Ah, gardens! Nothing says summer like a garden full of texture and color. Central Illinois has a few formal gardens and Dave visited them all, I think, on his search for this PDT. He went to Luthy Botanical Garden in Peoria a few times and we all went to Allerton Park in Monticello, IL, but alas there are even a few hidden gems around Peoria and thanks to a great suggestion by local photographer, David Zalaznik who suggested that we stop to see the beautiful personal garden of Gregg Florist owner, Dan Callahan. I have to say, it was a real treat to not only see the gorgeous garden itself, but also to meet Dan. He was very generous to let Dave and I wander his personal backyard garden and discover all of it's hidden gems. I was excited, because that is the great thing about photography, sometimes you just get meet some really cool people and see really cool places. I do admit that after we were pretty much done shooting and hanging out with Dan, he tells us that the 1920's era house and garden have already been photographed by a well known home and garden magazine. Wow, no pressure right? Both of our shots are from Dan's garden. There was a neat stone wall that edged the entire backyard and one of the immediate features we both noticed was this great garden gate full of character. Another notable feature was the owl statue centered in the garden. The owl was very intricate and a great conversation piece. We even learned from Dan that it lights up at night. A sight to see, I'm sure. Sorry big formal gardens. You lost out this time to the intimacy and charm of a home garden. Formal enough to be beautiful, but laid back enough to be a place to sit outside in the evening and drink wine on the patio.
I have to give a big thank you to David Zalaznik for the suggestion and to Dan Callahan for being so hospitable on a hot summer day and for letting us spend a little time in his world. We both appreciate it.
Here are a few more shots that I enjoyed from Dan's garden.