Becky Grote has long had a passion for gardening.

“I like to see the fruits of my labor,” Grote said. “When you work hard, you get lots of enjoyment. I like to sit back and see how things grow.”

That is why she and a friend started Hinckley’s Blooming Buddies Garden Club back in 2000.

“I think a lot of people are interested in gardening and flowers, and that was a way to share each other’s passion,” Grote said. “Everybody has their expertise – what flowers do well, and gardening tips and that kind of thing.”

The club soon started to take on the challenge of planting and maintaining flower beds around town.

“We just thought it was nice to have something to welcome people into the community – for visitors, or even for community members to enjoy pretty flowers,” she said.

Donations from the Hinckley Lions have enabled them to do plantings in six different spots around town – which turns out to be at least a couple of hours of work each week for each of the club’s 10-12 members. She noted that for a planting bed like the one at The Pit, club members need to go to the school to fill up their water jugs, load them on a truck and haul that water to the bed several blocks away.

“We water a lot,” Grote said. “This year has been a challenge, because it has been dry. We kind of divide up the duties between the members. I’m sure various members spend at least two to three hours a week maintaining the beds.”

Grote said that usually – in years where there is not a global pandemic – the Blooming Buddies Garden Club also has a plant sale in the spring, and members go on trips to visit local and regional gardens and gardening destinations.

“It’s not all work,” she said. “It’s fun – it’s play too.”

She said the club is always looking for new members, both men and women, who want to share their love of gardening, and encouraged anyone interested to email Diane Ksiazek at for more information.

Grote said that she herself will soon be moving away from the Hinckley area, but she is glad that this little seed that she helped plant is budding into something beautiful in the community.

“I was driving by one of the flower beds the other day and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, it looks so pretty,’” Grote said. “People need to be more mindful of the good things we have in our city.”

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