2017 August monthly gathering highlights

Red brick building with open white door

Welcome to our August Gathering – Kevin King’s secret garden
Photo by Dawn Weber

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.

Repeating yellow
Photo by Sherri DeRousse

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
Man standing talking with four other people

Kevin speaking to attendees
Photo by Marcia Myers

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.

Landscape Challenge
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.

Group of people in a garden

Sharing tips and ideas and socializing at the Gathering
Photo by Sherri DeRousse

Volunteer Opportunities
Sign up online for any of these activities on our Dig In! website page at:


Currently, we need volunteers for:

Next Gathering
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.
For directions

Recorded by:  Fran Glass, Secretary

Man standing in garden with people seated

James Faupel leading the Wednesday night Gathering
Photo by Dawn Weber

Thank you to Sherri DeRousse, Dawn Weber, and Marcia Myers for contributing photos.

4 thoughts on “2017 August monthly gathering highlights

  1. Most amazing, informative post and corresponding photographs ever!!
    Thank you so much!!
    Shirley Cirio :))

  2. It was interesting to hear how they had reused all the stones from the original foundation of the houses to create the garage, garden walls and columns of the porch. The fountains were soothing, I would like to see this garden in other seasons and during big rains. Thanks for inviting us.

Comments are closed.