Your Town Friday: Living a Gardener’s Dream in Avon and a summer favorite in Hendricks County is this weekend

Avon, Ind. - For this week's Your Town Friday, we're continuing our tour of Hendricks County and heading to Avon.

The first settlement at Avon was made around 1830. The first Post Office there actually opened as "Smootsdale" and was soon renamed Avon! The town is home to about 16,000 people.

One Avon woman is living the dream of many amateur gardeners.

Karen Robbins calls herself a "plant-a-holic" and she has acres and acres to prove it.

"We have more than 2,000 varieties of annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees growing here on the property, so if you’re a nature lover or plant-a-holic like I am, then you should come out and walk through the gardens," said Robbins. "It’s truly an experience!"

Serene and superbly manicured, Avon Gardens spreads more than five acres.

Robbins could've never pictured it as she sold plants on the weekends 35 years ago.

"When I moved here 35 years ago, this was my grandparents property," said Robbins. "This was a hog farm my whole life growing up, so the first years that we lived here we had to do major renovations. We had to tear down some old buildings and remove five miles of interior fence row, so it was a large cleanup process and then as the cleanup process went along, it just seemed natural to add some flower beds in those areas."

As of today, Avon Gardens has been on 14 national plant tours. And just two weeks ago, Avon Gardens hosted the American Hosta Society National Convention.

"So we’re well-known in the plant world, but maybe just not quite as well-known in the area I live!"

"I actually grew up here in Avon, only a few years did I live in Clermont, so I’m a native. I graduated from Avon High School, and that’s when it was very much a farm community, so lots of people knew your neighbors and it made it feel like a small town."

And Robbins loves that Avon Gardens gives that same feel.

"Here in the gardens we’re just a little bit off the beaten track, so there’s a main road through Avon but once you come one road north, you get a little bit more of the country feel, so I like the fact that it’s a little bit more of a rural setting still."

The front gardens alone are filled with more than 1,500 varieties of perennials.

The peak season for color is July.

"No matter what time of year you come out, it constantly changes as plants change through the season, so it always looks different."

Avon Gardens is open from April to October.

One of the best summer events in Hendricks County is this weekend! The Hendricks County Rib-Fest and Avon Balloon Glow is Saturday, June 24.

Of course, one of the biggest draws at Rib-Fest is the food! Local restaurants will compete for "Best Ribs" and "Best Sauce" awards. There will also be a wide variety of local food vendors on site, serving up delicious barbecue and other tasty treats.

Some of the activities include:

  • Live music
  • Tethered balloon rides
  • A mascot dash
  • Inflatables
  • Kids games
  • Shopping from local vendors
  • 5K Rib Run
  • Kids Fun Run
  • Indiana Pacers Fan Van

The Hendricks County Rib-Fest and Avon Balloon Glow is from 4 p.m. until dark at Kingsway Christian Church, 7981 E. County Road 100 North in Avon. Admission is free, but there is a $5 parking charge.