Playful, colorful gardens in bloom for Knox Garden Walk July 10 in Naperville

From a waterfall surrounded by gorgeous hostas and annuals to a garden designed as a healing, spiritual sanctuary, the Knox Garden Walk offers glimpses into six spectacular — and very different — backyards.



Lynne’s Secret Garden boasts a water cascade, mature hostas and trees along with an abundance of cheery annuals.
– Courtesy of Knox Garden Walk


The Garden Walk, now in its fourth year, will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, July 10, on Naperville’s southeast side.

The Presbyterian Women of Knox Presbyterian Church hosts this fundraiser to benefit Northern Illinois Food Bank. Last year’s walk was canceled due to the pandemic.

Advance tickets are $15, available online at knoxpres.org until 3 p.m. Friday, July 9. Day-of admission is available for $20 (cash or check only) from 9 a.m. to noon at Knox Presbyterian Church, 1105 Catalpa Lane. Please have a face mask available and maintain a reasonable distance from one another.

For more information, call the Naperville church at (630) 355-8181.

One garden, “Full Circle” is a sanctuary of plants and sacred spaces. For 29 years they have been cultivating their garden space for relaxation, contemplation, and meditation. They began midwifing monarchs in 2006, and have let hundreds go since then. Hummingbirds are a regular guest enjoying a variety of both perennial and annual flowers.

The “Snug” garden is named after a playhouse turned garden storage. The landscape features a mix of annuals and perennials — bee balm, moon flower, hydrangea, and hostas. Tucked into the garden is a statue of St. Fiacre, the patron saint of gardeners.

The “Conservation at Home” garden is a generously-sized lot designated a “[email protected]” yard because the homeowners have used native woodland and prairie plants in developing a nature friendly landscape. The shaded garden with meandering natural paths features many varieties of hostas and ground covers. The lot is home to many tree species, including burr and red oaks, shagbark hickory, American beech, American elm, cottonwood, redbuds and many more.

“A Pinch of This & That” garden started 33 years ago with a skinny maple in the backyard and sun everywhere. As the yard has gone from sunlit to shade, the homeowner has accumulated many plants and hardscape from neighbors over the years. “If someone is splitting a plant, I’ll give it a try. If a neighbor puts their lawn furniture at the curb, we bring it home and paint it. In fact, our backyard boardwalk used to be our neighbor’s deck.”

“The Garden Mom” is a whimsical family garden that mixes formality with function. Two espalier apple trees, a raised bed kitchen garden or potager with the icing on the cake: a suburban chicken coop. The homeowner/blogger (thegardenmom.com) has created a landscape that is “more ornamental than mini-farm,” she says, with an extensive shade garden and an English style perennial border. There is also a “rose collection dedicated to all the important women in my life.” She has more than 80 varieties of hostas and 20 varieties of clematis.


Lynne's Secret Garden is a panoramic garden in a lush and colorful landscape.


Lynne’s Secret Garden is a panoramic garden in a lush and colorful landscape.
– Courtesy of Knox Garden Walk


“Lynne’s Secret Garden” is a panoramic garden in a lush and colorful landscape, enhanced by a waterfall that cascades into a pond extending across several backyards. Steps beside the falls lead to Piazza Del Mar (open square by the sea), a perfect place to gather and admire the variety of annuals and perennials. Another vantage point, Luna Del Lago (moon over the lake), was built by the homeowner “where one can fish, watch the ducks or geese swim by, or catch the turtles sunning themselves.”

A favorite plant is a short-lived, 100-year-old antique white peony. “I am also a serious fan of my Grandmother’s favorite, a fully open pink rose,” the homeowner says.