By Marcia Myers
The catered food from Local Harvest tantalized taste buds. The booths provided education, games, and even food from native plants. And of course the Whitmire Wildflower Garden‘s natural beauty hosted tours.
Celebrants enjoyed a diversity of activities during the Native Plant School’s 10th anniversary celebration at Shaw Nature Reserve on October 17. Wild Ones sponsored the event, which served as the October monthly gathering with members answering questions and introducing participants to a game. The idea was to match the plant descriptions to the plant photos, and/or identify the plants in the photos. According to Francine Glass, secretary of the chapter Board of Directors, “All who took the challenge enjoyed it.”
Although the weather was a bit chilly, the gorgeous fall day allowed participants to sit outside and listen to music by Nathan Gilberg and Matt Rowland, snack on some tasty tidbits, and enjoy a glass of wine or beer.
Peggy Whetzel, Wild Ones member, remembers when the Whitmire Wildflower Garden was just getting started. Here it is ten years later, “I was astonished by the beauty berry bushes, which were loaded with purple fruit. When I walked down the trail through the prairie plantings, with the little bluestem seeds picking up the sunlight and watching birds play along the edge of a natural pond that I relaxed for the first time in ages. I was grateful to be there.”
At the end of the celebration, speaker Alan Branhagen, Director of Horticulture at Powell Gardens in Kingsville near Kansas City, gave an enthusiastic presentation of native flora. His book, Native Plants of the Midwest (Timber Press) is scheduled for publication next year.
Horticulture staff and Entomologist James Trager and Whitmire Wildflower Garden Curator Scott Woodbury were on hand to answer questions and speak with guests. Also, attendees received a free willow seedling.
With continued support, the Native Plant School will continue for many years, helping create educated flora enthusiasts.
Event listing, which includes a list of vendors.