House and Garden Walk with a Purpose

by Ann Grote-Pirrung

The doors to five exquisite and eclectic homes in Door County will be open to the public on Tuesday, July 31, for the 58th Annual Door County House and Garden Walk. Hosted by the Door County Medical Center Auxiliary, all profits from the event will go to the new DCMC Skilled Nursing Facility and Hospice Care Project.

The five properties, which extend north of Sturgeon Bay to Ellison Bay, all boast features “of interest,” according to Gloria Heck, committee chairwoman of the event. “The selection committee puts themselves in the shoes of the participants…what would we like to see if we came to Door County,” she said.

Heck said the homes chosen were not necessarily large, new homes but rather homes with history, beautiful views, sensitivity to the environment and unique features. “We look for homes that we feel represent Door County,” she said.  

This year’s featured homes are:

  • The Highlands Home, Bluff Ledge Road, Sturgeon Bay:  A 4,500-square-foot home, illustrating Craftsman style in flawless detail. Built in 2007, it was extensively renovated in 2017. Locally sourced stone is featured inside and out and the western exposure provides breathtaking sunsets. The landscaping is transitioning to native plants.  
  • C-Side Home, Horseshoe Bay Road, Egg Harbor:  A relatively new home, Heck calls it a “typical Door County Home,” it features an open concept with large windows and doors that look out into the bay of Green Bay. “They use a lot of Door County fieldstone in the fireplace and if you walk outside, it’s amazing. The view is just breathtaking,” she said.
  • Maple Landing Home, Cottage Row, Fish Creek:  Situated on one of the oldest streets in Fish Creek, this mid-century modern ranch cottage was built in 1959 for a furniture store owner from Milwaukee. Unique to this house is that most of the furniture in the living areas is original to the home. “When you walk in it looks like a retro ’50s cottage,” Heck said.
  • Nature’s Window Home, Orchard Road, Ephraim:  This home has spectacular views of both Green Bay and Horseshoe Island. The 10-year old home, built in modern Craftsman style, features walnut floors throughout the first floor and artworks and crafts by several renowned local artists are displayed throughout the home.
  • Crosswinds Cottage, County NP, Ellison Bay:  “This is a different house from all the others,” Heck said. “It’s what we call the DIY house.” Many of the improvements and furnishings in the house have been refurbished and repurposed by the owners.

Master gardeners will be on-site at the C-Side Home, Maple Landing Home and the Crosswinds Cottage to answer specific questions regarding the gardens. Heck said that while all the homes feature beautiful gardens, these homes in particular have what she describes as “captivating” gardens.

Another feature of the day is the Pop-Up Shop at Woodwalk Gallery, near Egg Harbor. Several of the gallery’s featured artists will be on site talking about their work and techniques. Master Gardener Chriss Daubner will display fairy gardens and cement art. There will also be special sweet treats like scones, cookies and chocolate bars from local food artisans. Tickets are not required for the Pop-Up Shop, but a percentage of the proceeds from sales will go to the House and Garden Walk cause.

Tickets cost $30 prior to the event and $35 on the day. They can be pre-purchased through July 27 at Door County Coffee and Tea, Door County Visitor Bureau, Jerry’s Flowers, Main Street Market, Door County Medical Center Gift shop and the main branch of Nicolet Bank and on the website

The House and Garden Walk will be held from 9 am to 5 pm. Participants may start at any one of the houses along the walk. Further information, including directions to the houses, is available on the website.

Heck expressed her gratitude for the graciousness of the homeowners and hard work of the 140 volunteers. She also expressed her appreciation for the sponsors, local business owners, local artists and master gardeners. “Without everyone’s help we couldn’t do it…we wouldn’t be able to raise the funds for this noteworthy cause,” she said.

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