Spring Wildflower Season is Here

The annual cycle of beautiful spring wildflowers is underway.

Most of the ones you will see during this season are “ephemerals”.  They emerge, grow quickly, flower, and then die back. These are mostly low growing with small but brightly colored flowers.  In many cases they take advantage of the sun’s rays before they are shaded out by the emergence of leaves on the trees and shrubs.  Each plant is individually beautiful. Some of the species are highly abundant and form large patches of color that light up the ground.

The majority of the wildflowers you will see at Reed-Turner are native to the region.  There are a few that come from other places – some of these are tolerated, as they “behave”, fitting into the ecosystem.  Others, like garlic mustard, dame’s rocket, and multiflora rose, are “bullies” – they crowd out the natives and in general are undesirable.  Volunteers and our summer interns spend weeks pulling out and trying to control these invasives.

During the spring season we will post periodic updates on what is in bloom.  Take a walk through the Preserve and see if you can spot them all – and enjoy the peaceful beauty of the season.

Click on the image for a list of our most prominent wildflowers and the expected time of bloom.


 

Long Grove-Kildeer Garden Club’s Plant Sale is MUCH MORE

Sorry- You Missed it.  We’ll be back with more plants and art in 2018.  Look for us the weekend  AFTER Mother’s Day (or May 19-20 to be exact).

4 Great Opportunities in 1: Plants, Art, Garden Decor, and Gardening Books!

Mark your calendar for May 20 and 21

2 Serious buyers picking their favoritesIt’s not too early to start thinking of spring gardening. May brings with it a plethora of plant sales, but this one stands out. This year shoppers can take advantage of four distinct garden-related offerings.

  • Foremost are the hundreds of perennial plants grown in members’ gardens. These are tried and true performers for our local soil and climate. Also available will be varieties of milkweed, an essential plant for the survival of the monarch butterfly (and an attraction for other butterflies as well). For your palate, choose from heirloom tomato varieties. All plants are at bargain prices.
    4 Botanic artists poster sample
  • A longtime partner group, the Reed-Turner Botanic Artists, will have wonderful originals, prints, cards and more. All feature botanical themes. The members of this group have won numerous awards and are regularly featured in regional exhibits. These works will brighten your home year round and all are priced reasonably.  This specialized art makes great gifts for your favorite gardener (and for yourself).
  • Every garden needs more than just plants. 3 Young gardenerGarden decor, whether to place in the actual garden or to display on walls of garden sheds or patios, helps to focus attention and can set apart different garden beds or borders. The Club will have a variety of items that may be just perfect for your outdoor spaces. All of these items are offered at very affordable prices ($15 or less).
  • New this year is a gardening book sale. Members have donated new, gently used, and some well-thumbed historic volumes. There are offerings for everyone from the beginning gardener to in-depth specialty volumes on specific plant families. These books will help brighten up your green thumb.Garden books (2)

Come out and see for yourself. The event is at the Reed-Turner Nature Center, 3849 Old McHenry Rd in Long Grove. Dates are May 20, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and May 21 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is indoors and will be held rain or shine. For additional information, contact Kathy at 847-487-6985 or kathymichas33@gmail.com.


 

Flashes of Color: Dragonflies, Butterflies and More in Your Yard

The Long Grove-Kildeer Garden Club invites you to join their April meeting for this informative program.

Dragonfly 1Janet Hawgen has spent years photographing and documenting the beautiful but small winged creatures that populate our yards and parks. She will share some of her great photography as well as the natural history of these important and colorful creatures that bring added life to a healthy garden. Many improve our comfort and health by devouring pests (mosquitoes). Others add to the beauty of our environment by both their dazzling colors and by pollinating our plants.

Day and Time: April 10 at 9:30 a.m. at the Reed-Turner Nature Center, 3849 Old McHenry Rd in Long Grove.

Blue butterflyGuests are always welcome.

Contact Kathy Michas at 847-487-6985 or kathymichas33@gmail.com if you have any questions.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Welcome the Birds Back to Long Grove

Scarlet TanagerReed-Turner Woodland is a favorite stopover point for many species of birds migrating north to their nesting grounds. And, of course, it is the summer home of dozens of species. Early May is the best time to spot both the travelers and our local residents.

Join Kathy Michas on a guided family bird walk at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 6. [Yes, the birds are awake and most active early in the day…after all, the early bird gets the worm.] Dress for the weather and bring binoculars. This is an event for anyone interested in learning about the birds in our area.

There is no fee for this event but registration is required as there is a limit to the size of the group. Call 847-438-4743 or email syoung@lgparks.org to register (be sure to include the number in your party if you register by email).

Meet at Reed-Turner Nature Center, 3849 Old McHenry Rd, Long Grove.

Start time: 7:00 a.m., May 6.Oriole

How many birds are there to see?  In spring, an experienced birder would see 25-40 species.  Novices in a noisy group will see fewer.  Click on the image of the Baltimore Oriole (to the left) for a list of birds typically seen at Reed-Turner in the spring- and keep coming back until you have seen them all!

 

 

 

 


 

Teasel Time – Take a Look Around Your Neighborhood

 WANTED

Dead or Alive

TEASEL

Teasel stalks in flower

 

Teasel flower- close upIf you do not have yard waste pickup service, then Deposit (in paper Yard Waste Bags) in Dumpster at Village Water Works (South of Sunset)

 Teasel along road

 

For more information on teasel click HERE.

Look around your neighborhood in sunny areas, especially those near roadsides or disturbed areas.  July is “prime time” to see this year’s invasive teasel crop bolt in size from a foot high leafy structure to its 6 ft tall stalk with the characteristic round flower head that will turn into a bristle-covered seed head. Stopping the spread of teasel means removing this flower or seed head before the seed is dropped.  Click the link above to learn how to do it.


 

Butterfly Garden Flourishes in its First Full Summer

Erin McDermott earned her Girl Scout Gold Bar Award in 2015 by designing and planting a butterfly garden here at Reed-Turner Woodland.  While the focus was on providing food for Monarch butterflies, the garden includes numerous flowering plants that feed many species of butterflies. Erin’s design also included the construction of two benches (one adult size and one sized for the younger set) so that visitors could sit, relax, and enjoy observing what comes to the flowers.

This is the first full year of the garden and it is flourishing.  The plants are healthy and well into their bloom cycle.

Among the plants is milkweed which is an essential element for a Monarch garden, as Monarch caterpillars only feed on the leaves of milkweed.  Milkweed, however, plays a double role.  Its flowers are a food source not only for the Monarch adults but also for hummingbirds who visit the large clusters of tiny flowers for the nectar.  If you are lucky you’ll get to see some of these incredible birds, along with a variety of butterflies.

We invite you to visit the garden, sit and observe the garden and the animals it attracts.  You reach the garden by following the short path which starts on the north side of the parking lot (the same side as the Nature Center entrance sign).

Click on the image below to see some of the flowers in bloom now (July 1) or which are just about to be in bloom in the upcoming weeks.

milkweed-monarch


 

New Long Grove Resident to the Rescue

…The shingles were falling like leaves in a late fall rainstorm.

That was the situation last winter for the Long Grove Park District’s equipment garage at Reed-Turner Woodland. The District recognized that a new roof was essential to protect the structural integrity of the garage and its contents.  The question was how to fund the repairs.  We decided to include the garage roof as one of our “wish list” items in our annual December donation request letter to the community.

Peter Czaja

Peter Czaja

As everyone wishes, Santa actually arrived – in the form of Peter Czaja, a new resident of Long Grove.

 

 

 

Peter, the owner of WMRoofing and Construction in Rivergrove, called the Park District office just before Christmas and asked if we still needed a new roof.  We of course said yes.  He offered to donate one to the Park District.   Peter says “I believe in giving back to the community and this is something that I can do.”

So, on a beautiful spring day with the wildflowers in bloom, the Woodland was filled with some unusual

New roof underway.

New roof underway.

sounds of hammers and staple guns as Peter’s crew removed and replaced the garage roof with new shingles selected to both blend in with the roof of the adjacent Nature Center and to last a looong time!

With the roof done by the end of the day, Long Grove Park District President Jane Wittig was very happy as she thanks Peter for the excellent work.

Peter + Jane + Roof

Park District President thanks Peter for the great work