Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

2017 Gift Ideas for the Native Plant Gardener

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We thought we’d compile a handy list for the nature lover on your list. Don’t forget the possibility of a gift membership to West Cook Wild Ones. 🙂 Books: Mike MacDonald’s My Journey Into the Wilds of Chicago  Heather Holm: Bee Identification and Forage and Pollinators of Native Plants Charlotte Adelman and Bernard Schwarz’s new book… Read more »

West Cook Wild Ones 2017 Accomplishments

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West Cook Wild Ones 2017 Accomplishments We are grateful for all of the joyful energy of our members, volunteers, and supporters over this past year. Thanks to all of you 2017 was a year of action for us. Next year will be even better.  Embracing senescence It’s hard to believe it’s almost time to say… Read more »

Sprezzatura in the Fall Garden

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Fall clean up, Maintenance, Uncategorized.

Rembrandt, an Old Master who used earth tones to offset golden light, used a technique he termed sprezzatura, meaning apparent carelessness. In the spirit of artistic and environmental sensibilities, let us native gardeners unite under this term.  Allowing the gardens to stand during fall and winter, we might appear careless about the gardens, but instead… Read more »

What’s in a Leaf Pile, Or Why Not to Do Fall Clean-up

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Clean up, Fall clean up, Maintenance.

What’s in a Leaf Pile? A lot of potential for life is in a leaf pile. Many beneficial (and beautiful) insect overwinter in our yards. For instance, the Katydid (important food source for birds during late summer) and Preying Mantis overwinter as eggs attached to twigs, stems, and/or leaves. Ladybugs and Lacewings also spend the… Read more »

Aphids: What to Do?

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Clean up, Maintenance.

  This post was written to address a question about aphids on milkweed.  Any of the steps would apply to aphids on any other type of plant, including edibles.  (Note the image at the top of the page is of a Lacewing adult, one of the beneficials that you want to attract and keep in your… Read more »

Rethinking Spring Clean-up

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Clean up, Spring clean up.

Hold your rake!  Clearing out your garden can backfire–you are removing the building blocks of soil and harming if not destroying beneficial insects that found a safe place in your garden during the winter.  You can learn more about some of these animals in this post: What’s in a Leaf Pile.   Read the below… Read more »

Two Simple, Easy, and Natural Steps for Summer Habitat Garden Maintenance

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Butterfly Garden, Clean up, Maintenance.

Summer is almost here, and plants are up.  You’ve been a good dooby and left some stems standing to provide habitat/nesting areas for cavity-nesting bees (such as Mason Bees and tiny Carpenter bees).  Maybe you’re also worried about pulling weeds and not sure how best to handle the situation.  Here are some quick and easy… Read more »

Notes from Judith Pollock’s Presentation on Attracting Migratory Birds

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Bird gardens, Uncategorized.

Native Plantings to Attract Migratory Birds After a little good-natured group tribute to Doug Tallamy, Judy Pollock told us about the real conservation work we can do.  Where?  Not in faraway places at all but simply in our own yards.  In Judy’s own yard in Evanston, IL, she has observed 125 migratory species in her… Read more »