Our Town couple cultivates community garden

Local News

OAKLAND, Ill. (WCIA) — This couple in Our Town have taken their lawn to the next level.

The Campbells have five acres of land and they’ve filled it with every lawn ornament or decoration you could dream of. There’s a lot to see and they’re happy to share it with the community.

People call it Campbell Park. There’s everything from a bridge to nowhere to a 19-ton rock. There’s so much to see here, you could have a scavenger hunt in the yard.

“We started in the south and we’re still going north.”

No, he’s not talking about traveling. He’s talking about his backyard. Jim and Darlene Campbell have quite the lawn display.

“We just enjoy taking trips, finding something. Everything’s in the yard from Arizona to Michigan that we pick one thing every trip up.”

As you can see, they’ve gone quite a few places over the years.

“People think we know what we’re doing, but we don’t.”

Both agree the back patio is their favorite spot. Jim’s the one with the green thumb. Darlene has the vision. Over time, some things have gotten to be a little over the top.

“It’s out of control, but we love it.”

There’s a bridge to nowhere, a plethora of animals throughout the yard and Jim’s personal favorite, a giant rock.

“I caught a guy with that 19-ton granite rock down there and made a deal with him and brought it home.”

But, here’s the secret many don’t know about the Campbells.

“We can’t grow grass, so if there’s a bare spot, it’s a flower bed because he cannot grow grass.”

It’s a labor of love which they say they wouldn’t change one thing about. It’s not uncommon to see a group using it as a backdrop for pictures.

“We just sit here and love it and watch them enjoy what we enjoy.”

The motto is you can go anywhere, but before you leave, pull a weed.

Darlene uses her birthdays to her advantage. Jim says “no” to something she wants for the yard, but then her birthday rolls around. She asks for what she wants and she gets it. She says it’s called manipulation.

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