Park Ridge Garden Club continues its 92-year tradition of selling plants; “We have hardcore customers who will buy in the pouring rain” – Chicago Tribune

None of the Park Ridge Garden Club members had to lift a finger to water the hanging baskets during Saturday’s plant sale.

The rain did that for them. Given that the club has a 92-year history of selling plants, rain or shine, however – it was started in 1929 – they kept going.

“We had a decent crowd braving the elements, though,” said Suzanne Dahm, who co-chaired the Garden Club plant sale with Kathy Angelini. “We have die-hard customers who come back year after year and will buy even in the pouring rain.”

The club sold annuals, perennials, native plants, herbs, vegetables, hanging baskets, large potted geraniums and member-grown perennials.

“Our member-grown perennials are always popular because they’ve proven successful in our area,” Dahm said. “Plants that support pollinators were popular, and herbs and vegetables are still popular, especially with children.”

Customers also loved the milkweed seed giveaway, she observed. The milkweed plant provides food for endangered monarch butterflies.

“We donate all unsold perennials grown by members to the Park Ridge Park District, who are very supportive of us,” Dahm explained.

The club’s approximately 35 volunteers began planning for the sale in January and typically reinvest the money they raise back into the Park Ridge community.

Although they have yet to total this year’s receipts, Dahm said they will go to some of the club’s projects, including:

  • Civic plantings in the Entrance Gardens of the Park Ridge Park District Centennial Activity Center and in the Hodges Park Fountain Garden
  • Earth Day Celebration at the Wildwood Nature Center
  • City of Park Ridge Beautification Awards Contest
  • Community education with local elementary schools
  • Park Ridge Tree Canopy Restoration, a four-year project with the City of Park Ridge Forest Service that included donating funds to replace 25 trees on city parkways

“We excel in supplying a wide variety of plants of exceptional quality,” Dahm said proudly. Our long-time members and new members share their vast wealth of knowledge with our customers to ensure that the plants they choose will work for them.

Next up: The Garden Club’s 27th Annual Garden Walk, “Art Along the Garden Path,” is scheduled for Sunday, June 26.