The Garden Walk returns for its sixth annual blooming this Saturday. Sponsored by the Historical Society of Forest Park the self-directed walk will lead you to various and varied gardens across the village.

The walk runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 15. Ticket holders will pick up their guidebooks at Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore, 7419 Madison St. An afterparty will be held at McGaffers Saloon, 7737 Roosevelt Rd., starting at 4 p.m.

Tickets are $15 but rise to $20 for day of event purchase.

The walk is an opportunity for gardeners to see how neighbors use their space, said Forest Park homeowners Ramona Ramos-Sullivan and James Sullivan. Since the couple first volunteered at a garden walk five years ago, they have been inspired to experiment with Coleus, add windchimes and gazing balls, and grow more vegetables. 

Alexis Ellers | A preview of the garden of Linda Anderson, 1010 Troost, Forest Park

“You’re going to find all different kinds of things,” said Ramos-Sullivan. “You’re going to see how people grow vegetables in our area, how some people incorporate natives. I know a couple of people have had ponds. You’re going to see something that you can take and make it work in your yard.”

The garden walk will also offer inspiration for architecture buffs. Actors Michael and Megan Brown will be inviting participants to tour the first floor of their 3-bedroom house on Circle Avenue which was built in 1898. 

Homeowner Linda Andersson’s bright garden is tucked behind her striking 1937 house. “I like to call it an English Tudor cottage,” said Andersson, “but I don’t know for sure if that’s what it is.” 

The house, brown brick with black trim and colorful stained-glass windows, is rumored to have been designed by architect Roscoe Harold Zook, “but we don’t have any evidence,” said Andersson.

For some homeowners, gardening can be a way to connect to create a peaceful sanctuary within an urban environment.

Growing up, Ramos-Sullivan’s family was “always gardening.” “About (15) years ago, I lost my uncle. He was a very big gardener,” she said. “My aunt dug up a lot of his plants and gave them to me, so we have a lot of his plants here. It’s nice to have something to remember him by.”

Alexis Ellers | A preview of the garden of Linda Anderson, 1010 Troost, Forest Park

Andersson said she grew up visiting her “old maid aunts’” farm in southern Indiana. “I used to collect the eggs from the hen house,” said Andersson, “and I also plucked feathers out of the chicken we ate for dinner. I really did have a bit of a farm experience as a child.” Now, she collects fresh vegetables and herbs from her garden to use in her own kitchen.

The Browns described a similar experience. Michael Brown said the two, having grown up in rural settings, have tried to create a forest-like environment in their garden. “You can sit in the backyard and maybe forget that you’re in the middle of a city,” said Michael Brown.

The best part of the garden, said the Brown’s son Mack, is the raspberry bush. “Last year when the kids were going to school, the first week of school we got a frost and the raspberries got frost on them,” said Megan Brown. “We grabbed raspberries off the bush on the way to school. It was like the best thing I’ve ever tasted.”

Similarly, since the Sullivans moved into their house five years ago, they have transformed the yard into their “oasis.” Ramos-Sullivan said she wanted to show fellow gardeners what was possible to accomplish within a short period of time. “We both work full time,” said Ramos-Sullivan. “It’s not like we’re out there every single day, working for hours and hours.” 

The Browns said that after they signed up to show off their garden in the walk, they have experienced a lot of support from neighbors. “When we worked on the porch this spring, people would walk by every day and give a thumbs up,” said Megan Brown. “I like that sense of community and this way of meeting people.”

Tickets can be found here: