La Paloma Gardens

3622 Brookview Road
Rockford, IL 61107



The property was a Marsh family farm.  In the 1920’s it was part of the original Edgebrook Subdivision developed by notable Rockford architect, Jesse Barloga.  As such, it was part of the Edgebrook golf course.  The course began at Brookview Roadand Springcreek Road, turned at Alpine Road and ended at the present day Edgebrook shopping center.  The barns are built atop the first hold sand traps.

Harding’s owned three of the original lots.  The fourth, The Fairbairn property was acquired in 1994.  Today, the gardens comprise less than five acres.

The gardens began most inauspiciously in 1985 with five roto-tilled rows carved out of the Harding children’s former horse paddock.  The incredibly rich solid produced atomic vegetables that first year and Ben and Karen Harding were really “hooked” on gardening and the rest, as they say, is history.  Landscape Architect Thomas Graceffa and Associates of Rockford, Illinois were engaged to develop and implement the master design scheme over the construction years that followed.

The first area of the gardens to develop was the formal vegetable garden which is fashioned after a favorite garden in France at Chateau Villandry.  It is a 60 x 60 feet square.  The sculptural fountain in the center is a yucca filamentosa by Lee Blackwell of Tuback Arizona.  The formal construction was completed in 1987 with semi-permanent plantings of perennials and the annual plantings of vegetables and flowers.

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