Mother's Day will be without a Wicker Park Plant Sale


A plant sale in Wicker Park on Mother's Day weekend is one of many activities everyone is missing this year because of COVID-19. However, you can help insure that the 10,000 square feet of Wicker Park's gardens will continue to be a visual respite in 2020 and beyond. 

Wicker Park Gardens
Since 2002, the ever changing visual landscape in Wicker Park has been designed, created and maintained by volunteers. Many of those volunteers do not even live in Wicker Park! 

This year, while the Wicker Park gardens are already displaying some of their luscious greens dotted with spring flower colors, gardeners are not allowed to work in them. The Chicago Park District (CPD) sees gardening as a program and all programming is closed down because of COVID-19. 


Denise Browning at work in Wicker Park pre COVID-19

Thus, some of the 900 hours of work normally done by volunteers from March through November have already been lost. 

No plant sale means that the $7,000, which funds the Wicker Park Garden Club's work in the gardens, is lost too. 

"The loss of Plant Sale monies in our budget is devastating because it is our major fundraiser," explains Denise Browning, treasurer of the Wicker Park Garden Club (WPGC).  "We are hoping that the community will financially support us so that we can get such things as mulch, soil amendments, organic fertilizers, summer bulbs, tubers, rhizomes, seeds, annuals, printing for tours, new perennials and shrubs and trees for winter decorating. 

"As you know, neither the Park District or any other entity funds the park gardens. Monies come from our efforts and the generosity of donors." 

To donate, please go to the WPGC website. For those wishing to donate with a check or to know when they can sign up to volunteer, please send an email to Doug Wood


Doug Wood was complying with the Illinois face mask rule Saturday

History of the current Park gardens
"The work on the Wicker Park Gardens began in 2002," explains Doug Wood, who heads up the WPGC efforts. 

He and Browning got permission in 2005 to move materials into the Park from a large private garden they designed on Hoyne Ave. That was the big planting from which the current garden "blossomed." 

It was in that time frame that WPGC, a not-for-profit, signed an agreement with the Chicago Park District and Mayor Daley to design, create and maintain the Wicker Park Gardens in perpetuity. 

Working in co-operation with the Wicker Park Advisory Council, also a not-for-profit, and the Chicago Park District, the plant sale has occurred over the years. Currently the Community Gardens organization has been charged with oversight of all City park gardens. 


Mr. Wicker is properly attired with a mask too

Missed this year
Plant Sale work starts by traveling to the grower, selecting the plants on Thursday, greeting them at the Park on Friday, sorting and pricing them for Saturday. 

Saturday and Sunday, rain or shine, hours are spent not just selling the plants but giving expert advice about specific plants as well as gardens in general. 

The timing of the sale is perfect for Mother's Day gift giving and getting plants at the beginning of a new growing season. Kids learned about gardening too. They would paint a pot for mom and plant some seeds in it. In addition various seminars gave instructions along with tips and tricks to new and experienced gardeners. 

Hopefully the Plant Sale tradition returns in 2021!



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