May 2016 monthly gathering highlights

Marsha speaking to the attendees at the May Gathering in Dawn Weber's front yard

Marsha speaking to the attendees at the May gathering in Dawn Weber’s front yard

May 4 and 14, 2016
Dawn Weber hosted two yard-tour gatherings in May. Twenty-nine members and five guests enjoyed Dawn’s landscape on May 4. On May 14, attendance was 12.

In 2013 Dawn attended her first native-plant landscaping workshop, had a Bring Conservation Home yard assessment, and was chosen the winner of the Landscape Challenge. The Landscape Challenge designer Jeanne Cablish offered three design options. Dawn chose elements of each, and the results are exquisite for the full-sun front yard. Because the long yard is on a hill, a rain garden was planted as part of the Landscape Challenge planting. It drains within a day of a heavy rain.

New steps down to the rain garden and new pavers had been added before our visit. Dawn has her plants tagged for guests. She uses no fertilizers, only leaf mulch.

Attendees listening to general meeting information

Attendees listening to general meeting information

As she was so inspired by the front-yard makeover, Dawn removed large amounts of invasive bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera) from the backyard. She replaced the exotics with a beautifully designed native prairie garden on the sunny side of the yard, as well as a shadier woodland garden under canopy trees. Because tree roots are at the top 18 inches of soil, Dawn is careful when planting under trees. Each spring and fall she adds only a few of the smallest plants she can find to cause the least disturbance possible.

Next in the plans is a bird bubbler. Strategically placed brush piles, numerous native vines, interesting sculptures, and benches made of downed-tree wood add interest and wildlife value to her creation. The property hosts just under 300 species of plants. Dawn has counted 24 kinds of butterflies and skippers to date and many so-far unidentified insect species. Blog post about the Weber yard

Upcoming Events

Attentive guests during the May Gathering

Attentive native-plant enthusiasts during the May gathering

Spring Wildflower Market at Shaw Nature Reserve – May 6 and 7
Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter will be selling native plants at this event. Proceeds support our grant program for native plantings, our sponsorship of Shaw Nature Reserve’s Native Plant School, and allow us to co-sponsor the Landscape Challenge, the St. Louis Native Plant Garden Tour, and the Partners for Native Landscaping workshop, as well as give away native shrub seedlings at Earth Day.

The Importance and Pleasure of Growing Native Plants – May 8
Ed Schmidt of Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter will be presenting this program at the Ethical Society of Saint Louis on Sunday, May 8 from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. The event is open to the public and will include a Q&A session.

Visitor's exploring the front yard

Visitors admiring the Weber front yard

Living Landscape Workshop – May 14
Former St. Louisans Bill and Linda Bennett invite you to a Grow Native! Workshop: Native Plants Get Us Back to Our Roots on Saturday, May 14 in Arcadia, their new hometown. The workshop features speakers Mitch Leachman, Betty Struckhoff, Bill Ruppert, and Julie Norris and will focus on Missouri native plants.

In the year since they moved from St. Louis to the Arcadia Valley, Bill and Linda have become local leaders in native-landscape education and advocacy. One of their objectives is to form a local Wild Ones Chapter. As they began to reach out to potential presenters, the Bennetts also approached GrowNative! for their help and advice since they have a state-wide reach. GrowNative! happily contributed their expertise, including the use of their website to advertise and register participants.

Exploring the Weber backyard

Exploring the Weber backyard

Cross Pollinator Party, A Gathering of Like Minded Individuals (After clicking on the link, scroll down for events.) – May 21, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Members of plant societies and garden clubs of the St. Louis area, and gardeners considering joining these organizations, are invited to a Cross Pollinator Party at Sugar Creek Gardens in Kirkwood.

Free wine, punch, and snacks, as well as 10% off total purchase are available during the party.

St. Louis Native Plant Garden Tour – June 18
Again, we are partnering with St. Louis Audubon Society‘s Bring Conservation Home to present the second annual St. Louis Native Plant Garden Tour on Saturday, June 18, 2016. This year’s tour features ten yards in Olivette, Ladue, Clayton, and University City with a lot of variety including age of plantings, size, type of habitat, sun, and moisture conditions.  Ask questions, take pictures, and get ideas for your own landscape.  Invite your family, your friends, and your neighbors to see how native plants can be integrated into their yards.  Purchase tickets

Last year the tour was sold out, so get yours today!

A small portion of the Weber yard including stepping stones, recycled tree seating, metal plant tags and, of course, native plants

A small portion of the Weber yard including stepping stones, log seating, metal plant tags and, of course, native plants

Film Screening of Jens Jensen The Living Green – June 18
The legendary landscape designer and public-parks advocate Jens Jensen was one of the first in his profession to incorporate native plants in landscape design. Jensen recognized both the importance of conserving original ecosystems and the biodiversity they harbor, and the benefits of naturalistic landscape design in cities. Register for free tickets

Wild Ones Website
“What’s blooming in my yard” has become a popular blog series generating lots of comments. Please consider writing one to share.

A short blog can be something as simple as a few sentence observation of one’s yard with a photo or two. Marcia Myers, as webmaster and blog editor, will help by editing and making suggestions. Start by emailing Marcia your idea and photo and she will work with you from there. To contact Marcia, from the Contact Us website page, click on the “Person to Contact” drop-down menu, and click on her name to send an email.

Plant Give-aways
Prairie dropseed (Sporobolus Heterolepis) grasses from our recent plant-rescue event were offered to members and guests. Additionally, several members brought transplants of palm sedge (Carex muskingumensis), golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea), golden groundsel (Packera aurea), and prairie coreopsis (Coreopsis palmata) from their yards to share.

Next Gathering
Yard tour at the home of Linda Tatum. Please bring a lawn chair.

Choose Wednesday evening June 1, 6:30 pm OR Saturday morning June 4, 9:30 am. For directions

Recorded by: Fran Glass, Secretary