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Posted on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 12:30 p.m.

Beautiful blooms on the Old West Side

By Julie Wiernik

After a rough day at work, you could come home and pop a beer. Or sip some chardonnay. Or here’s a third option: Take a stroll around the Old West Side and admire the beautiful blooms.

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The lilies are especially awesome right now — over near Wurster Park, homeowners have planted their extension lawns lush with lilies. On Fifth Street, one devoted gardener has window boxes spilling forth a botanical palette. On a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood, you’ll see nasturtiums, champion sunflowers, snapdragons and more. Black-eyed Susans are abundant and coneflowers are at their peak.

In a few front yards, moonflowers are unfolding. These mysterious flowers unfurl during the evening and glow in the moonlight. The large white bloom, before it opens, is perfectly folded like nature’s origami.

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Be sure to check out the edible landscaping tucked in along the way. Tasty treats like basil, swiss chard and sage are planted among the ornamentals. For more about the trend toward edible landscaping, you can read Joan Bailey, who writes a blog for Project Grow and also is a contributing blogger for
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Photos by Julie Wiernik 1. Lillies near Wurster Park 2. Moonflower getting ready to unfurl 3. Window boxes in bloom