Kay Gilliland has lived in her home in Savoy for 26 years but never gardened until seven years ago, when construction of a new barn-type building in the backyard left her with an awkward space not big enough for a lawn.
She started planting perennials and found that working with the plants is not really work, but relaxation.
Gilliland especially enjoys the early mornings, when she will spend two to three hours in the garden before the day gets too hot. Although her garden is a self-described small area, Gilliland finds it peaceful, with the sounds of the water in the fountain and the birds.
Roses are Gilliland’s favorite flower, but you won’t find any in her garden.
“I don’t have any because they are sticky and I don’t like working around them,” she said.
She advises new gardeners to start the way she did: Buy a book about plants that thrive in the Midwest and “Read, read, read.”
She also warns new gardeners to be careful of invasive plants, like ivies and some types of daisies, as they can take over your whole garden very quickly.