Online Native Landscaping Manual by MDC and SNR

yard with native plants and rocks

Yard of Besa Schweitzer, horticulturalist at Missouri Botanical Garden

On the Missouri Botanical Garden website, you can find a comprehensive, downloadable Native Landscaping Manual. This guide to landscaping in Missouri is a collaborative project between the Missouri Department of Conservation and Shaw Nature Reserve.

Chapter One: Reconstructing a Tall Grass Prairie
A Seeding Guide for Missouri

Chapter Two: Rain Gardening and Storm-water Management
A Landscaping Guide for Missouri

Chapter Three: Control and Identification of Invasive Species
A Management Guide for Missouri

Chapter Four: Landscaping with Native Plants
A Gardener’s Guide for Missouri

You can order a chapter in booklet form for a fee.

June 2016 monthly gathering highlights

People standing in front of a house

Attendees arriving for a yard tour at Linda Tatum’s

June 1 and 4, 2016
Linda Tatum hosted two yard-tour gatherings in May. Twenty-five members and 11 guests attended on June 1. On June 4, attendance was 12 members and 4 guests.

Linda has lived in her home only 2.5 years, yet has transformed much of the landscape. Her backyard originally consisted of packed clay, poor turf, and large areas of invasive bush honeysuckle with an understory of poison ivy. The front yard included a “sick” silver maple, one large pine, and foundation plantings of exotic sedum.

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In memoriam: Joe Williamson

By Betty Struckhoff
Member, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Man holding magazine article

Joe Williamson – Photo courtesy of Scott Woodbury

We have lost a wonderful member and friend with the passing of Joe Williamson. His was a life of meaningful work and community involvement, particularly in encouraging landscaping with native plants.

My first encounter with Joe and his wife, Janet, was about 15 years ago. I was new to Wild Ones, and they had just arranged with the Missouri Department of Transportation to seed a MoDOT area at the intersection of Manchester and Topping Road with native plants. Because it was about a mile from my home, I joined the group spreading the seeds on a cold November day and learned a lot from Scott Woodbury who helped coordinate the event. That area is filled with native plants now and, of course, I think of Joe whenever I drive by.

Joe and Janet’s one-acre property was just a bit south of that area off of Topping Road. Through the years, they hosted Wild Ones meetings, and we all enjoyed the luscious plantings in their backyard, which was bisected with a creek. Fran Glass and I recall his willingness to share his knowledge and expertise, a wonderful, gentle teacher at heart. Joe was not a native purist, but like many of us, he liked to keep adding natives to his property. He also participated in garden tours, such as the triennial Missouri Botanical Garden tour, and his garden was featured in a national magazine.

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A lovely evening for the film screening about Jens Jensen

By Marcia Myers
Blog Editor, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

People watching Jens Jensen: The Living Green film

Attendees watching the screening of Jens Jensen: The Living Green

The special Missouri Prairie Foundation 50th Anniversary Celebration last night on June 18 at 7:00 p.m. began with a “party on the patio” with Ted Drewes ice cream and social mingling, including with the film’s director Carey Lundin.

The entire event took place outdoors at the Nine Network and the Public Media Commons, including the screening of Jens Jensen: The Living Green. The documentary was a moving tribute to a landscape architect pioneer and visionary narrated by his great granddaughter.

Jensen (1860-1951) proposed that all neighborhood areas of Chicago have a local park and recognized the importance of “living green” space for everyone. Although that idea was not implemented, he had many successes with his ideas of using native plants, including prairie, and created American gardens as opposed to copying Europeans.

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Partners for Native Landscaping – A beginner’s perspective – Part 1

By Marcia K. Myers
Blog Editor, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Man standing behind podium and in front of a native plant slide

Dave Tylka explaining what it’s all about

Since 2011, St. Louis Wild Ones has worked to provide this annual workshop in partnership with Metro St. Louis Sewer DistrictMissouri Department of Conservation (MDC)Shaw Nature Reserve, Bring Conservation Home, and Grow Native!

This program is on a three-year cycle. The workshop on March 26, 2016 was geared toward helping novice landscapers understand why using native plants in their yards is important, as well as give some tips on how to get started. Next year will be a gala, followed by a workshop in 2018 for intermediate-level landscapers.

Dave Tylka, a semi-retired Professor of Biology at St. Louis Community College (STLCC) at Meramec, was the keynote speaker this year. As a dynamic presenter, he certainly helped instill enthusiasm in the audience with his talk, Introduction to Gardening with Native Plants.  He challenged us to think of plants not just as an aesthetic, which they certainly can be, but also to think about a plant’s function in the environment. Combining these characteristics adds depth to our landscaping endeavors, which, in turn, only adds to the enjoyment of our outdoor spaces.

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Book Review: Gardening for Butterflies

Gardening for Butterflies: How You Can Attract and Protect Beautiful, Beneficial Insects

Xerces Society
Timber Press: Portland OR, 2016
287 pages

Reviewed by Carol Boshart
Member, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Book Cover Gardening for ButterfliesWritten by the Xerces Society which is dedicated to invertebrate protection, this book is designed for both novice and veteran home gardeners, as well as for larger-scale land managers and developers whose goal is to facilitate and enrich diversified ecosystems to attract and protect butterflies and moths as well other insects and interdependent wildlife populations. The authors express significant concern about the precipitous decline in the Lepidoptera order, and seek to “provide a blueprint for…change” in recruiting gardeners for help in reversing this alarming trend.

Included in the book is an overall view of butterfly characteristics by families, with outstanding detailed photographs depicting their strikingly-colorful wing patterns, body designs, and egg, caterpillar, and chrysalis formations. An added bonus in this book is that there is also a chapter devoted to notable moth families with accompanying informative photographs and commentary.

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Join the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge

By Dawn Weber
Board Member-at-Large, St. Louis Wild Ones


Bees on swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge is a nationwide call-to-action to preserve and create gardens and landscapes that help revive the health of bees, butterflies, birds, bats, and other pollinators across the United States.

Already as members of Wild Ones, we are planting pollinator-friendly gardens in our own yards and community projects, promoting the use of native plants and building quality habitat.

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Five members’ yards on Sustainable Backyard Tour – June 12

By Marsha Gebhardt
President, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Plants and bushes in front of a house

The yard of Sherri DeRousse and Andy Guti

Wild Ones members will be providing a strong showing of native landscapes during the free Sustainable Backyard Tour on Sunday, June 12. Eight members will be hosting at five homes on the tour:

  • Susan and Fred Burk – Burk’s Peaceful Space!; 145 Girard Place in Kirkwood
  • Sherri DeRousse and Andy Guti – City Delight; 4059 Utah Street in Tower Grove South
  • Kevin King – Old World Soulard Courtyard; 804 Ann Ave. in Soulard
  • Sue and Andy Leahy – Leahy’s Wildlife Habitat; 2833 Marderly Drive in Brentwood
  • Besa Schweitzer – Besa’s Garden; 771 Pardella Ave. in Lemay

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Inspiring Native Plant Yards: Dawn Weber Part 2

By Marcia Myers
Blog Editor, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

White house behind bushes, plants and steps

The neighbor’s view of Dawn’s house

In part one of this two-part blog on Dawn Weber’s yard, we learned about the basic components of her yard and how she got started with native plants. In this part, we’ll discover more specifics about the yard, including a list of native plants and bird sightings.

Although almost all of the plants in the front yard were planted by more than 30 Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter volunteers, Dawn has added additional plants and designed new features. For example, two days before the gathering on May 4, Pete Klarmann finished installing the steps in the front yard. These steps create balance between garden areas, add interest, and work well with the hill’s slope.

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The News from Native Plant School newsletter – June 2016

Native Plant School logoThe June edition of The News from Native Plant School has been published.


  • Xerces in your Grocery Store: Working to Make the Food You Eat Better for Bees by Hillary Sardiñas
  • A Woodland Alive by Margy Terpstra


  • We are Looking for a few Great Volunteers
  • Rainscaping Small Grants Program
  • Gardening Tips
  • Citizen Science Opportunity
  • Tracking the EAB


  • National Prairie Day, June 4
  • Green Homes Festival at Missouri Botanical Garden, June 4
  • 50th anniversary event, a film screening of Jens Jensen The Living Green, June 18

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