by Betty Struckhoff
“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.
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.
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!