Visiting Genevieve Green Gardens – Bloomington IL

After visiting a friend’s wedding in central Illinois, we stopped the following morning at the Genevieve Green Gardens in Bloomington.  What a delightful place!  Easy to navigate by foot, just follow the paved pathways around the grounds and take in the distinct garden areas nestled in the 6.5 acre setting.

A Peaceful Retreat

The Genevieve Green Gardens are a peaceful retreat created in honor of Visiting Genevieve Green Gardens BloomingtonGenevieve Carlock Green by her husband, the late Bruce V. Green.  The garden celebrates the seasons of Central Illinois and bloom times were carefully planned to celebrate our four distinct seasons in the Midwest.

On this lovely setting sits the Ewing Cultural Center, a majestic Channel-Norman style mansion located on the Sunset Hill estate of the late Hazle Buck Ewing. This beautiful manor (called the “Castle” by locals), is rich in local history, elegantly preserved and provides a scenic backdrop for weddings, concerts, the annual Illinois Shakespeare Festival and other events throughout the year.

Ewing Manor History …

Davis and Hazle Buck Ewing built Ewing Manor in 1928-29. The couple lived in influential circles. Davis was a cousin of Adlai Ewing Stevenson, an Illinois governor and Presidential candidate. Hazle was an heir to the Wrigley Chewing Gum family.

The gardens were created by the same landscape architect who also designed Springfield’s Lincoln Memorial Gardens.  Besides strolling the gardens, you can tour the inside of the manor with much of the home’s original furnishings intact. Hazle bequeathed Ewing Manor and the surrounding grounds to the ISU Foundation.

Explore the Themed Gardens

Along the pathway around the estate are several different themed gardens including a Compass Garden, Woodland Garden, the Moriyama Japanese Garden, a Shakespeare-themed Garden, and South Lawn Garden.

When we visited the roses were beginning to bloom, hearty hostas lined the paths, and the lawn appeared lushly green from all of the Spring rains.

The small, but well-tended Japanese Garden was a gift from Asahikawa, Bloomington-Normal’s sister city in Japan, and the Bloomington-Normal Sister Cities Committee.  It offers all the elements of a traditional Japanese garden: water, stones, bridge, lantern and plants.

Parking for Ewing Manor and Genevieve Green Gardens is conveniently located across the street at St. John’s Church parking lot.  The property is still owned by the Illinois State University Foundation.

The Genevieve Green Gardens are free and open to the public every day from 8:00 a.m. until dark.  Be mindful that pets are not allowed on the grounds and the property is a smoke-free environment. For more info, visit the Genevieve Green Garden site

A Little About the Bloomington-Normal Area …

Visiting Genevieve Green Gardens BloomingtonLocated in central Illinois about 1.5 hours from Chicago, the twin cities of Bloomington-Normal are perhaps best known for two landmarks headquartered there. First, it’s the home of State Farm Insurance, which has a huge presence here. The area is also home to Illinois State University, one of the largest public universities in the state …

Getting around the Bloomington-Normal area is pretty easy. Three large interstates intersect the cities, I-55, I-39 and I-74. Interstate 55 is probably the most traversed as it’s the primary route between Chicago and Springfield, the state capital …

How To Get There …

I-74 connects Peoria, IL with Indianapolis, IN while I-39 is a primary north – south route through Illinois. Reaching Genevieve Green Gardens is fairly simple … exit I-55 at Route 150 and head east. Locally Route 150 is known as Locust Street – simply take Locust Street until it dead ends at Towanda Avenue. Turn left and you’ll see the Ewing Cultural Center and Genevieve Green Gardens about six blocks ahead on your left …

Beer Nuts FlowerChick.comDid You Know … Bloomington-Normal is also home to an iconic snack food item, Beer Nuts! Yes, this tasty snack is produced here and tours of the factory and outlet store are available.  Fun fact!

We hope you found this post about the Genevieve Green Gardens and Bloomington-Normal, IL area interesting and helpful!  Let us know your thoughts and what you like about the area by visiting our contact page