2017 October monthly gathering highlights

People gathered around

October gathering at the National Museum of Transportation

Saturday, October 7, 2017
Mary Ann Fink, LIFE Exhibit Curator of Pollinator Junction, was our guide at the The National Museum of Transportation  pollinator garden. Horticulturalist Rena Schmidt helped with plant identification and provided copies of the 2017 Easy Pollinator Pantry Garden Guide. Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter president Marsha Gebhardt welcomed 29 members and five guests.

Pollinator Junction’s mission is to demonstrate “Gardening for LIFE”: living creatures, interactive opportunities, food chain support, and an eco-balance for us all. The Transportation Museum Association and St. Louis County Parks coordinated on this pollinator garden which was installed in September 2016 and includes nearly 7,000 square feet. Every plant in the garden is a food source for pollinators.

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2017 September monthly gathering highlights

People standing looking at plants and checking in for meeting

September 2017 gathering at the Overland Historical Society

September 6, 2017
A tour of the Overland Historical Society (OHS) property was enjoyed by 43 Wild Ones members and six guests. We were welcomed by Eedie Cuminale and numerous volunteers who offered tours of the site’s log house, log barn, and museum.  The society was founded in 1976.

The OHS is a past recipient of a $400 grant from our chapter for a public Missouri native plant community garden. In 2007 Eedie Cuminale applied for the grant and coordinated the volunteers who prepped the site and planted the garden.

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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.

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2017 July monthly gathering highlights

People sitting in backyard

July’s Saturday Gathering at the home of Sherri DeRousse and Andy Guti
Photo by Andy Guti

July 5 and 8, 2017
Sherri DeRousse and Andy Guti hosted two July yard tour gatherings. Attendance was 22 members and five guests on Wednesday evening July 5, and 17 members and five guests on Saturday July 8. As a discussion format, Marsha Gebhardt interviewed Sherri.

Sherri and Andy became interested in native plant landscaping in 2003 while Sherri was working on a land development project within the city limits of Columbia, MO. She consulted with Steven Apfelbaum of Applied Ecological Services in Wisconsin who identified a portion of the property as being remnant prairie. A natural resource inventory of 100 native species was taken by Nels Holmberg. Additional prairie plants were added. Sherri and Andy joined Wild Ones as members of the Mid-Missouri Chapter. Years later they moved to St. Louis.

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2017 June monthly gathering highlights

Man standing in front of a group of people

James Faupel leading the Wednesday night gathering

June 7 and 10, 2017
Besa Schweitzer and Chris Weiss hosted two June yard-tour gatherings. They welcomed 43 members and four guests on Wednesday evening June 7, and 14 members and two guests on Saturday June 10. Chapter announcements were made by James Faupel and Fran Glass respectively at the Wednesday and Saturday gatherings.

A woman and a man talking

Besa Schweitzer and Chris Weiss

Besa and Chris purchased their current home six years ago. During the first year, they rehabbed the house’s electricity, plumbing, and the walls after adding insulation of two-inch foam panels.

Stormwater management was a major factor in their backyard landscaping decisions. The street lacks storm sewers and curbs so when Besa and Chris moved in, water rushed down their long gravel hill from the street to the garage at the back of their property. They built a swale in the yard to slow rain water that runs in from the street and allows the water to infiltrate.

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2017 May monthly gathering highlights

May 6, 2017
Wooded pathForty-one members attended our May yard-tour gathering hosted by Dale Dufer and Jean Ponzi. Marsha Gebhardt presided.

Dale and Jean moved into their home in 1994. At that time the yard was full of invasive trees including tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii), and storm damaged trees. Over the years they have removed the invasive species. However maintenance is ongoing because tree-of-heaven is a prolific seeder and seeds continue to germinate long after the tree is removed.

To create a sanctuary for nature, Dale and Jean replaced the invasive species with several species of native trees, shrubs, and forbs including:

  • Gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa)
  • Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)
  • Basswood (Tilia americana)
  • Viburnum (Viburnum sp)
  • Service berry (Amelanchier arborea)
  • Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
  • Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
  • Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)

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2017 April monthly gathering highlights

woman talking with people sitting and standing

Marsha Gebhardt (far left) speaking at the April gathering

April 8 and 12, 2017
Susan and Fred Burk hosted two April yard tour gatherings. They and Marsha Gebhardt welcomed 25 members and one guest on Saturday, April 8 and 27 members and five guests on Wednesday evening April 12.

Susan and Fred moved into their small Kirkwood home in 1970, a two-bedroom bungalow. As their family expanded, they added a second floor and a front porch to the home.

In recent years, Susan had a St. Louis Audubon Bring Conservation Home yard assessment. This gave her the idea to plant wildflowers under the large front yard canopy tree. The results are stunning. On our April tour, we saw very healthy patches of woodland wildflower species of Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium reptans), bluebells (Mertensia virginica), roundleaf groundsel (Packera obovata), barren strawberries (Geum fragariodes), sedges (Carex sp), and shrubby St. John’s wort (Hypericum prolificum).

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2017 March monthly gathering highlights

Betty Struckhoff sharing so many ways to add native plants to our gardens
Photo by Dawn Weber

March 1, 2017
Marsha Gebhardt welcomed all 47 members and 19 guests to our March gathering at The Heights community center of Richmond Heights. Our speaker was Betty Struckhoff with a program titled Landscaping with Native Trees and Shrubs.

Betty Struckhoff is a long-time active member of Wild Ones, serving on our Chapter Board of Directors for many years. She has helped create native landscapes in local parks and other public and private gardens. Also, Betty is a habitat advisor for St. Louis Audubon’s Bring Conservation Home program, and a horticulture volunteer with St. Louis County Parks. A Master Gardener since 1999, she is the winner of the St. Louis Post Dispatch Best Native Garden contest.

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2017 February monthly gathering highlights

man talking in front of presentation screen to group of seated people

Scott Woodbury, Curator of the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve, gave an informative talk to a record crowd of 104.
Photo by Dawn Weber

February 1, 2017
Our February gathering, the first of 2017, attracted a record attendance of 104. Fifty-five members and 49 guests came to hear a presentation of current interest at The Heights community center of Richmond Heights. Marsha Gebhardt welcomed new visitors, guest Richmond Heights Garden Club members, and guest Master Gardeners.

Scott Woodbury, Curator of the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve, and 1998 founder of our St. Louis Chapter Wild Ones, gave a presentation titled: Native Landscaping: Front Yard Formal.

“Front yard formal” can mean getting along in the neighborhood by planning and maintaining a well-behaved landscape, being neighborly, and using good gardening practices.

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November 2016 monthly gathering highlights

three women and seed packets

From left to right: Ann Early, Prem Barton, and Kathy Bildner at the seed exchange

November 2, 2016
Our annual celebratory potluck dinner and seed exchange was enjoyed by 40 members and eight guests at The Heights Community Center of Richmond Heights. Marsha Gebhardt welcomed all.

Questions for table discussion during dinner were provided. The topic was, My Year with Native Plants and Wildlife.

Discussion starters were:

  • I was surprised
  • I was so happy
  • I want to know how to
  • I wish
  • Next year I want to

Permanent, professional name tags were given to members who volunteer regularly for our events. Members who did not receive one can request a name tag by contacting Fran Glass at fran813@gmail.com

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