Saturday, June 09, 2012
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Glorious Garden Festival Garden Walk June 15-16 in Bloomington-Normal

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[June 09, 2012]  BLOOMINGTON-NORMAL -- Garden lovers can put on their walking shoes and discover the splendor of Bloomington-Normal's hidden treasures during the 16th annual Glorious Garden Festival Garden Walk scheduled for June 15 from 1 to 8 p.m. and June 16 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The popular event hosted by the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site showcases some of the twin cities' best gardens.

This year's event provides walk-through tours of nine private gardens throughout the community, located within convenient driving distance from one another. The event will be held rain or shine.

The walk is a fundraiser for the David Davis Mansion Foundation, which provides private support for the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site.

From the whimsical to the classical, this year's gardens offer an abundance of flowers, water features, garden art and unique plants. The tour begins with a show-stopping garden on Sunset Road, along with the first floor of the owner's home. Other stops include an English-style garden, a suburban garden inspired by the owner's rural heritage and an expansive garden featuring outdoor living spaces.

This year's theme, "Garden Sampler," is a reminder that there are creative similarities between needlework and gardening. Like samplers, gardens can be commemorative, therapeutic or decorative works of art expressing the personality of the designer.

Some of the nurseries will have experts on hand to provide information about the plants and design techniques used in the gardens.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 the weekend of the event and $7 for children ages 1-17. They may be purchased in advance at Garlic Press, Green View Cos. and Schnucks Supermarkets in Normal; and at Casey's Garden Shop, the Copy Shop, Grieder Sod and Landscaping, Growing Grounds, Schnucks Supermarkets, Sunburst Nursery/Penn Landscaping, Wendell Niepagen Greenhouses, and the David Davis Mansion in Bloomington. Tickets may also be purchased online at or at the David Davis Mansion the weekend of the event.

The garden walk begins on the grounds of the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site at 1000 Monroe Drive in Bloomington. Easy ticket and map pickup with drive-thru service and free parking on the mansion grounds are available during the entire event weekend.

Garden walkers may also shop at the gardeners' marketplace on the mansion lawn. Some of the vendors and artisans offering a variety of plants and garden-related products for sale during the two-day event at the David Davis Mansion are All Glass Flowers, Bellas Home & Garden, Ecology Action Center, Fused Glass, ISU Horticulture Center, Jim's Ornamental Garden Iron, and craft demonstrations by Joe Ramholz and Mike McCarthy.

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Visitors may also enjoy complimentary tea and desserts served under a tent on the mansion lawn. Tours of Sarah's Garden will be conducted by members of the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners in McLean County, and visitors can learn from these experts how to make their own Victorian gardens using heirloom plants from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and other famous American gardens. Guided tours of the Davis Mansion will also be offered. WJBC-AM and FM will do a live remote broadcast from the lawn of the Davis Mansion during the garden walk.

Corporate sponsors for the Glorious Garden Festival are Casey's Garden Shop, Chizmar Landscaping, Green View Companies, Grieder Sod & Landscaping, Growing Grounds, Original Smith Printing, Sunburst Nursery/Penn Landscaping, Wendell Niepagen Greenhouses and Garden Center, WJBC-AM 1230 and FM 93.7, and Zimmerman & Armstrong Investment Advisors.

During the past 16 years, more than 15,000 visitors have toured more than 150 of Bloomington-Normal's most beautiful private gardens during the Glorious Garden Festival, netting nearly $164,000 for the nonprofit David Davis Mansion Foundation and David Davis Mansion State Historic Site.

This year's event proceeds will enable the David Davis Mansion to continue the restoration of the historic Sarah's Garden, a long-term project that involves ongoing research and the reintroduction of difficult-to-find heirloom plants and seeds. Proceeds will also be used to develop new school programs featuring the garden and to help keep the mansion open to the public.

The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site, administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, was built in 1872 for Supreme Court Justice David Davis and his wife, Sarah. The site is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for free public tours.

[Text from file received from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency]

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