Metro-East Living

See plenty of green in this shady oasis

Collinsville garden tour is Saturday

Shady oasis is one of eight to visit
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Shady oasis is one of eight to visit

When you’ve got too much shade in your backyard, what do you do?

In Lou and Jack Holverson’s case, they grew a garden.

“I gave up trying to grow grass there — the only place we have it is in the front,” said Lou, who has a fondness for perennials, in particular hostas. She’s managed to find some sunny spots for her other favorites, iris and day lilies. Plus, over the years there have been landscape additions, from terraces and two small bridges that Jack built, to a gazebo, pagoda and walking paths.

“The Holverson Hosta Haven,” as the wood sign reads in the yard, is one of eight gardens that will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday as part of the Collinsville 2016 Garden Tour.

The Holversons bought their 1931 home in Collinsville 10 years ago. Jack, 74, is retired from Caterpillar in Peoria. Lou, 74, was a stay-at-home mom.

“We moved here from Peoria to be close to family,” said Lou. That includes two children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren — all of whom live in Collinsville.

When the couple packed up their belongings and headed south, Lou took along 500 perennials she dug up and separated.

“I brought 500 with me, mostly hostas, but day lilies and iris came with me, too,” she said. Most ended up in her garden, but she also donated some for their son’s garden.

Jack is the designated weeder, plant mover and picker.

“He made a terrace out of free stuff,” she said, chuckling. He brought home rock from an apartment demolition site in St. Louis, with permission. When the city put in new sidewalks three years ago, he used the old concrete to build another terrace.

Lou said she’s been on plenty of garden tours and is looking forward to seeing what visitors think of their work.

“I think we’ve got a pretty unique place.”

Collinsville Garden Tour

  • What: Self-guided tour featuring eight gardens in Collinsville
  • When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday
  • Where: Starts at 303 N. Morrison Ave., where you can buy or trade-in advance ticket for a bracelet and tour guide
  • Tickets: $10 in advance; $12 day of the tour. Advance tickets sold in Collinsville at Creekside Nursery, The Flower Basket, the Chamber of Commerce office and Collinsville City Hall.
  • Details: Raffle drawing at 2:30 p.m.
  • Information: Collinsville Garden Tour on Facebook. Sponsored by the Collinsville Community Appearance Board with proceeds to benefit landscaping of the recently relocated D.D. Collins House.
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