Lincoln University – great resource for native landscaping

By Scott Woodbury

I recently attended Dave Tylka’s workshop on “Native Landscaping for Wildlife and People” at Lincoln University. Dave’s talk was inspiring and informative, and the native gardens at LU were in fantastic shape. I strongly recommend that you attempt to visit them if you ever are in Jefferson City. After Dave’s presentation the LU staff fed us nettle and golden glow quiches, glade onion crackers, poke weed soup, elderberry cobbler, persimmon cookies and ice cream, and hairy mountain mint tea and ice cream. I will remember this yummy lunch for many years to come.

In recent years and especially now I’ve come to know this gem of native landscaping demonstration and outreach. In addition to the gardens, they offer a wide variety of continuing education classes. There are few educational institutions nationwide that have attained this level of commitment to native landscaping programming. They even cook with natives! I hope that you will join me in participating in their future programs.

August 2013 meeting minutes

President Ed Schmidt welcomed 19 members and one guest to this month’s yard tour and meeting.  Three members of the Chesterfield Citizens Committee for the Environment also attended the yard tour.  The Committee’s participation was a key reason for Chesterfield being chosen as the location for the 2011 Landscape Challenge.

Program

Wild Ones meeting August 2013Yard tour at the home of Neil and Erica Rose, recipients of the 2011 Landscape Challenge planting.  Jeanne Cablish gave an overview of her process for the design for the front yard makeover.

Neil and Erica described that in the six years since they purchased the home in “As Is” condition, much work has been done.

In addition to indoor improvements, Neil and Erica have extensively transformed the large back yard.  A row of ten fruit trees now helps nourish the family.  One border of their back yard has been made into a blueberry patch, the opposite side of the yard into a blackberry patch.  The family’s commitment to gardening was one of the reasons they were chosen as winners.

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Arid Southwest Cities’ Plea: Lose the Lawn

Thanks to Nathan Zenser for forwarding this article from the New York Times.

By IAN LOVETT
Published: August 11, 2013

Southwestern homeowners view their drought-tolerant yard

Mitch and Leslie Aiken in their drought-tolerant yard in Pasadena, Calif. Some Southwestern cities have begun paying residents to rip up their lawns in favor of plants that require less water.
Photo by Monica Almeida, The New York Times

LOS ANGELES — This is how officials here feel about grass these days: since 2009, the city has paid $1.4 million to homeowners willing to rip out their front lawns and plant less thirsty landscaping.

At least the lawns are still legal here. Grass front yards are banned at new developments in Las Vegas, where even the grass medians on the Strip have been replaced with synthetic turf.

In Austin, Tex., lawns are allowed; watering them, however, is not — at least not before sunset. Police units cruise through middle-class neighborhoods hunting for sprinklers running in daylight and issuing $475 fines to their owners.

Worried about dwindling water supplies, communities across the drought-stricken Southwest have begun waging war on a symbol of suburban living: the lush, green grass of front lawns.

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Monarch butterfly expert to speak in St. Louis

By Ann Earley

Monarch Watch founder, Chip TaylorWild Ones members have the opportunity to hear from a leading authority on monarch butterflies when Chip Taylor, founder of Monarch Watch, will speak in St. Louis on Saturday, September 7. His topic will be “Monarch Conservation — Challenges and Opportunities.”

This event, sponsored by the Missouri Prairie Foundation, will be held at Alberici headquarters at 8800 Page Avenue, just off Highway 170, starting at 5 p.m. Details and registration information may be found on the Missouri Prairie Foundation website.

Monarch Watch is a conservation and research organization based at the University of Kansas and is a national partner with Wild Ones in the Wild for Monarchs campaign launched earlier this year.

Dr. Taylor’s speech will be a great way to learn more about monarchs, their habitat and migration patterns, and how we can help these fascinating insects.

Ann Earley on TV

Wild Ones member Ann Earley was interviewed on KSDK this spring about the Zoo’s citizen science program to collect data on frogs and toads.  The information is then reported to Frog Watch USA.

Read the transcript of the interview.

Ann is also coordinating our chapter’s participation in the Wild for Monarchs program.  Stay tuned for more information on how you can help these amazing butterflies!

Thoughts on landscape design

by Betty Struckhoff

On August 7, Wild Ones members were treated to a wonderful front yard native garden in Chesterfield.  It was fun to see our makeover in 2011 and how it has developed over two years (and how two active children have grown along with it).  Part of the garden is in full sun and part in shade so we saw two very different designs.

Like many native gardeners, my yard is wilder than any neighbors’ and perhaps a bit wilder than I want.  Over the past few years I’ve begun using two ways to bring the wildness under control:

  • Adding more understory trees and small shrubs, and using multiples in doing so.  These form a nice back drop and set off herbaceous perennial plants.  They are also bird friendly and low maintenance!
  • Creating areas of just 2 to 5 different plants.  This lends a less “busy” feeling and draws attention to the features of each plant.

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Preview of our September meeting

September issue of Conservation Connections newsletter with article on Operation Brightside garden

Click image for the full article (500 MB PDF)

Native plants in urban and suburban environments intercept storm water, reducing runoff into storm sewers and streams. Trees do the same, as do some man-made materials designed for the purpose. All are incorporated into the Operation Brightside demonstration garden, site of our September meeting and described in the latest issue of Conservation Connections. Read the article (500 MB PDF).

Conservation Connections is a monthly newsletter from the Missouri Department of Conservation focused on upcoming events in the St. Louis area.