June weather in Illinois is some of the best of the year. After our overly wet spring, I am sure most area gardeners are looking forward to sunny skies ahead and anxious to wrap any spring gardening plans that were delayed.  Sunny June skies will be a welcome addition to the 2019 Vermilion County Garden Walk as last year was a bit rainy.   This year’s event features a number of garden spaces that Master Gardeners are well acquainted with, but the general public often doesn’t visit. 

For gardeners, weeds represent one of our biggest challenges each growing season.  These formidable foes are relentless in their quest to invade spaces and rob the plants we love of precious water and nutrients.  Left unchecked they are equipped to out compete and shade out our garden plants and veggies, consuming the space for themselves.  Some basic understanding of weed lifecycles can go a long way in the yearly battle to maintain our gardens and landscapes.

Since its beginnings in 1997, the Idea Garden has been maintained by the Champaign County Master Gardeners and ever-improved throughout the years.   This beautiful, yet educational, community garden has grown to occupy over 15,000 square feet of the University of Illinois Arboretum, near the corner of Lincoln and Florida Avenue in Urbana. 

The Douglas Discovery Garden is an outstanding gem of Vermilion County and the Danville area.  It offers a wide variety of gardening applications for area residents to observe and learn from so they can apply these practices in their own gardens.  The beautiful space also has an interesting history of learning behind it, or some may say underneath it.

Master Gardeners across Champaign, Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties are planning a great line up of Garden Walks in the coming few weeks.  These events offer a wonderful opportunity to observe the diversity and individuality of garden spaces designed by a wide range of area gardeners.  All the gardens included in these events were selected based on their exemplary display and unique features.  Participants are encouraged to ask questions and take pictures as each Garden Walk was designed to inspire new ideas among beginning and avid gardeners alike.  

About forty-five years ago, two Extension Educators in the state of Washington met to brainstorm ideas and solve a problem they both shared.  David Gibby and Bill Scheer were both Extension Educators in the Seattle metropolitan area and were looking for ways to handle the overwhelming public demand for information about urban horticulture.