At first glance, the Jantze residence in Riverside is a lovely French-style brick home with a three-car garage winding around its side. However, the real fun begins once the door to the backyard swings open where a rectangular pool and Charleston-influenced formal garden are found, comprising a panoramic one-two punch.

“You can’t really tell what’s back here when you drive by the house,” said Kirsten Jantze, who is married to Mark Jantze. “A lady once said, ‘It’s like a resort back here.'”

That apt description served as the impetus to designate the Jantze garden as the “Hidden Resort,” one of eight themed gardens on display during the Destination Riverside – Garden Walk and Faire hosted by the Riverside Garden Club on Sunday, June 28 from 1 to 5 p.m..

Other stops along the walk include: “California Dreaming” (256 Scottswood), “Garden Room by Room” (150 Akenside), “French Quarter (250 North Delaplaine), “Gardening the ‘Wright’ Way (281 Bloomingbank), “Sonoma Afternoon” (314 Scottswood), “Bringing Nature Home” (380 Fairbank) and “The Great Outdoors” (244 Fairbank).

The Jantze garden, a visual delight with over 35 perennials including knockout roses, Siberian iris and assorted daylilies immaculately edged by boxwoods, reflects the formal gardens of the South.

The serene mix of purple, pink, yellow and lavender perennials mesh perfectly with the home’s stately architecture.

“I’m pretty good about visualizing,” Kirsten Jantze said. “For me, gardening is a way to be creative. I’ve loved gardening since I was a little girl when my grandma had big vegetable and flower gardens.”

Another must-see destination along the walk will be Mitch and Joan Weiss’ “California Dreaming” garden. The Weiss’ garden reflects a carefree feeling with an emphasis on greenery that changes color with the seasons.

Brilliant hostas with large, rounded leaves are prevalent in the garden, along with astilbe, goat’s beard and a trumpet vine in memory of Joan Weiss’ father who passed away in 2009. Ornamentals birds are scattered throughout the garden, adding splashes of color and whimsy.

To enhance the “sunshine” theme for their presentation, the Weisses are planning beach music, a lifeguard’s chair, and other “back to the beach” trinkets.

“This is our first time with the garden walk,” Joan Weiss said. “It’s a good cause, and I feel like you’re doing the community a service. It’s fun and entertaining, so why not?”

Along with the garden walk, a first-time faire will be held on the lawn of the Riverside Presbyterian Church, 116 Barrypoint Road.

Twenty-four vendors and artisans will offer art glass, pottery, painted furniture, jewelry, handbags, gift cards, home decorations, ornamental garden iron, mosaic plant stands, perennials and planted garden containers.

The faire, which will run from noon to 6 p.m., will also feature a series of “ask the expert” demonstrations about various gardening topics between 12:15 to 2:15 p.m. Food will be available for purchase from Jem Café (starting at noon) and the Steve Cooper Orchestra will provide entertainment from 3 to 6 p.m.

“This year’s garden walk and faire offers something for everybody,” said Susan Deems-Dluhy, a Riverside Garden Club member. “It will be a fun, interesting day with beautiful gardens, shopping, food and music for people who enjoy gardening or just want to be outside enjoying the event.”

Presale tickets ($15) for the garden walk are available at the Riverside Public Library, 1 Burling Road; Shamrock Garden Florist, 18 E. Burlington St.; or by contacting Sheila Gentile at 442-1778 or

On the day of the event, tickets can be purchased for $20 at either the garden faire or any of the homes of the gardens. The faire is free.

Money raised from the event funds the Riverside Garden Club’s education and donation projects which benefit the community.