ParkTalk Podcast
ParkTalk Blog
  • 630-848-5000
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates and Participation Guidelines. More information regarding the District’s response can be found here

Beautiful Container Gardens: Ideas from the Riverwalk

Looking for ideas for a fall container garden for your home or business? Tiffani Picco, the Park District staff member who designs the floral displays at the Riverwalk, shared some ideas based on the principle of having three main components: a thriller, filler and spiller.

For example, this summer’s container gardens on the Riverwalk included these three elements. The large flower pots near the Dandelion Fountain have a Hydrangea tree and Silky Gold Milkweed as the tall elements (thriller), Persian Shield, Magenta Sunpatiens and Lantana Bananarama as fillers, and Wave Petunias, Orange Million Bells and Silver Falls Dichondra as spillers.

This is one of the Riverwalk container gardens in early August, with the hydrangea blossoms blooming white. 

The same flowers matured beautifully through the late summer and looked like this by late September, with the hydrangea blossoms turning a dusty rose color and the “spiller” flowers trailing delicately. You can see the Silky Gold Milkweed also has filled in near the hydrangea, acting as both a “thriller” and “filler.”

Riverwalk container garden in late September

Another Riverwalk container garden in late September    

To design a fall planter for October and November, Tiffani recommends the following:
•    Tall perennial grasses (which you then can plant in your garden before the ground freezes!)
•    Mums
•    Ornamental kale and cabbage 
•    Pansies and violas
•    Black-eyed Susans

Tall grasses along the Riverwalk

Ornamental kale and mums

Here is an example of a fall planter with tall grasses, kale and cabbage

And another with perennial grass, pansy and alyssum.

Stroll the Riverwalk to enjoy fall beauty and gather gardening ideas for fall or next summer.
Many of the annual flower beds on the Riverwalk will bloom through early fall. 

This annual bed near the Dandelion Fountain is made up of the following varieties: Bloomstruck Hydrangea, Lantana Bananarama, Lipstick Pentas and Wave Petunias.

Another example of a summer container garden is the one in front of the Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center, still bursting with color. The flowers in this pot are: Red Canna (thriller), Persian Shield (filler), Lantana Bananarama (filler), Wave petunias (spiller) and Silver Falls Dichondra (spiller).

Annual bed overlooking the river, including Persian Shield, Purple Stripe Angelonia, Sunpatiens, and Wave Petunias.

Connect your business’s brand with a well-known and respected one like
the Naperville
Park District’s and reach a large, active and diverse audience.

To learn more about our sponsorship opportunities
contact Stacey Fontechia Sales and Sponsorship Manager at 630-848-3575 or at
Please consider making a donation of any amount to our Fee Assistance Program.
Your contribution will help Naperville residents in need enjoy the benefits of recreation programs.

On Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011 Naperville Park District officials heard the good news for which they have been waiting for many months: the District has achieved national accreditation through the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).

The decision was announced at the NRPA national conference in Atlanta following a formal hearing before the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).

Naperville is only the second park district in Illinois to earn this distinction and the 104th nationally accredited agency in the nation; there are more than 10,000 recreation agencies in the United States. The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies accredits a handful of park agencies each year that have completed a multi-step process involving a self-review by the agency, a site visit, and an evaluation and formal report by the Commission.

“We are extremely proud to bring this honor to Naperville,” said Park District Executive Director Ray McGury. “It’s an affirmation of our high standards and also an encouragement to continue bringing high quality recreation and parks experiences to our community.”

The Park District’s accreditation process began approximately one year ago and included an extensive self-evaluation by staff and a 5-day visit from CAPRA reviewers this past July. Maintaining the accreditation requires annual reports and 5- and 10-year reviews.

Park District staff members noted that the CAPRA process has helped them see the big picture, focus on long term goals and plans, review plans more regularly, organize documents so that they are accessible and useable, and collaborate more effectively with other departments and outside organizations.

Our Mission
We provide recreation and park experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community.
Our Vision
To be a national leader in parks and recreation providing and promoting high quality experiences and facilities at a great value to our community.
Core Values
Health and Wellness, Environmental Education, Stewardship and Sustainability, Community Enrichment, Public Safety, Accessibility, Personal Growth and Enrichment.
© 2021 Naperville Park District