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home : free press advocate : free press advocate May 25, 2016

6/24/2014 9:12:00 PM
Rehab at Riley's
Garden Club volunteers clean up, brighten garden in Northcrest
Staff report

It's been a decade since the community, led by the Wilmington Garden Club, developed Riley's Garden in memory of a charming little girl who died tragically. This spring, the garden was faded, tired, and needed a lift. It was, frankly, showing its age.

The garden is located in Children's Memorial Park, on North Joliet Street in Northcrest Subdivision.

The Garden Club devoted its time and resources recently to a rehabilitation project that brought the bright pink back to the flower plot's cheeks. In the last two weeks, volunteers have pulled weeds, tilled soil, planted cheery annual flowers and tucked them in with mulch.

Garden Club President Carol Partilla said the annuals included sun-loving vinca, flowering kale and pink profusion zinnias; duplicating the original flower mix.

"They'll provide color all season long," she said. "We're trying to bring the garden back to life; the annuals did brighten it up."

The city of Wilmington provided funding for the flower purchase.

Illinois Central Sch Buss

The irrigation system was also repaired, according to club Vice President Judy Wunderlich. Carefree Landscaping, based in New Lenox, maintains the system and also stores the equipment over the winter for the club. The system had been disconnected, in an act of vandalism.

The garden needs a little more work, mostly repairing what seems to be more acts of vandalism. The door on the little house has been repaired at least three times, and needs more work, the benches have been broken, and earlier this week, teens were climbing on the wishing well roof, although damage has not been determined.

Wunderlich said the Garden Club will be asking the police department to do extra patrols at the park. The Island Park District's maintenance supervisor Bill Crews has been very prompt to make necessary repairs, Wunderlich said. But there are projects the club will seek volunteer help with, like repairing the bench.

The remaining original perennials; some died out and some were dug out without permission; will probably be thinned in the fall, to give what's left plenty of room to grow healthy. The plants that are removed will be available to any gardener, at little or no cost. Wunderlich said any time the volunteers are working at the garden, they'd be happy to provide cuttings to anyone who wants them.

The Garden Club is planning a 77th anniversary party in September, and will provide details later this summer.

Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Article comment by: JD

How do we get in touch with someone from the garden club? We've gone down there to pull weeds
but want to help out when the members are there.
Please email me some information.

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