Garden gnomes everywhere anxiously are counting the days until Blooming Fest, this year scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 18. The success of the 13-year-old garden festival has put downtown West Chicago on the map, and casual or serious green thumbs flock to Main Street from as far away as the near-north suburbs to get their fill of local and homegrown perennials, annuals, herbs, vegetable plants, trees and shrubs from a variety of sources.
Headlining the list of quality vendors for hearty native plants is the West Chicago Garden Club. The work of this active club has enriched the soil of the entire community. Each year, club members work hard at dividing plants that have thrived in their own gardens, potting and labeling them for sale at affordable prices at Blooming Fest. Several area nurseries, the Community High School Horticultural Club, garden crafters, food vendors, an assortment of West Chicago businesses and local musical talent also will be on hand.
Illinois Extension master gardeners and other plant and tree specialists have become favorite staples of the event, and this year will be supplemented by representatives of Cantigny Gardens, the Morton Arboretum, the Lincoln Park Zoo, The Conservation Foundation and Ball Horticultural who will present ideas, information and demonstrations in a brand new “Speakers Tent.” Following are the schedule and topic details for speakers:
• 9 to 10 a.m.: Dr. Marvin Miller from Ball Horticultural – Container Design
• 10 to 11 a.m.: Jim Kleinwachter from The Conservation Foundation – Native Landscaping/Rain Gardens
• 11 a.m. to noon.: Lydia Scott from The Morton Arboretum – Tree Diversity and the Emerald Ash Borer
• 12 to 1 p.m.: Liza Watson Lehrer from Lincoln Park Zoo – Urban Wildlife
• 1 to 2 p.m.: Craig Kruckenberg from Cantigny – Designing Your Garden
For more information, visit www.westchicago.org or call Krista Coltrin at 630-293-2200 ext. 139.
Krista Coltrin is a marketing assistant for the city of West Chicago