Bee surprised!

By Carol Boshart

Honey bee hive in the morning with most of the comb exposed

Bee hive in the morning with much of the comb exposed

Bee hive found in a backyard hedge

Bee hive in the afternoon with most of the comb covered

Wes and I were doing a routine evening walk around our garden when we peeked into a damaged shrub and were startled to find an active honey bee hive. The bees nearly covered the comb.  The next morning in the cold weather half the comb was exposed, but the bees covered most of the comb again in the afternoon sunshine. Unfortunately, we’ll lose that welcome group of pollinators because, unprotected, they won’t withstand the winter. Maybe another swarm will find us next spring!

(Click either image for a larger version)

Unique garden shed

By Kate Lovelady

Greetings! I joined Wild Ones last year, and it’s been great getting to know people who are also obsessed with gardening and especially with native gardening and sustainability.

We have a small yard in the city, and we needed a small tool and gardening shed. There’s so much rehabbing of older houses going on St. Louis, I decided to build a shed out of reclaimed doors. Basically this shed is simply four old doors screwed together and attached with metal brackets to a foundation of left-over treated 2x6s, sitting on an existing crushed-rock foundation. I chose two doors with windows to let in light, and two solid doors so that I could hang shelves on the back “wall” and pocket holders on the inside of the front “door.” (I got the doors from a guy who had been collecting them from alleyways.)

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Volunteers wanted – 15th annual honeysuckle removal in Forest Park

Wild Ones removing invasive honeysuckle bushes in Forest Park

Wild Ones at the 2012 Forest Park honeysuckle removal project

Join Wild Ones for the annual honeysuckle removal project in Forest Park on Saturday, November 2nd from 9AM to noon.

This is the 15th year for the project, and the 3rd year Wild Ones has participated.  You can help reclaim Forest Park from its tangle of honeysuckle. So, come join us, get some great exercise, and make our planet a better place.

As a bonus, participating Wild Ones members will be entered in a drawing for a $25 gift certificate to a native plant nursery or bookstore next year!

If you’d like to join us, please RSVP to Amy Redfield by noon on Monday, October 28th. Download the flyer (PDF).

Thank you to the Landscape Challenge volunteers

From Dawn Weber, winner of this year’s Landscape Challenge

Thank you so much for everything!

Wild Ones working on the 2013 Landscape ChallengeThank you to all of the volunteers who came on planting day. It was amazing to see so many people show up and work together to get all those plants in the ground so quickly! In addition to the planting help, I appreciated that so many asked about my interest in gardening, birds and conservation, offering words of encouragement and sharing tidbits of information that I can use in the future.

Special thanks to Scott and Jeanne for their support, answering questions ahead of the planting, and those that I know will come up as time goes on.

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Forest Park walking tours – Fall 2013

From Peter VanLinn III, Park Ecologist, Forest Park Forever

Forest Park Forever logoForest Park Forever continues to offer walking tours in Forest Park:

  • Free to the Public
  • Hour-long behind-the-scenes tours lead by Forest Park Forever Staff
  • Bring family, friends & leashed pets
  • Please have all members of group ready to begin at time of tour
  • Pace is leisurely, covers up to 1½ miles
  • Reservations not required
  • Dress appropriately for inclement weather (may be cancelled in severe weather)

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My WILD experience

By Fran Glass; photos by Bob Siemer and Ann Earley

Wild Ones members at the national meeting

Fran and Ann at the national meeting

As a sixteen-year member of Wild Ones, 2013 was the first time I took advantage of the opportunity to attend an Annual Membership Meeting. It will certainly not be my last.

It was such a joy to meet dedicated people from all over the country who share my native plant landscaping passion, who care enough about the Wild Ones organization to attend the Annual Membership Meeting. With whom better to share and exchange ideas?

The Fox Valley (WI) Chapter graciously volunteered countless hours preparing for and hosting the weekend. I felt welcomed by each and every volunteer who always had a smile and kind words to share.

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Meet the Wild Ones – Scott Barnes

By Amy Redfield

Horsetail plant straight green sticks

Horsetail (Equisetum sp.)

Scott Barnes once drove four hours – each way – to get some horsetail plants. His very first solo garden would not be complete without the plant that had fascinated him as a child in the fields near his home. That horsetail, and that fascination, have stayed with him everywhere he has gone.

After a lifetime of working indoors in Chicago, Scott moved to the St. Louis region and began to explore his interests. He joined Wild Ones and took naturalist classes. When one of those classes talked about erosion and drainage, he realized that his next gardening project – converting the drainage ditch in his backyard into a gorgeous garden with the help of a very large drain pipe – wasn’t going to happen. How could he be a part of the problem by just moving the erosion down the line to his neighbor’s property, where it would do even more damage?

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