Description from the 2011 Will County Master Gardeners Garden Walk:
If you’re interested in growing edibles, then Chez Rea is the home to visit because the heart of Debbie Rea’s garden is her kitchen garden.
First, however, you’ll see the FRONT YARD PERENNIAL GARDEN, planted in 2008. A garden designer helped to shape these beds and choose plants that would look good year round on both the shady and sunny sides.
Down the driveway is the utility area and plant hospital. Then through the arbored gate and behind the brightly painted shed is the Chez Rea KITCHEN GARDEN, decorated with antique farm and garden tools and guarded by a Mrs. Greenbeans. Built in 1999, its raised beds hold 375 sq. ft. of growing space: two beds of fruit, six 4’x10’ beds where vegetables are rotated around each year, and a larger bed for herbs and edible flowers. This year Debbie is growing 23 different varieties of tomato, most of them heirlooms and all of them started from seed.
Don’t skip a visit to the deck at the other end of the backyard. There you’ll see the colorful CONTAINER GARDEN where Debbie tries to achieve her annual goal of a “flower bestrewn” deck. It is the perfect backdrop for summer entertaining and serving delicacies—made with things grown in the kitchen garden, of course. Each evening spent there is a mini vacation!
Between the kitchen garden and the deck you’ll pass a small COTTAGE STYLE FLOWER GARDEN. Many plants have come and gone over the years—some from friends, some from garden club sales and door prizes, and some from nursery centers. The rest of the backyard is still undeveloped garden (a.k.a. lawn).