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!
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!
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.
She also answered a very difficult question: What is your favorite flower in your garden? Surprisingly, she answered quite fast: the “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.
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.
This year’s Garden Walk was a success, thanks to the nice summer weather and lovely gardens! Head to dekalbcvb.org to see upcoming events around DeKalb County.