For 45 years the Weed Ladies have been making and selling gorgeous floral arrangements to benefit the heritage society.
The year was 1969, and a group of Naperville women had just started gathering sharing a common interest.
“We loved gardening, these women and we got together, and I forget because it’s been such a long time ago, but we used to get together and talk about gardening and what we had done in our gardens,” said Midge Drebing, one of the original founders of the Weed Ladies.
Long before silk flowers, the ladies would make floral arrangements using dried flowers, from their own gardens at home or the one on Settlement grounds.
“We grow flowers that we can dry. We always say if we are successful you won’t see many flowers in our garden because we cut them just before they peak,” said Kay Gleason, member of the Weed Ladies
Because weeds are what commonly grow in the Midwest, the group quickly became known as the “Weed Ladies”.
“I remember someone doing an article and he wrote that we were the Weedies and everyone just rose right up saying “We aren’t the Weedies, were the Weed Ladies” and that was the end of that. So during that time we became known as the Weed Ladies, but don’t call us the Weedies,” said Kay Stephens one of the original founders of the group.
To benefit the Heritage Society, the Weed Ladies began selling their arrangements during Naperville’s big antique show, at North Central College.
The event brought crowds from all over, to buy antiques and flowers from the ladies.
Years later the ladies would call the Daniels House at Naper Settlement home, the building is where the group makes their arrangements today, and where they host their sales.
“We’ve been here for quite some time, and it makes a great place to have our sale. When the antique shows ended of course then we came here and we do all of our designing here and all of our sales here,” said Weed Lady since the eighties, Barbra Smart.
For the ladies, being a Weed Lady is more than making pretty projects, it’s a chance to break away from daily life and enjoy some much needed girl time.
“It brings peace, good humor and we sing,” said Member, Cathi Schumacher.
“It’s a great group of ladies with whom to work. We have a good time, lotta talk, lotta laughs and we always have a nice lunch,” said Smart.
“It’s just so much fun to be here. We always joke that it keeps us off the streets and out of the malls,” said Gleason.
“It was wonderful what we did, and I know that I enjoyed it,” said Drebing.
You can still pick up your beautiful blooms, the ladies will be selling their arrangements during the mansion holiday tours at Naper Settlement.
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