Wild Ideas:  Newsletter for the Flint Chapter of Wild Ones Natural Landscapers, Limited.

Summer 2000


Congratulations to everyone who helped put together and manage the Wild Ones display and seed sale at the Flint Urban Gardening Expo! The display looked beautiful and certainly commanded some attention. The wildflower seed packets were beautifully labeled and organized. The signs were very striking. We now have something we can take anywhere! It was great teamwork. Anyone is welcome to borrow the display and set it up at an appropriate event. (I would be happy to provide all handouts.)

On June 8, our last meeting, about 10 people participated in our first plant rescue! We had a good time digging and exploring. The opportunity was set up by the owner of J. J. Cardinals in Grand Blanc, Louise Dawson. Louise happened to drive by some undeveloped lots in a new subdivision and noticed drifts of trillium. They were once part of a woodland and are now part of small wooded lots with paved streets, curbs, and street lights, soon to be mostly house and lawn. She was able to get permission for us to do a plant rescue. We found trillium, wild geranium, Solomon's seal, mayapple, early meadow rue, and Pennsylvania sedge, as well as sassafras, American bladdernut, and witchhazel seedlings! We took everything over to Bicentennial Park in Grand Blanc and planted it in a woods there, where we thought it would fit in. It will be fun to go back and check on it. We finally finished at about 9:30 pm. It was dark and mosquito-y, but it was satisfying.

Looking ahead, we have many possible projects before us, and I am looking forward to learning and working with everyone. It's really great to have an enthusiastic group of friends who enjoy the outdoors and share similar beliefs. The Wild Ones really do have a special mission to home and community landscapes.

Right now the National Wild Ones group is trying to set up a members' on-line forum. As you know, routine gardening information concerning maintenance, spacing, size, culture, and propagation of native plants is not always available. This information, gathered from across our entire organization of approximately 2,500 members, could be a great resource for us. The National Wild Ones also has other interesting ideas which we will be discussing in the months to come.

Being involved in Wild Ones is an opportunity to be part of a great grassroots movement, which has the potential to greatly improve lives—our lives and the lives of other species who live on this earth with us. It's a pleasure to be involved.

Virginia Chatfield, President


This August, Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor is teaming up with the five Michigan chapters of Wild Ones to sponsor a natural landscaping conference to be called "Celebrating our Native Landscape: Bringing It All Home."

The conference is intended to introduce principles associated with natural landscaping, with a particular emphasis on the Great Lakes Region and southeastern Michigan. Scheduled for August 12th, the conference will feature morning talks by Craig Tufts, Chief Naturalist for the National Wildlife Federation and author of The Backyard Naturalist and the National Wildlife Federation's Guide to Gardening for Wildlife: How to Create a Beautiful Backyard Habitat for Birds, Butterflies, and Other Wildlife; Joan Nassauer, Landscape Architecture Professor at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) and author of Placing Nature: Culture and Landscape Ecology; and Bob Grese, Director of the Nichols Arboretum and Landscape Architecture Professor at SNRE and author of Jens Jensen: Maker of Natural Parks and Gardens.

The afternoon program will include sessions on introducing native plants to a traditional garden, native grasses and sedges, attracting backyard wildlife, propagating and planting native plants, water-quality issues and native landscapes, and working with local government. There will also be a series of workshops in the arboretum on assessing your landscape (landforms, soils, habitats), plant identification, identifying and managing invasive exotic plants, prairie wildflowers and grasses, and woodland groundcovers.

Cost of the conference with lunch included will be $35 for Wild Ones members or Friends of Nichols Arboretum if registered by August 1, or $40 for nonmembers. Walk-in registration will be $50 (lunch not guaranteed). A variety of books and native plants will be offered for sale. Sources of additional conference information are listed in the meeting schedule.



by Vicki Gagne

Question: I have a shady area in my yard that I would like to turn into a shade garden, using native Michigan plants. Got any suggestions?


by Virginia Chatfield

Little Bluestem

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