The 61st Evanston Garden Fair will offer residents something old and something new this year. The annual plant sale will be held on Friday, May 21, and Saturday, May 22, at Independence Park, located on Central Street two blocks west of Green Bay Road.

 In years past the fair was run by the Garden Council of Evanston, an association of several Evanston garden clubs.  This year, the Lincolnwood Garden Club will be the only garden club hosting the Ffair.

“It is just us this year, but we are very excited about it,” says Lincolnwood Garden Club member and co-chair of this year’s event, Marta Pappert.

“The goals and purpose of the fair will be the same, but we have some great new stuff, too,” adds Lori Polster, another Lincolnwood Garden Club member.

The Lincolnwood Garden Club was established in 1929 by a group of mothers from Lincolnwood School.  Today, the Club’s nearly 30 garden-loving women come from all over Evanston and even a few from surrounding suburbs. 

The women, some of whom refer to themselves as “plant geeks,” do more than just share gardening tips with one another.  The members grow and maintain public gardens throughout the City as well as provide grants for local not-for-profits with a garden-related emphasis. 

Last year, the club funded three $1,000 grants to Good News Partners, Noah’s Playground and a District 65 elementary school garden.

The funds raised at this year’s fair will benefit the club’s initiatives.

“The Fair’s purpose continues to be to provide the community with a chance to buy local plants and talk with local gardeners, but there will be a new emphasis on vendors,” explains Ms. Polster.

The fair will include a variety of vendors and artisans selling their wares including pottery, jewelry, stained glass, photography and more.

The Evanston-based Talking Farm (www.thetalkingfarm.org) will be participating in the fair as it has in the past.  As usual, The Talking Farm will sell locally and organically grown vegetable and herb plants as well as garden tools, organic seed packets and garden books.

Ms. Pappert, who is a gardener by trade, says participating in the Evanston Garden Fair has been a great pleasure for her over the years.

“It’s an unusual opportunity to get to know the other club members better, and it’s fun to talk to people with garden problems and to offer advice,” she says.

“It’s a great community event and an Evanston tradition,” says Ms. Polster.  “It’s a wonderful opportunity to see friends and schmooze about flowers.”