2020 Winners

| General

Meet the 2020 Landscape Challenge Winners from Wild Ones St. Charles Area

This year of 2020 is the first year that the Wild Ones St. Charles Chapter has
participated in the Landscape Challenge sponsored by Grow Native! ,the educational
branch of the Missouri Prairie Foundation.
With help from the St. Louis Wild Ones, we went through the necessary steps
and chose a winner from seven applicants all vying for a specifically designed
formal front yard area filled with native plants. By using native plants, a home
owner can single handedly improve the habitat in his neighborhood and
promote an increase in the number of bees, birds and butterflies that can survive
in the area. All of the applicants demonstrated an interest in improving their
immediate environment by having previously had an evaluation by Audubon’s
Bringing Conservation Home Program .
Patty and Steve Berry have lived in their current location in St. Peters for nine
years. They bought their home in 2011 when they moved back to the area from
Colorado. It was a typical suburban subdivision development with a lot of sun
and little shade in the yard. In an effort to bring more birds into the yard, they
contracted in 2014 with a nursery to plan and install more plantings. They
indicated they wanted native plantings and ended up getting a mix of nonnatives and “nativars”, i.e., plants that have been purposely cultivated to change
a certain aspect of their being . The next year, in 2015, the Berrys found out
about the “Bring Conservation Home Program” that is part of the Audubon
Society and had Mitch Leachman out for a consultation. This made them aware
of the native plants that would attract more birds and insects to the yard. In
March of 2016, they attended a native landscaping workshop at Powder Valley
and learned about Doug Tallamy and his “Bringing Nature Home” book. They
started to add native plants around the yard, replacing non-natives and growing
the area in the back of the yard as their “pollinator” area. They added a waterfall
water feature for attracting birds, and subsequently replaced it last year (in
2019 ) with a bubbler and a shallow pond area.
Last Fall and into the early part of 2020, they worked with another landscape
company to design and install a larger planting area behind the house with small
trees, shrubs, and perennials,( all natives), which are now bearing fruit for the
birds. They have continued to amend areas around the yard with a number of
milkweed species and plants both purchased and obtained from Wild Ones
gatherings after they joined the St. Louis Chapter. They also joined the St.
Charles Chapter when it was started in April 2018. Once the Landscape
Challenge was announced, they applied, were chosen, and had the opportunity
to expand the native planting “footprint” in the front yard. The hope is that folks
in their subdivision will be inspired to plant natives as well. Their yard is now
certified as a “Silver Level Landscape” with 5% of the total available yard
planted in natives, before installation of the front yard native garden. The yard is
also certified as a Monarch Way-Station.
Currently, the Berry’s have about 90 different native species. The Landscape
Challenge area in the front yard alone added 101 individual plants. The tree they
added in the front is a Chinkapin Oak, done to follow the Tallamy
recommendation that “if you can plant just one tree, make it an Oak” due to it
being the most caterpillar hosting tree species.
On October 8, 2020, the Berrys hosted the St. Charles Wild Ones Garden
Gathering and showed off their new garden to members. As a result of winning
the Challenge, the Berrys will also receive periodic advise, recommendations
and follow-up from the organization.