The 2015 Garden Walk

Last Saturday, July 11th, the sun was shining and there wasn’t a rain cloud in sight! It was perfect weather for the 16th Annual Garden Walk in DeKalb County. This year, there were 7 gardens to visit, plus a bonus garden!


A great advertisement around the square Downtown Auburn

This event was founded by Shelley and Kent Johnson as a fundraiser for the DeKalb High School Show Choirs. Shelley Johnson will be starting her 31st year with the Classic Connection Choir and 29th year with the Sound Sensation Choir. All proceeds of the Garden Walk go to the singing groups who have won 7 state championships!

My first stop was at the Johnson residence! There, I purchased my ticket and walked around their spacious and beautiful backyard, full of blooming flowers, decor, and a neat shed. Shelley said she is very interested in floral design and has even taken classes for it.

As she walked around her stunning garden, she headed to the big pine tree and lifted a branch to uncover a whimsical “fairy garden” that she created herself!

The Fairy Garden

The Fairy Garden

I also noticed an adirondack chair from a previous “Outdoor Summer Art Exhibit” surrounded by bright flowers, and she said a show choir member purchased it for her. “Everything has a story,” Johnson said as she strolled through her masterpiece and pointed out certain objects and plants.


The Adirondack Chair in Johnson’s garden

She also answered a very difficult question: What is your favorite flower in your garden? Surprisingly, she answered quite fast: the “Blackberry Lily.”


Beautiful “Blackberry Lily”

After leaving the Johnson residence and visiting a few more garden walk locations, I found myself at Tom and Tonya Whitaker’s garden, which was very unique and memorable! Tonya has Indiana Wild Flowers growing in her back yard. This garden is even certified as a NWF (National Wildlife Federation) Backyard Habitat Program.

The Wild Flowers in the Whitaker's backyard

The Wild Flowers in the Whitaker’s backyard (Photo taken by Tanya Whitaker)

Bright Purple and Yellow Wild Flowers (photo taken by Tanya Whitaker)

Bright Purple and Yellow Wild Flowers (Photo taken by Tanya Whitaker)

Tanya told us that she had them planted by Hartland Restoration Services in Fort Wayne, and it was quite the process! This company brought in all sorts of tools and equipment to plant the wildflowers.

A butterfly enjoying the wild flowers (photo taken by Tanya Whitaker)

A butterfly enjoying the wild flowers (Photo taken by Tanya Whitaker)

This year’s Garden Walk was a success, thanks to the nice summer weather and lovely gardens! Head to to see upcoming events around DeKalb County.


About Visit DeKalb County

Welcome to the official blog of the DeKalb County Visitors Bureau. Nestled in the North East Corner of Indiana are ten communities that all share a common bond. And that bond is DeKalb County. Our job at the DeKalb County Visitors Bureau is to showcase all of the experiences the county has to offer and one of the many ways we do that is by blogging. Each of our blogs tells a different story of DeKalb County and we hope that by sharing these stories and events it will encourage people from all over the world to visit the place we call home.
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