Little seedlings: Signature petunias wait for their May Day
|Robin Canode, chairwoman of the Dixon in Bloom committee, plants petunias in one of the 150 baskets that will hang from city light poles and take the place of the traditional roadside flowers this summer. The flower beds are in such bad shape that the petunias wouldn’t last long if they were planted in them, some say. (Alex T. Paschalemail@example.com)|
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DIXON – The little green plants don’t look like Dixon’s signature pink petunias quite yet.
They’ll spend the next month or so in one of Terry Nichols’ greenhouses before coming to roost in the 150 hanging baskets that go up around central Dixon, Dixon in Bloom chairwoman Robin Canode said.
She’s one of five women who make up the committee, and they’re looking for volunteers to help hang the baskets, maintain them and take them down at the end of the summer.
The baskets tentatively are set to go up the third week of May along Galena Avenue from Third to Boyd Street, the Peoria Avenue bridge, the Riverfront, Lincoln Statue Drive between the bridges, and Hennepin Avenue from the Riverfront to West Third Street.
The idea was to hang the baskets on the vintage-style light poles, Canode said. If the city decides to install such light fixtures along more streets, they want to hang baskets on those poles as well.
They’d also like to partner with downtown businesses to install petunia-filled planters that will be cared for by the businesses.
Last year, the women – who are all members of the Rock River Garden Club but have teamed up with the Dixon Area Garden Club for this project – tested about 30 baskets, and this year, they’re adding 120 more.
The additional baskets and petunias for all 150 cost the club about $17,000, Canode said. To continue the baskets next year, she said, the club will need to raise at least $10,000.
It received its first donation toward next year’s effort 2 weeks ago from the Kiwanis’ Aktion Club, a program for adults with disabilities.
The project is not funded or coordinated by the city, but the committee is negotiating to have the city water the baskets.
It was frustration with the city, Canode said, that got the ball rolling on the project to begin with, “realizing how those petunias in the ground were appearing and that it was just the same year after year.”
This year, no petunias will be going in the ground. The soil is thought to be the problem, said Nichols, who grows the petunias each spring, and some city officials said they would like to replace the soil.
For now, the Dixon in Bloom committee is staying out of the discussion.
“I think that’s more of a city issue,” Canode said. “As far as the in-ground petunias, it’s not to say we wouldn’t be involved in it in the future, they’re probably needing to figure out the problems of the past and get those settled. Then we’ll see how we figure into it.”
Those interested in supporting Dixon in Bloom’s project can sponsor a basket for $150 or half a basket for $75. Tax-deductible donations can be sent to Dixon in Bloom – Dixon Area Garden Club, P.O. Box 127, Dixon IL 61021.
To get involved with the committee or to volunteer in putting up the baskets and maintaining them, contact Robin Canode at firstname.lastname@example.org or 815-718-3709.
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