Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Friday Plant Workshop

We had fun at the plant workshop today.  Several members of the presenter's family were also there -- after a five-hour drive.  I love seeing that kind of family support; it's not as common these days.  Oh, and my book From Nature's Patient Hands is filed in the library now.

The presentation started with invasive plants.  One new to me was garlic mustard.  Also bush honeysuckles have gone from "vigorous" to "invasive" listing.  Le sigh.  We've no way to replace the honeysuckle hedge at present, but I'll stop letting them volunteer in the yard.  I was also horrified  to learn that kudzu has made its way into Illinois and is creeping northwards towards this vicinity.  The benighted stuff is hardy to zone 7, 6, or 5 depending what source you consult; we used to be 5b but are now 6a.  What, it's not enough that climate change brings me velvet ants, now I have to worry about kudzu?  I have no words for this ... that do not consist of four letters.  You can look up federal or state noxious/invasive weeds online.

The next section covered native plants, mostly wildflowers.  We got to take home seeds from purple coneflower and black-eyed susan.  No native grass seed at this time, but the staff has considered doing that in the future.  Look up some native plants by searching wildflowers of the United States.  (Those of you in other countries will have to find your own local resources, sorry.)

Finally we went outside.  We walked past the beginnings of the new butterfly garden and out to the prairie section in the southeast corner of the reserve.  We found several invasive species and a few natives.  Much fun.  *chuckle*  It was also a demonstration of how, no matter how many plants you know, as soon as you go for a walk with someone else they will point to one you don't know yet.  The presenter and I had a slightly different knowledge base, which is typical of people who love plants, so most of the stuff did get identified one way or another.

Tomorrow there is a plant swap at the nature center, along with other activities.  I managed to find a rain-free hour this evening to dig up some extra herbs and wildflowers, so I have a flat full of stuff to trade.  Yay!
Tags: gardening, holiday, illinois, nature, personal
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