NIBS welcomes spring with May Basket sales

NIBS welcomes spring with May Basket sales


The Northern Illinois Botanical Society is thinking spring with the kick-off of its annual May Basket sales. Orders are being taken now through April 20 for beautiful wicker May Baskets, overflowing with colorful pansies dressed with a decorative bow and gift tag. The cost for a May Basket is $17 and includes delivery to anyone, anywhere in Rockford, Belvidere, Cherry Valley, Roscoe, Rockton, South Beloit and Byron. All proceeds from the basket sales go to fund the Northern Illinois Botanical Society’s educational programs. Baskets may be picked up at the Botanica Luncheon to be held on Tuesday, April 30 at Giovanni’s, or they will be hand-delivered on Wednesday, May 1, May Day.

The May Basket tradition traces its roots back to the late 19th century. Children of the Victorian era would celebrate May 1st, or May Day, by dancing around the May Pole and then picking wild flowers for baskets which they would secretly deliver to friends and loved ones. “The May Day Basket is a tradition that many gardeners treasure,” states Special Events Director, Vickie Fogel. “May Baskets signal the arrival of spring and the anticipation of a new gardening season. This time-honored tradition is the perfect opportunity to say ‘thank you’ or ‘thinking of you’ by sending just a little bit of spring in a beautiful basket.”

This year, NIBS is particularly excited about the May Baskets. All of the pansies filling the baskets will be home-grown by Rockford’s Didier Greenhouses. Didier is also assembling the baskets and dressing the baskets with spring-colored bows.

Anyone interested in purchasing one or more baskets can call Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden at (815) 965-8146. Quantities are limited, so order soon!

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