Saturday in the Prairie (and the woods) with the Hummels

by Betty Struckhoff

Bubbler to create running water

Bubbler to create running water

“I never imagined there was a residential landscape like this in the St. Louis area.”  That was one of the comments as Wild Ones members strolled through a buffalo grass lawn, a woodland with a bubbling stream and acres of prairie at the beautiful home of Joan and Larry Hummel on October 6.

Joan explaining the deer study to Wild Ones members

Joan explains the deer browse study to the group.

While Larry cooked brats and bison burgers, Joan led us through the beautiful fall landscape.  One of the most interesting areas was where Shaw Nature Reserve conducted a multi-year study to learn which native plants are resistant to deer damage.   Read the study results.

Purple asters and yellow goldenrods in the Hummel prairie

Purple asters and yellow goldenrods add fall color to the Hummels’ prairie

After a scrumptious potluck lunch and a brief business meeting, Larry shared the experiences they have had in restoring the property to a native ecosystem.  He gave us tips on getting trees and shrubs established economically (buy bare-root seedlings and grow them in pots for a year or two before transplanting into the ground) and maintaining a buffalo grass lawn (yearly pre-emergent and broadleaf herbicide applications are needed in shady areas).  His stories of wildlife on the property entertained us — we learned how to handle a timber rattlesnake and about the hawk named Spike.

Many thanks to Joan and Larry for sharing this special place with us!

3 thoughts on “Saturday in the Prairie (and the woods) with the Hummels

  1. Sorry I missed the event. If you could share a list of the plants and/or landscape plan, I would love to have it. I’m working on this in my yard and would appreciate advice and direction. My Thanks.

    • Marsha
      We do not have a plant list or landscape plan. The property has evolved since 1985 when we purchased it. We obtained a lot of information from the SNR series of native plant classes, plants and seeds from Mo Wildflower and a number of books. The deer study referenced in Betty’s blog contains most of the plants on the property. If you visit Shaw Nature Reserve (SNR) you can get a lot of ideas on what plants you like and what plants grow in what conditions. If you let us know when you may come by and we will show you around. Good Luck Larry Hummel

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