by Micah Putman, Park Supervisor
As Park Supervisor, I have the opportunity and privilege to work in the Formal Gardens and around the developed grounds of the 1,500 acre estate that is Allerton Park. I am able to witness Park visitors exploring and immersing themselves in one of the best examples of landscape architecture in Central Illinois. I also get to work alongside many talented individuals, our dedicated volunteers, on a variety of projects. One recent project is the renovation of Robert Allerton’s original Bulb Garden.
The Bulb Garden has been in disrepair for some time and has recently been given new life. With generous funding from the Chancellor’s Office, we were able to hold a design competition among landscape architecture students to identify an updated, practical garden design. Mitchell Heiar’s winning design brings in a new feel to the garden while using classic elements and growing into, but not overshadowing, the historical space.
The garden renovation has been divided into phases, to be implemented as funding becomes available. The first phase, funded by the 2014 and 2015 Garden Party fundraisers, along with donations from our Friends of Allerton, was completed last Fall, coming in at a cost of around $20,000. A new winding sidewalk was completed in about a month by Allerton’s garden crew, in collaboration with University concrete workers.
The final phase of the project will include planting a large variety of year-round bulbs and herbaceous perennials with many show-stopping colorful bulbs for Spring and Summer. Phase two has an estimated cost of $40,000, and funding will once again come from the Garden Party and individual donors. If you would like to be a part of this exciting new renovation please contact us, and we can make you a part of our crew – maybe I will even let you drive the skid loader!
Click here to help support Phase two of the Bulb Garden renovation!