SW Illinois Chapter celebrates its 1st anniversary

Text by Ed Schmidt, photos by Fran Glass


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The August general meeting of the Southwest Illinois Chapter of Wild Ones marked the first anniversary of the formation of the chapter. The meeting was at the home of chapter vice-president Grace Gavin, whose beautiful native gardens provided a wonderful gathering place.

Indoors, members shared scrumptious snacks and a chapter birthday cake while they discussed possible future projects and other chapter business. Present were well-known former St. Louis chapter members Dorothy, Jerry, Nan, and Neil. Others included some who had not ventured often to St. Louis meetings and new members, who were enjoying having a chapter in their own locale. Four members from the Saint Louis chapter attended.

New transplant (person) looking for new transplants (plants)

Non-native plants in April's yard before the make-overBy April Anderson

Here are 2 ‘before’ photos of my tiny backyard. Upon removing this excessive amount of ivy, I found oak, hackberry, and redbud saplings. From my former home in the Chicago area, I brought New England aster, butterfly weed, black-eyed Susan, zigzag goldenrod, rosin weed, Joe Pye weed, and marsh milkweed along with gifts of nodding wild onion, and prairie smoke.

Non-native vines in April's yard before the make-overThe neighbors here complain about deer, so I’m trying to make choices that will not be as attractive for browsing. I will post “after” photos once we get beyond the empty, crunchy stage. If you have native plants that need to be thinned, please let me know. I’m targeting part-sun plants that like sandy loam — in essence, dry shade. It will be fun to see what happens.

April, the new transplant!
E-mail April if you have plants to share.

Editor’s note: April, who was previously a member of the Northern Kane county Wild Ones chapter, recently moved to St. Louis. She says she’s eager to connect with a community of thinkers who share the environmental values she holds dear.

She is also looking for work in the field teaching others about nature, writing about nature, and providing sustainable designs. She has been a naturalist for over 20 years and an “Open Spaces” writer for Quintessential Barrington Magazine for about half this time. Read her article about monarch butterflies.

August meeting minutes

August 5 and 8, 2015

Wild Ones touring a yard

Photo by Sherri DeRousse

This month, Judy and Randy Speck, with their son Danny, hosted two yard tour gatherings. A total of 30 members and 3 guests attended.

The Speck yard is Silver Certified by St. Louis Audubon’s Bring Conservation Home program. It was featured on the 2015 Native Plant Landscape yard tour on June 20. The highlight of the front yard is a lovely rain garden designed by Jeanne Cablish and engineered by Simon Barker of Native Landscape Solutions.

Judy reported that their recently converted landscape was two years in the making. Previously, the backyard contained turf grass for kids and dogs, a raised garden bed in which rabbits dined, invasive Euonymus, volunteer Rose of Sharon, and canopy trees. Judy and Randy, with help from friends and family, worked intensively for two years clearing invasive and unwanted species, followed by installing native trees, shrubs, forbs and grasses. They planted 600 plants. The fundamental layout of the backyard was based on a design by Jeanne Cablish. Chris Siewing of Nature’s Re-Creations was responsible for the creation of the water feature. Wildlife is abundant.

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Make paper from native plants this Saturday

By Peggy Whetzel

Flyer of upcoming events at McKinley Meadows

Click the image to download a PDF

With so much paper and so many books already in the world, you might wonder why anyone would want to make their own paper or create a book from scratch. With an invitation to attend free workshops on papermaking and book making, one answer is to save something you love, or even weeds you’ve conquered, from your garden.

Megan Singleton is an artist and educator who’s been making paper for 12 years. Her workshops will be held at McKinley Meadows, 2257 Missouri Street, St. Louis 63104. The plants will be harvested from the native plant garden that got its start in April with a grant from Wild Ones. Bring a portable chair and a pair of scissors. The rest of the supplies will be provided. Register by emailing mckinleymeadowsart@gmail.com.

August 22 – PaperMaking with Plants, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
August 29 – Book Making Workshop, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Bring papers to personalize two handmade books; limited to 15 participants.

Our gardens are all too brief here in Missouri. To create paper from favorite plants means that we can save imbedded leaves and fibers in designs that we can admire and that will remind us of the bounty and beauty that was once in our own backyards. Plus, it’s such a cool thing to do.

Two more McKinley Meadows Arts events are planned, one in September and the other, October. Check the flyer for more information.

2015 Landscape Challenge update

By Ed Schmidt

Planned layout of the 2015 Landscape Challenge planting

Planting design by Jeanne Cablish

Planning for the 2015 Landscape Challenge is well underway. The property was chosen by representatives of Wild Ones and Grow Native! from among applications received from Bring Conservation Home participants in University City and surrounding communities. The winning property is in University City.

Designer Jeanne Cablish has been working with homeowners Rosalie and Terry to create the design. Jeanne reports they are excited about their new native garden plans, and are already preparing the site!

Site of the 2015 Landscape Challenge - before work begins

Future planting site – note the grass killed in preparation for planting

The planting will be in both a sunny area near the street and a shady area nearer the house. The plant list has already been prepared and sent to Missouri Wildflower Nursery.

Plan to participate in the planting, which will be on the morning of Saturday, September 12. This is an excellent opportunity to learn and share knowledge about native plants and garden design.

Signup sheets will be available at the August and September general meetings. You can also contact Marsha Gebhardt or me if you wish to participate and will not be at one of these meetings.

July meeting minutes

Touring a yard with native plants at the July 2015 Wild Ones meetingPROGRAM
Bill Hoss hosted a yard tour for this month’s gathering. Eleven guests and 27 members attended.

Bill’s yard is Platinum Certified by St. Louis Audubon’s Bring Conservation Home program. His yard, along with six other Wild Ones members’ yards, was on the 2015 Native Plant Landscape yard tour on June 20.


Nominating Committee
In odd-numbered years, a nominating committee is formed to develop a slate of officers for our chapter. The committee presents the slate at the October meeting. Members vote for officers at the November meeting.

Fran Glass, chair of this year’s nominating committee, asked that members contact her if they are interested in joining the committee, running for the chapter Board of Directors or recommending someone for the Board.

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Fall learning opportunities

Before we know it, the growing season will start winding down. But there are still plenty of opportunities to learn about landscaping with native plants.

Powder Valley Nature Center

Floral Design with Widlflowers – Aug. 14
Native plants greatly benefit wildlife, but widflowers can also make beautiful floral arrangements. Learn about the native wildflowers in the garden at Powder Valley, and then learn simple tips and tricks about design before making your own arrangement to take home.
More information

Native Plant School

Scott Woodbury talks about groundcovers at the Native Plant School The Native Plant School, co-sponsored by St. Louis Wild Ones, has released their fall/winter classes. Click any title for more information:

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