The walk is a fundraiser for the
David Davis Mansion Foundation, which provides private support for
the state-operated David Davis Mansion State Historic Site in
This year’s Garden Walk offers tours of 12 private gardens at eight
stops in addition to a tour of Sarah’s Garden on the Mansion
grounds. Hours are 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, June 21, and
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 22. The Garden Walk will be
held rain or shine.
Tickets can be purchased through June 20 at the David Davis Mansion
Visitors Center and online at
mansion.org. The website also lists local vendors where
tickets can be purchased through 12:00 noon on June 20. Tickets
purchased at the gate on the two days of the event will be $20 for
adults and $10 for anyone under 18.
The theme of this year’s Garden Walk is “Welcome Summer!” featuring
a variety of beautiful do-it-yourself gardens, and some that have
had help from professional landscapers. All the gardens and yards
will give garden walkers creative ideas they can use at their own
This popular annual event supports the restoration and preservation
of Sarah Davis’s unique 1870s garden and raises community awareness
of the importance of gardening. Over the last two decades, the walk
has opened more than 200 private gardens to the public and attracted
more than 20,000 visitors.
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The garden walk begins on the grounds of the David Davis Mansion
at 1000 Monroe Drive in Bloomington, where maps of other event gardens will be
available. Members of the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners in
McLean County will conduct tours of Sarah’s Garden, and visitors can learn from
these experts how to design their own Victorian gardens using heirloom plants
from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and other famous American gardens.
Corporate sponsors for the Glorious Garden Festival are the Bloomington-Normal
Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Casey’s Garden Shop and Florist, Chizmar
Landscaping, Green View Companies, Growing Grounds Lawn and Garden Center and
Florist, Illinois Farm Bureau, Penn Landscaping and Sunburst Nursery, Serenity
Creek Design and Landscaping, Inc., Wendell Niepagen Greenhouses and Garden
Center, WJBC AM 1230, and Zimmerman and Armstrong Investment Advisors, Inc.
Supporting Sponsors are AB Hatchery and Garden Center and Busey.
The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site, administered by the Illinois
Department of Natural Resources, was built in 1872 for Supreme Court Justice
David Davis and his wife, Sarah. The site is open Wednesday through Saturday
from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for free public tours.