Exactly eight miles outside of downtown Madison sits the luscious lakeside home of Jim and Jean Halpin. A truly spectacular little jaunt winds through rolling, gorgeous rural scenery, until hitting the backside of the golf course, right before arriving at the breathtaking views of 6793 Zimmerman Drive on Lake Madison. Immediately upon arrival, visitors can't help but appreciate the best of both worlds, as rural farmland transcends into a captivating, lakefront oasis.
Jean Halpin's garden pays tribute to her mother and sister, while also keeping her healthy and youthful, Halpin shared while walking the grounds. The hydrangeas are transplants from her mother's home, serving as a memorial to the woman to whom Halpin attributes her green thumb.
While visiting, Halpin deadheads her tiger lillies, hoping they'll bloom again for Sat., July 24. The garden is peaceful and vibrant, humming with happy pollinators and birds.
"Jim has handcrafted each bird house in the garden," Jean said with pride. Each decoration has a beautiful story, capturing a moment in the Halpins' shared life together. A child-sized, metallic blue angel smiles over the north garden, commemorating the birth of a granddaughter, now 30 years old. "Norman" is the wood gnome, which was purchased for the Halpins' wedding anniversary, who guards the entry to a wrap-around garden. Flowers bloom, taken from clippings out of Washington state, a gift from Halpin's sister. Each piece is carefully and intentionally selected, woven through time, with the artistry and storytelling of a quilt. The Halpin gardens truly have something for everyone to enjoy and be inspired by.
The Halpins are happy to share their little piece of paradise with the community on July 24 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the PEO Chapter BN Garden Walk, which is described as "an annual community fund-raising event for college scholarships awarded to local high school senior girls."
Halpin has worked tirelessly since the 1980s raising money and awareness for various community needs, including Parkinson's Disease, from which her late father suffered. The Halpins are delighted to help two lucky ladies from the community they've called home for more than 30 years.
Advance tickets for the Garden Walk can be purchased at Grapevines during regular hours or at Madison Nursery (after July 12 when they reopen). Tickets will also be available on the day of the event at any of the four garden locations. A chance to win a door prize will be included this year with each ticket purchased.
Other gardens on this year's tour belong to Bryan and Lana Zillgitt at 516 N. Division in Madison; Diane and Bill Bruns at 1029 N.E. 8th St. in Madison; and the Lakes Memorial Garden at Round Lake Dr., Lakes Golf Course.
Gardens may be toured in any order. The rain date is July 25 from 12-4 p.m.