2017 Landscape Challenge planting day

By James Faupel
Vice-President and Chairperson Landscape Challenge
Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Gardeners showing their dirty hands

The traditional “dirty hands” photo
Photo by Sherri DeRousse

The Landscape Challenge planting day on September 23 was a big success! Twenty volunteers showed up, making short work of the planting process. 

Rob May, our new designer, and myself laid out the perennials for planting, and gave a brief demonstration on how they should be planted. Rob also answered questions about his design.

This year’s winner and homeowner, Marlene Becker, answered questions about her yard and its preparation for the planting.

The actual planting time only took about 40 minutes once digging began.

This year’s plants came from Missouri Wildflowers Nursery and Forest Keeling Nursery. It was a completely perennial garden design.

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Forest ReLeaf offering trees for a reasonable donation and a tour on Sat. Oct. 14

Blog post and photos by Tessa Wasserman
Member, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Plant nursery with trees and shrubs

Forest ReLeaf expanding offerings of trees and shrubs

If you haven’t been out to Forest ReLeaf of Missouri’s CommuniTree Gardens Nursery in Maryland Heights for volunteering, a tour, or to pick up free trees for a non-profit planting project then I highly recommend visiting this hidden gem.

You will have a chance to visit Forest ReLeaf this Saturday, October 14, from 9:00 a.m. to noon with the tour beginning at 10:00 a.m.. There will be a free tour and a chance to purchase native trees and shrubs for a very reasonable donation. List of Forest ReLeaf trees and shrubs still available

Directions to Forest ReLeaf

Forest ReLeaf was established as a charitable non-profit nursery in 1993. Since its incorporation, close to 200,000 trees have been given away to communities in need of more canopy or beautification. 

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What’s blooming in Betty’s yard? Obedient plant

Blog post and photos by Betty Struckhoff
Member and former Board member, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter
Master Gardener

[Editor’s Note: To give you a more accurate idea of blooming time, Betty submitted this blog post with photos on September 8.]

Obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana)

Plant name:
Obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana)
(also called false dragonhead)

Fair warning – This plant spreads profusely by seed, although the seedlings are easy to yank.

Obedient plant grows 3 to 5 feet tall, likes moist spaces, and blooms August to September.

The blooms tend to be a dark pink in sun and can shade to almost white in part shade.  (There is a cultivar that is pure white.)

Why I chose this plant:
I fell in love with obedient plant when I saw drifts in the Savanna planting on the west side of Forest Park, behind the Art Museum.

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How to receive grant money for your community or school native plant garden project

By Kathy Bildner
Member, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Garden plan

Ethical Society garden plan

Wild Ones 2017 Grants
No matter what size or shape the garden project, Wild Ones of St. Louis is there to help with grant money.  We help pay for the native plants or seeds that will make the garden a wildlife haven for birds and insects. We help one garden at a time. We have been doing this since 2007. One of our recent meetings was at the Overland Historical Society grounds.  They were a grant recipient in 2007, one of our first. We have helped plant 36 gardens.

This year we have helped to fund six gardens: five schools and one community garden. We work with the students, teachers, principals, parents, and community gardeners. So far this year we have spent $1580. The fall season has just begun and we are waiting on more requests.

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Prepare for upcoming seed exchange and potluck gathering

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

three women and seed packets

From left to right: Ann Early, Prem Barton, and Kathy Bildner at the 2016 seed exchange

Our annual potluck and seed exchange will be on Wednesday, November 1 with the potluck dinner beginning at 6:00 p.m. and the meeting at 7:00 p.m. in The Heights Community Center of Richmond Heights.

Having seeds to trade is encouraged, but not required. However, there’s still time to collect seeds for the exchange if you don’t have any prepared yet. Keep your seeds dry and put them in a labelled paper bag or envelope. Some people use plastic, as long as the seeds are completely clean and dry.

If you are new to native plants and will be receiving seeds, here’s a previous blog post that might help, Now that I have collected my native seeds, what’s next?

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Volunteers needed for Landscape Challenge planting on Sat., Sept. 30

By James Faupel
Vice-President and Chairperson Landscape Challenge
Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Group of people with dirty hands from gardening

The 2015 “dirty hands” photo after planting completion

The 2017 Landscape Challenge planting day is almost here. This year’s property was chosen by representatives of Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter and Grow Native! from among applications received from Bring Conservation Home participants in Clayton, Brentwood, Richmond Hts., Ladue, Olivette, and Maplewood. The winning property is in Brentwood.

Designer Rob May has been working with winning homeowner Marlene Becker, and Shaw Nature Reserve’s Scott Woodbury to create the design. Rob is a horticulture student at STLCC Meramec, and is the president of the Meramec Botanical Society. Marlene had recently joined Wild Ones and already has the passion for wanting to learn more about Missouri’s native flora. She is very excited about her new native garden plans, and she has already prepared the site! 

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What’s blooming in Besa’s yard? Seedbox

Blog and photos by Besa Schweitzer
Webmaster, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Two yellow flowers

Seedbox (Ludwigia alternifolia)

Plant name:
Seedbox (Ludwigia alternifolia)

Seedbox is a raingarden plant that provides good texture when planted with red and blue Lobelias and sedges.

This plant has excellent fall color and winter interest.

It grows about 2-feet tall and 3-feet wide.

It will self-seed but does not crowd out other plants in my experience.

Why I chose this plant:
I plant seedbox because of the seed head. It is a tiny box with a small hole for the dust-like seeds to sprinkle out of. The seed heads will persist through the winter and look very cute with their snow caps. Also, it provides structure for a raingarden to keep the soil covered. The red fall color is amazing.

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Remember to purchase tickets for the St. Louis Native Plant Garden Tour on Sept 16

Blog by Marsha Gebhardt
President, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Don’t miss out on the third annual St. Louis Native Plant Garden Tour on Saturday, September 16 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Tickets are limited in order to provide a high-quality, educational tour of 10 gardens.

Remaining tickets (Tour booklets) can be purchased only at these four retail sites, which are increasingly emphasizing native plants in their inventories: 

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Arcadia native plant workshop Sat. Sept. 30

Blog by Linda Bennett
[In the Arcadia Valley, Linda and Bill Bennett have become local leaders in native landscape education and advocacy.]

Wild Ones members will be featured speakers in Arcadia’s second native plant workshop entitled, Native Plants & Pollinatorson Saturday, September 30, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

  • Dave Tylka will begin the day with Native Landscaping for Songbirds and Hummingbirds.
  • Ann Earley and Bob Siemer will follow with Wild for Monarchs.
  • Betty Struckhoff will speak on Designing with Nature in Mind.
  • We will end the day with a Q&A and panel discussion with Dr. Chad Follis, horticulture professor from Mineral Area College and some speakers from the day.

As an added bonus, Missouri Wildflowers Nursery will be selling plants throughout the day. Also, there will be information available from various nature-related organizations for attendees to peruse during breaks.

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What’s blooming in Fran’s yard? Blue lobelia

Blog and photos by Fran Glass
Secretary and Membership Chair, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Blue flowers

Blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitca)

Plant name:
Blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitca)
(also called blue cardinal flower or great lobelia)

This Missouri native perennial is clump-forming. It grows about two feet tall with showy flowers in August and September.

Why I chose this plant:
I so enjoy the beautiful blue color and unusual shape of the flowers.

Bumble bees

The Xerces Society guide, Attracting Native Pollinatorscalls it “an exceptional bumble bee plant.”

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