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Fairbury Garden Club – Then & Now

Once again, the Fairbury Garden Club is showcasing gardens this year with its “Because It Makes Us Smile!”

The club members recognize beautiful areas in Fairbury like blooming trees, entryways, gardens, and anything that makes them smile.  A sign will be placed in the yard that makes them smile.  These random gestures are an encouragement to all of us to try to keep our yards and landscapes neat and beautiful.

Bobbi McKeon , owner of Heart Desire Antiques & Accents says, “Thanks to the Club for adding such a great touch to Fairbury!”

Here is a little history about the local club…Many years ago, a longtime resident of Fairbury, Marjorie Fulton was a very active member of the Garden Club with a passion for plants, flowers and nature.   At the Garden Group meetings they studied, identified, shared and traded flowers and plants. They took nature walks, kept track of the gardens in the area, cared for Central Park, Marsh Park and the flower gardens at the Fairbury Hospital–especially the tulip beds. Members helped at the Fairbury Fair as Superintendents of the Horticulture Dept. and also entered their flowers in the Fair.  They got together several days before the Fair and planned arrangements to enter in the Fair as a group under The Fairbury Garden Dept.  The members were encouraged to keep fresh bouquets in the library and hospital at all times.  Members also toured their own gardens as well as other gardens in town.

Some of the activities of the Garden Group were helping the Girl Scouts and Garden Group members to make terrariums using native plants.  They also made floral arrangements, wreaths and pressed flowers.  Marjorie encouraged composting and feeding your family along with sharing with others from your garden.  The annual bus trip to The Garden Show at McCormick Place in Chicago was the club’s big event of the year.

Today, the Fairbury Garden Club is a non-profit organization no longer affiliated with the Women’s Club. Meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month in the evenings from April through October each year.   A program related to gardening is presented along with a meeting organizing our work and activities. The Club maintains the plantings at Central Park, Blue Star Memorial Gardens at Graceland Cemetery on Route 24 in Fairbury and the rose/ornamental grass garden next to the Post Office.  They also maintain the two planters on Main Street in front of Fairbury Furniture and the Chinese Restaurant.

A Spring Plant Sale with plants provided by members is held on the lawn of Dominy Library every May on the Saturday of the Fairbury Community Sale. Monies raised from the plant sale are used for beautification projects in the community. The most recent projects include landscaping for the library, SELCAS corner, a new park bench at Central Park and a tree at Marsh Park.  Some years a private Garden Walk for members is held.  A bus trip pertaining to gardening is planned each year for our members.

Garden Club welcomes anyone interested in gardening of any kind—flowers, vegetables, herbs, landscaping, insects, pollinators— to join us. They have members from Fairbury, Forrest, Sibley and Pontiac at this time.  If you would like to become a member, please call Club President Deb Kicmal at 815 848-1424.

If you have any stories, ideas, or suggestions, please share them with us by calling (815) 692-4500 or by emailing fairbury@fairburyILattractions.com.  You can also speak with Bobbi McKeon at Heart’s Desire on Route 24 in Fairbury.