From a bayou to a
dry creek bed, Porter County Garden Walk 2014 offers a wide variety of
garden settings to view and enjoy.
A large number of
unusual trees, Japanese maples, hydrangea and conifers are found throughout
the gardens. Artistic accents --- including metal sculpture, fountains and
whimsical yard art --- abound.
for sun, and textured ferns and hostas for shade, ramp up the energy in
borders and beds. Vegetable gardens, both prominent and hidden, will be on
The event takes
place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features four private
Chesterton-area gardens as well as an historic local mansion. Four
residential gardens in and near Valparaiso also will be open to the public
with an additional stop at a large community garden. The garden walk is
sponsored by Porter County Master Gardeners, who will be on hand at each
garden to answer questions. Find a favorite plant along the way and there’s
a good chance they can tell you what it is.
Some shrubs, trees
and perennials are recovering from the effects of the harsh winter. But that
makes it possible to notice other garden gems that otherwise may have been
garden has an international flair with seven themed beds bordered with 420
boxwoods. A woodland planting defies the misconception that shade gardens
are boring, and another area that wine bottles are only good for bottle
trees. Don’t miss a massive tree thought to be over 150 years old and a line
of trees imported from Holland and planted in 1901.
Opening its gate to
visitors is a Porter garden with unexpected trees like hickory pignut,
pink-flowering Hawthorn and four types of oak. Featuring both sun and shade,
this garden boasts award-winning hydrangeas, plant selections for extended
color and interest, and a collector’s touch for the unusual.
area gardener (who has a hosta named in his honor) rescued a stand of
conifers from a Wisconsin bulldozer and used them to border a hosta trail.
Large hostas are
the favorite but many varieties of eye-catching solid, corrugated and
variegated leaves grace this yard. A passion for hostas has expanded to
collecting and propagating its seed to beautify this hillside property that
overlooks a river’s original route.
Wee and winsome is
how another Chesterton garden is described.
Garden “rooms” are
used to maximize the yard’s impact and fool the eye. Both commercial and
personal ceramic art liven the beds. A dead tree is repurposed to support a
vine, a moist area was reclaimed through purposeful plantings, and learn
which plant is beaten with a broom in the spring.
appropriate selections are featured on a tour of a local mansion. The
gardener who tends the grounds will be present to explain his choices that
include castor bean, gas plant, blackberry lily and a surprise bed of new
plantings for the garden walk. Painted Tongue and Eyeball plants will bloom
later this summer.
residential Valparaiso gardens run the horticultural gamut by featuring
non-spreading bamboo as a groundcover, an example of layered “lasagna”
vegetable gardening, how to combine privacy with pleasing views, and a way
to direct stem growth to increase a conifer’s “wow” factor.
There’s also a fern
collection to see as well as an ash tree with pesticide injection devices to
thwart Emerald ash borers. Featured this year is an award-winning garden
landscaped with native plants; specimens were selected to attract songbirds
and provide them winter shelter. This garden also has a rare Kentucky
In the Duneland
area, advance garden walk tickets are available for $6 at Chesterton Feed &
Garden, 400 Locust St., and at Four Seasons Landscaping Nursery on U.S. 6
one mile east of Indiana 49. Additional sales sites are located throughout
Tickets will be $8
the day of the walk and may be purchased between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. in
Chesterton at the Westchester Township Historical Museum, 700 W. Porter
Avenue., and in Valparaiso at Fit City Community Garden, 3210 N. Campbell
information call 219-465-3555 or visit pcgarden.info.