Native Garden Tour - May 26th & 29th

It's Native Garden Tour Season!

George and Bernice Watson's Native Plant Gardens, Lakeville

Wednesday, May 26th from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm and

Saturday, May 29th from 10:00 am-3:00 pm

16969 Hamilton Ct., Lakeville MN

Please pre-register HERE to help us plan for your visit.

George will lead one guided tour on Wednesday evening and hourly guided tours on Saturday. Guests are welcome to tour the garden on their own as well.

Would you like to VOLUNTEER as a garden tour GREETER? Sign up here!

When we moved into this home in August of 1987, it was a bare lot. We have added over 40 trees to the canopy and subcanopy in the last 34 years.  Progressing from the front yard back, the percentage of natives in a garden increases as more recent additions are in the back.  The rear of the property adjoins the Foxborough Conservation Area. This is mostly a blessing as we enjoy the wildlife, but it can be a chore to minimize the damage from deer and rabbits.

In 2001, George took a trip to Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota. He was inspired and fascinated by the native plants.  We tried to mimic the wildflowers he had seen at Voyagers in our woodland shade garden on the east side of our home.

Continuing along the east side of our home, we added a functional dry streambed. The downspouts feed a rain barrel which overflows into the stream bed. This flows toward the back of the property, across a ford, and then into the first of three ponds. The ponds function similar to rain gardens and incorporate rock filled basins to give the appearance of water when dry, similar to that of a Japanese garden. The plants are mostly on the perimeter of the ponds to give the ponds a larger appearance. The first pond overflows into another stream to the second pond, which in turn overflows into another stream, under a bridge and into the third pond adjacent to the Arbor Garden.

On one of the garden tours, we saw a hillside planted with prairie flowers. The steep slope of our Pollinator Prairie Gardens was somewhat dangerous to mow, so four years ago, we started installing the first of the two gardens to eliminate that issue.

We also looked to undisturbed native areas in the neighborhood for inspiration. We took an inventory of the areas and determined, per the Field Guide to the Native Plant Communities of Minnesota The Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province, that our home is in the MHs38b plot definitions. Using that as our plant list, we have started integrating those plants into our gardens. We replicated native plant settings in our gardens to enhance the beautiful native wildflower landscape.

Hope you enjoy the tour.

George and Bernice

The Nokomis Naturescape Gardeneers have a new program in 2021:  Native Plant Gardening Learn-Along. 

This is a mentoring opportunity where people newer to native plant habitat gardening can learn-alongside an experienced gardener (most Wild Ones Twin Cities members) with a couple of others. We’ll do the gardening chores that present themselves that week plus learn more about the plants and animal visitors (usually very small) we encounter.  Learn-along the growing season topics will be presented at the beginning of each session. These 15-30 minutes presentations will then be followed by hands-on gardening time. Just show up or email for more info.

Thanks to all of our spring program speakers!

Miss a program? Watch them on our Wild Ones Twin Cities' YouTube Channel! 

Watch Nancy Schumacher's May 18th presentation on Starting Native Plants from Seed HERE.

And be sure to check out the latest issue of WILD REFLECTIONS!

Would you like to help our chapter GROW? 

Click HERE for opportunities to VOLUNTEER for Wild Ones Twin Cities activities and committees.

And a big THANK YOU to everyone who supported our chapter through their purchase of native plant from our annual sale. Pick-up of pre-ordered plants will be at Prairie Restorations in Princeton on June 4th. 5th & 6th from 9 am until 4 pm each day.