20 Inspiring Chicago Bungalow Gardens

To show appreciation for the 20,000+ dedicated homeowners who have joined as members of CBA in 20 years, we are posting one blog each month in 2020 listing 20 things of interest to bungalow and vintage home owners. #Bungalow2020!

It's officially summer in Chicago, and gardens are in bloom! Across the city, Chicago bungalow owners are demonstrating their love for nature by beautifying their blocks with inspiring home gardens. Below, we've gathered just 20 of these gardens, which have recently received awards and recognition from the Chicago Bungalow Association.


Speaking of awards, it's Bungalow Garden Contest season! For the fourth Chicago summer in a row, the contest aims to celebrate the hard work of our members, and draw attention to how gardens not only enhance a home’s architecture, but can also promote a healthy ecosystem and uplift a community. Entries are being accepted now until 12pm on July 7th. (More contest details at the end!)


Flip through photo galleries below of 20 inspiring Chicago bungalow gardens, in order of most recently recognized:


1. Tommie Harris' Backyard

Recognition: 2019 Driehaus Awards, Winner in Landscape Design

2. Yvonne Perkins' Greenhouse

Recognition: 2019 Driehaus Awards, Winner in Green Project

3. Andrew & Lindsay McKone's Front Yard

Recognition: 2019 Bungalow Garden Contest, Winner in Front Garden

4. Michelle Weiner's Backyard

Recognition: 2019 Bungalow Garden Contest, Winner in Rear/Side Garden


5. Juan & Venus Rodriguez's Front Yard and Planter Boxes

Recognition: 2019 Bungalow Garden Contest, Winner in Window/Planter Boxes, and 2018 Bungalow Garden Contest, Winner in Front Garden

6. Nancy Jane Lauren's Front Yard

Recognition: 2019 Bungalow Garden Contest, Runner-Up in Front Garden

7. Nettie Parks' Backyard

Recognition: 2019 Bungalow Garden Contest, Runner-Up in Rear/Side Garden

8. Marybeth & Jo Dietz's Planter Boxes

Recognition: 2019 Bungalow Garden Contest, Runner-Up in Window/Planter Boxes

9. Douglas Boldt's Backyard

Recognition: 2018 Driehaus Awards, Winner in Landscape Design

10. Kimberly Diaz Hay's Backyard

Recognition: 2018 Bungalow Garden Contest, Winner in Rear/Side Garden

11. Eileen Kilroy's Planter Boxes

Recognition: 2018 Bungalow Garden Contest, Winner in Window/Planter Boxes

12. Troy Bryant's Planter Boxes

Recognition: 2018 Bungalow Garden Contest, Runner-Up in Window/Planter Boxes, and 2018 Driehaus Awards, Winner in Exterior Rehabilitation

13. Judy Ishii's Backyard

Recognition: 2018 Bungalow Garden Contest, Runner-Up in Rear/Side Garden

14. Jody Gross' Front Yard

Recognition: 2018 Bungalow Garden Contest, Runner-Up in Front Garden

15. Janet & Daniel McMahon's Rain Garden

Recognition: 2017 Driehaus Awards, Winner in Green Project

16. Pam Matthews' Front Yard

Recognition: 2017 Driehaus Awards, Honorable Mention in Landscape Design

17. Annie Picard's Planter Boxes

Recognition: 2017 Bungalow Garden Contest, Winner in Window/Planter Boxes

18. Pamela Dallas' Backyard

Recognition: 2017 Bungalow Garden Contest, Winner in Rear/Side Garden, and 2017 Driehaus Awards, Winner in Landscape Design

19. Maureen & Eamon Reilly's Front Yard

Recognition: 2017 Bungalow Garden Contest, Winner in Front Garden, and 2014 Driehaus Awards, Winner in Landscape Design

20. Brigitte Doherty's Front and Back Yard

Recognition: 2016 Driehaus Awards, Winner in Landscape Design


Each of these gardens was a labor of love, and we know yours is too. Show it off to inspire others, and for a chance to win some awesome prizes!


Enter the Contest


Another great reason to enter the contest is that for every eligible* garden contest entry we receive this year, $25 will be donated to South and West Side Chicago community gardens. (Do you know a community garden that could benefit from donations? Send us an email!)


*CBA-certified Chicago bungalow members are eligible to compete. Not sure if you’re eligible? Email us your name and address, and we’ll check your membership information.


There are 3 categories to compete in: Front Garden, Rear/Side Garden, and Window/Planter Boxes.


The winner in each category will receive: a $250 cash prize, a $150 gift certificate to City Grange garden centers (Beverly and Lincoln Square locations), a free 1-hour garden consultation ($100 value) and MODGY expandable flower vase from Prairie Godmothers, a personalized garden award plaque made by Craeft LLC, and a feature on our website and social media including a garden walk-thru video.


Additionally, 5 randomly selected entrants will be given a free rain barrel donated by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.


After CBA staff votes for the Top 10 gardens in each category, the public will vote online July 10-15 to decide the rest! Winners will be announced on July 27.


We can't wait to see your inspiring garden!

© 2020 Chicago Bungalow Association
Chicago Bungalow Association is an Illinois nonprofit corporation exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3)