The Garden Fair is the biggest fundraiser of the year at Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden and visitors will notice some improvements to both the fair and the 155-acre grounds during the 29th annual event.
About 70 regional vendors will sell their wares, says Klehm Executive Director Alex Mills. Hours will be 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, June 4, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday, June 5. The arboretum is located at 2715 S. Main St., Rockford.
“More than ever, we’ve reached out to vendors who’ll be a great fit for this event,” Mills says. “We’ll have new and returning plant and flower vendors, and more garden tool and decorative items.”
Klehm’s Fountain Garden will turn into a weekend-long Learning and Education Garden, where non-profit organizations with a focus on gardening, nature and the environment will offer demonstrations and information about their work. Live music and a food court will also be part of the fun.
Garden Fair attendees can check out the improvements underway at Klehm. A new pond and water feature is under construction at the arboretum’s entrance, with a waterfall and patio. Solar panels will be installed on the back roof of the Visitor’s Center to make facility operations more environmentally friendly. Last fall and winter a bioretention basin was completed to help slow the flow of storm water and prevent erosion throughout the property. It’s located near the Nancy Olson Children’s Garden and will be filled with wetland plants.
A major seasonal summer exhibit will be displayed June 11 to Sept. 11. Sean Kenney’s Nature Connects Made with LEGO Bricks is an award-winning exhibition composed of 15 large nature-themed sculptures.
“Some things are more noticeable than others, but we’re always at work continuously improving Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden,” Mills says.
Presale tickets are $7 at locations including Gensler Gardens, Village Green, Didier Greenhouse, The Landscape Connection, Meridian Nursery and Pepper Creek. Tickets at the door are $10; admission is free for Klehm members and kids under 12 years old.
Learn more at Klehm.org. ❚