August 2 and 5, 2017
Kevin King hosted two July yard tour gatherings. Thirty members and seven guests attended Wednesday evening August 2, and 16 members and two guests attended Saturday August 5. James Faupel made announcements on Wednesday, as did Marsha Gebhardt on Saturday.
Kevin built three town homes on Ann Avenue in the Soulard neighborhood of St. Louis. They are bookended by two flounder houses, which are rare mid-19th century, triangular type houses with windows on one side of the house.
Kevin is a strong supporter of urban renewal and of repurposing materials. The foundation and all the stone work from a pre-Civil War building were used on-site to build his homes’ stone columns, garage, and iron gate posts. He reused bricks from another project for his patio.
Kevin credits Jeanne Cablish as being the “master designer” of his yard which contains a rain garden. At Jeanne’s suggestion, Kevin applied for a Project Clear grant and received the $3000 maximum amount for the project. Kevin’s entire roof and half of his neighbor’s roof feeds the rain garden. Opposite the rain garden is a berm created from dirt dug out for the rain garden. Two whiskey barrels serve as rain barrels to capture rain from the detached garage roof.
Jeanne described how she designs gardens. Here are her steps:
- Consider the homeowner’s wishes. Kevin wanted a rain garden and plantings that attract birds, butterflies, and bees.
- Consider function – in this case, of the rain garden.
- Consider light requirements. Jeanne utilized the sunny side of the yard to plant native species that are host plants for butterflies or attract birds and bees.
- Choose accents species.
- Group plantings in quantities of 3-5 or 7-9 with something blooming all season.
A magnificent large walnut tree provides shade for much of the yard. Numerous native plant forbs and shrubs add accents to the shady side of the yard. A plant not often seen in a home landscape is goldenglow or cutleaf coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata). It thrives in Kevin’s yard.
Kevin is currently working on an urban renewal plan at Utah and Wisconsin Streets in the Benton Park neighborhood. A Sinclair gas station built in 1937 is being converted to a restaurant. Kevin is restoring the original porcelain tiles. He received a Project Clear Large Scale Grant for two large bioswales that will be planted exclusively with native plants, using a design by Jeanne Cablish.
Kevin’s comment about native plant landscaping is, “The model is different but it is the right model.” When he sells one of his properties, he tells the new owner he will reimburse them for any native plantings they add. He is a serious native plant advocate!
St. Louis Native Plant Garden Tour – September 16
Again, we are partnering with St. Louis Audubon Society’s Bring Conservation Home to present the third annual Native Plant Garden Tour on Saturday, September 16. This year’s tour will feature ten yards across several communities in West County.
The following Wild Ones members have homes on the garden tour:
- Sherry Ann Cordover
- Kevin Mowery
- Susan Orr
- Susan Reed
Tickets are $15, through August 15, online at: St. Louis Audubon Society’s website
After August 15, the price will go up to $20 and tickets will only be available in person at the following garden retailers.
The number of tickets sold is limited so we encourage early purchase.
The winner of the 2017 Landscape Challenge is Marlene Becker. Landscape designer Rob May is working on the design. Planting date will be Saturday, September 30. Members are welcome to help plant.
Marlene lives in Brentwood, MO. The city of Brentwood also received Wild Ones’ first Municipal Grant and McGrath Elementary School in Brentwood received one of our educational grants.
Sign up online for any of these activities on our Dig In! website page at:
Currently, we need volunteers for:
- Fall Wildflower Market at Shaw Nature Reserve – September 8
- Greentree Festival, Kirkwood, MO – September 16, 17
- Bring Conservation Home Native Plant Expo – September 23
- Landscape Challenge planting – September 30
September 6, 6:30 p.m., a tour of the Overland Historical Society property which received a Wild Ones grant in 2007. Come tour the wildflower garden, log house, log barn, and museum.
Carpooling is encouraged.
Please bring a lawn chair.
Recorded by: Fran Glass, Secretary
Thank you to Sherri DeRousse, Dawn Weber, and Marcia Myers for contributing photos.