,” says Nagle. “It’s a joy to work with the schools and to underscore love for their garden and vegetable spaces. Places like Forest Park not only benefit from some financial support but hands-on efforts from us working to enhance their beauty.”
The Junior Garden Club of Lake Forest will honor the memory of a beloved club member and local florist, Alison Buck, who often presented at monthly meetings and provided members much inspiration. Her memory will continue through the club’s support of Elawa Farm’s new florist in residence program.
The Garden Walk is a self-guided tour and will include a boutique with an open-seating luncheon at 300 N. Green Bay Road from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guests are encouraged to tour at their own pace and stop by for lunch anytime between noon and 1:30 p.m.
Just outside the luncheon, the Garden Walk will also feature a boutique with such vendors as Designs by Pinky, Seasons 440, and Barbie Cobbs sunhats. There will also be a raffle with fun prizes from Chalet and Pasquesi Home & Gardens to name a few. Advance ticket prices are $65 for the Garden Walk or $110 for the Luncheon and Garden Walk.
For more information or to buy tickets, visit jrgardenclublf.com.