By Laurie Casey
Nature is under threat, and it's up to us to protect it. What can we do? We can help heal nature by planting native plants. It's not expensive and it's not difficult. In fact, you can learn how to do it at an upcoming conference on Saturday, Feb. 11, at Triton College in River Grove.
The Naturally Beautiful Garden conference will provide practical advice on creating stunning home gardens using layers found in native ecosystems. These layers support life: soil organisms, insects, birds and more.
Landscape architect Rick Darke, co-author with Douglas Tallamy of “The Living Landscape,” and Heather Holm, author of “Pollinators of Native Plants,” will lead the half-day conference on how to design home landscapes that not only look beautiful but also support the surrounding regional ecosystem. The conference is hosted by the West Cook chapter of Wild Ones, a national native plant organization.
First, Darke will lead the audience in an entertaining discussion of a wild landscape's layers (ground, forbs, grasses, shrubs, small trees, large trees), and how we can use them in eye-catching, beautiful ways. Next, he will give advice on easy ways to maintain a native home landscape. Then, Holm will describe the habitat and food needs of birds, bees and pollinators, and recommend specific native trees and shrubs that support their life cycles.
Learn more: https://westcookwildonesconference.eventbrite.com. This conference is made possible by West Cook Wild Ones members, their plant sale, and PlanItGreen, Oak Park and River Forest's Sustainability Plan. Triton College Sustainability Center will host the conference.