DIXON – The aroma of petunias fills the downtown area once again.
Baskets of Dixon’s signature pink flowers were hung from the city’s vintage-style light posts starting at the beginning of June by the five volunteers from Dixon in Bloom.
About 20 more baskets were put up this year for a total of 173 baskets, said Terry Nichols of Nichols Greenhouse, where the baskets are nurtured.
Flowers were not grown in the ground again this year, except for a bed of flowers planted at the new Lee County Courthouse.
The condition of the soil led to many of the petunias dying off.
“Until the soil gets renovated, changed or something by the city, we’re not going to plant [in the ground],” Nichols said.
The city has no plans to do soil work this summer.
Mayor Jim Burke said the city intends to get a cost estimate to replace damaged soil.
“When the petunias were planted along the road, they were beautiful,” Burke said. “We want to do what we can to keep our title of ‘Petunia Capital of Illinois.’”
The project is not funded or coordinated by the city, but city employees water the baskets on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, said Curt Phillips, public property superintendent.
The baskets cost about $7,000 total this year, Nichols said.
Dixon in Bloom relies on community donations to buy the baskets. Also, baskets can be sponsored for $150 and half baskets are $75 to businesses and people.
The baskets can be seen 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.
You can help
To support Dixon in Bloom’s project, 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.
Questions? Call Terry Nichols at 815-284-3805, Robin Canode at 815-718-3709, Bill Ost at 815-284-2332, or Shirley Vivian at 815-284-7084.