2018 Wild Ones Twin Cities 
Native Plant Tours 
Join us on summer tours of native landscapes in and around the Twin Cities!
This tour is free and open to the public!

July 14, 2018 | 10:15 am to 2:00 pm
Native Landscaping in Mendota Heights

Addresses and directions will be given out at the first stop on the tour: 
1704 Vicki Lane, Mendota Heights, MN 55118

#1 | Leslie Pilgrim 

For nearly seven years, this 1/2 acre yard has been slowly transitioned from a conventional to a native landscape. Approximately 75% of the vegetation is now native flowers, grasses, shrubs, and trees. Most lawn has been removed and replaced with vegetation or mulch. The home is circled by various gardens including two "unmanicured" native gardens, a formally landscaped hillside in the backyard, as well as wooded sideyards. Sprinkled throughout the property is whimsical artwork, water sources for birds, and windchimes.

# 2 | Kraus Native Landscape 

When we began talking nearly a decade ago about plans for an addition to our house, we knew that changes to our back yard would also be needed to make room for the new space.  This presented an opportunity to replace our functional, yet unappealing concrete-block retaining wall filled with non-native trees, shrubs, and landscaping stones with something more in keeping with our natural Minnesota landscape.  The desire was to create an outdoor space that evoked images of the North Shore and included native grasses and forbs found here in northern Dakota County.

When the home addition was finally completed seven years ago we hired a professional landscaping company to install the hardscape for our yard, which includes a rock wall built with large boulders from a quarry in Dresser, WI (i.e. “Dresser trap rock” boulders), a circulating stream that runs through one end of the rock wall, and a brick paver patio between the rock wall and the house.  We also took the opportunity to build a small rain garden in one side yard to help retain and filter water from our eaves troughs and sump pump discharge.

A year after the addition was completed we began work on the design and installation of the native plantings with the help of Tennant Landscaping (located in Hastings, MN).  Plants were selected to include a mixture of different sizes, textures, colors and bloom times, as well as to attract a variety of birds, insects, and other native critters.  The earliest plants begin blooming soon after the snow disappears (Prairie Smoke), and the last disappear just as the ground begins to freeze (Aromatic Aster and Sky Blue Aster).  In between we enjoy a wide variety of flowering plants (Wild Lupine, Swamp and Butterfly Milkweed, Joe Pye Weed, Pale Purple and Purple Coneflower, Prairie Coreopsis, Fireweed, White Wild Indigo, Rattlesnake Master, Rough and Meadow Blazingstar, among others) and grasses (Prairie Dropseed and Little Bluestem).

Care of the yard begins each spring with the clearing of the previous year’s dead plants once the first shoots of green begin to appear from the plant bases.  (Dead plants are left in place during the fall and winter, both as a source of food and habitat for insects and animals and because they add visual appeal to the wintery landscape.)  Now several years post-installation, maintenance mostly includes weeding (a job that recurs throughout the growing season) and annual or biannual application of hardwood mulch.  It took about two years for the plants to get fully established, but now that they have matured our two biggest challenges (besides the weeds) are keeping more successful species from dominating others and replacing certain species that have been lost to hungry rabbits (Prairie Phlox, Oxeye, and Prairie Clover have been particularly hard hit).  We did install a drip-line irrigation system when the rock wall was installed, but this was only used during the first summer that the plants were installed.

It has been a labor of love to create and tinker with the native spaces in our back yard, and our appetite for adding to them grows each year.  It has been a source of great fun and learning for our entire family.  We hope you’ll enjoy spending time in our native garden as much as we do!

#3 | Sue Light 

The garden is situated on a lot behind the house that starts at the house and slopes toward a small lake. In the summer of 2012, the homeowner decided to convert a conventional garden to a native garden for the health of the lake.  She was also tired of the labor involved in maintaining a conventional garden on a slope. 6 years later it is a beautiful, lower maintenance garden with many more beneficial insects and even a few new bird species visitors. Part of the garden is sunny and part is in shade, so the spring highlights the woodland garden and the sunny, prairie plants shine in the summer.

Invasive plants such as buckthorn and reed canary grass have always been a challenge, and in 2017 a new invasive, Japanese Hedge Parsley was found in the sunny areas of the garden. Time spent managing these invasive plants and other garden chores averages about one or two hours/week during the growing season.  Since 2012 no supplemental water, fertilizer or soil amendments have been needed.


July 26, 2018 | POLLINATOR PARTY!
5-8 pm |Lyndale Park gardens 

The 2018 Pollinator Party will take place on Thursday, July 26, from 5 to 8 p.m. The event will take place at Lyndale Park Gardens (4124 Roseway Road, Minneapolis, MN 55409) on the east side of Lake Harriet. Organization of the Pollinator Party is a cooperative effort by Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and the U of MN Bee Lab/Bee Squad.

The goal of the Pollinator Party is to promote awareness of pollinators, share expert knowledge and celebrate pollinators' contributions to our world. We are excited to have a diverse range of exhibitors. Thank you for sharing your time and energy to help the pollinators!

Here is a link to the Pollinator Party Event Page (Facebook).


August 11, 2018 | MEMBER-ONLY TOUR
Root River Valley Tour led by Scott Ledy 

More details to come soon! 

September 8, 2018 
10th Annual Monarch Festival – Festival de la Monarca
This year’s Monarch Festival will occur on Saturday, September 8, 2018, from 10 am to 4 pm.  The Festival celebrates the monarch butterfly amazing 2,300 mile migration from Minnesota to Mexico with music, food, dance, hands-on art, native plant sales and plenty of opportunities to get up close with monarch butterflies, learn about their habitats, and what you can do to make a difference.

The Festival will be held just east of the Lake Nokomis Community Center in the area bounded by E. Minnehaha Parkway, Woodlawn Boulevard, and E. Nokomis Parkway.

SUMMER 2018 Wild Ones Gardeneering at NOKOMIS NATURESCAPE

Gardeneering Information (for more, click here)

NN Gardeneer Coordinators are: 
Vicki Bonk, 612-232-8196, vbonk@usiwireless.com and
Marilyn Jones, 518-928-7819, marilyndjones@gmail.com
  • Regular group gardening sessions begin in May at 6-8 pm on most Tuesday evenings.
  • The meeting time of group gardening sessions changes in late August to 5-7 pm.
  • Gardening is weather permitting - light rain, some heat or cold is fine but with any extreme, a gardening cancellation notice will be emailed to group day of session.

7/10, 24 & 31/Tue ~ NN Gardening 6-8pm
7/19/Thu ~  Wells Fargo Volunteers at NN | 1-4pm, 2 + NN gardeners help requested
TBA ~ MPRB Pollinator Party at Lyndale Gardens

8/7, 21, 28/Tue ~ NN Gardening 6-8pm | Time change later in month to 5-7pm
8/16/Thu ~  Wells Fargo Volunteers at NN | 1-4pm, 2 + NN gardeners help requested

9/4, 11 & 28/Tue ~ NN Gardening 5-7pm

(Wild Ones Meeting on the  9/18/Tue)
9/9/Sat 10am - 4pm ~The Minneapolis Monarch Festival

10/9 & 23/Tue ~ NN Gardening 5-7pm
(Wild Ones Meeting on the  10/16/Tue)