Northtown Garden Society
Bob Iiames, Jr
Mr Al DeReu, program manager of TreeKeepers, was our guest speaker. He discussed the TreeKeepers course, Openlands TreePlanters Grant, tree pruning (with a brief discussion of the Derecho of last summer),and shrub pruning,
Here are some links to organinzations he discussed:
NGS Program Chair
Our guest speaker was Bob Iiames, Jr. who spoke to us in a Virtual Presentation from Englewood, Ohio.
Bob Iiames, Jr. is a groundskeeper at the 173-acre Lange Estate in Ludlow Falls, Ohio. He shared his considerable knowledge about the types, uses and care of conifers.
Their leaves are usually in the form of needles:
Conifers come in an infinate variety of shapes, sizes and colors of the needles and cones. The dwarf varietiies can be inches in height,
They can be used in beds and borders, focal points, rock gardens, ground covers, containers and as topiary. They add winter interest to a garden.
Witches’ brooms are:
Masked up and 6 feet apart
Ellen LeBedz wins a door prize
We were captivated by the presentation of Diane Ahshakov, President of the Northern Illinois Iris Society, and her vast knowlege of growing irises.
Diane currently grows somewhere between 600-700 different varieties of iris on her 10-acre Black Cat Farm, in rural LaSalle County, near Sandwich. She and her young daughter also enjoy growing vegetables, herbs, fruit, flowers, and native plants, and our animal friends include 3 horses, 4 cats, and a whole bunch of chickens and ducks.
Photos are from Diane's slide presentation.
At our first in-person meeting since February, we were delighted to have Joshua Kaiser from the City Grange speak to us about houseplants and tropicals.
Here are some helpful hints:
Light requirements defined:
Good plants for light conditions:
Fertilize plants every two weeks in the growing season
Check soil moistue level by using a bamboo skewer
Fertilize orchids every week when blooming
Some pet-safe plants are orchids, pepperomia and spider plants
Zoom meeting participants..Ines Sommer is left on 2nd row.
Our guest speaker was Sue Groshong, an Illinois Master Gardener and volunteer at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. The definition of an invasive plant is "one that is usually non-native to an ecosystem and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause harm to the economy, the environment or human health". So, those dandelions we find in our yards are not considered invasive even though we may not like them.
Plants become invasive through faster and more efficient acquisition of limited resources: water, sunlight, nutrients and/or space. They may have high seed production, longer growing seasons, effective seed dispersal, early growth or reproduction, fast growth or the ability to give off chemicals in their roots that kill or inhibit other plants (Allelopathy).
In Illinois, bush honeysuckle is the worst followed by garlic mustard, Japanese knotweed, lesser celandine which is invading Chicago lawns and wild parsnip which can cause serious contact dernatitis. Wild parsnip is not common in the city. Illinois is on the lookout for the insect, spotted lanternfly, which is already in Michigan and Pennsylvania and goes after fruit trees,
Things you can do:
Resources in Illinois:
Resources in Chicago
Would it kill you to compost?
Our guest speaker was Ines Sommer, a longtime resident of Rogers Park, who is the director and producer of the full-length documentary film, Seasons of Change on Henry’s Farm. You may be familiar with Henry's Farm if you shop at the Evanston Farmers Market. Henry's farm is an organic farm located in southern Illinois. After reading the book by Tara Brockman, the sister of Henry Brockman who owns the farm, Ms Sommer received permission to film a documentary over the period of a year. The film covers the joys and challenges of managing a successful organic farm including the effects of climate change in farming.
Henry's Farm has a website with lots of information about the farm, including a list of the over 600 vegetables that he grows and essays about his farming ethic and philosophy. To subscribe to their Evanston Farmer's Market weekly newsletter of farm news and what he's bringing to the next Saturday morning market, go to this page and scroll down to the second section about their blog and communications: https://brockmanfamilyfarming.com/
The website also has a page devoted to Terra Brockman's writings. She is Henry's sister and the author of Seasons on Henry's Farm, a book describing the full annual cycle of the farm, with recipes.
Our monthly programs are usually held on the 1st Thursday of the month at 7:00 PM in the Warren Park Field House, 6601 N. Western Ave. Chicago.
We usually feature a social get-together with refreshments followed by a guest speaker.
Our guest speaker, Ann Whelan, is a long time resident of Rogers Park who took on the challenge of leading the dune habitat restoration at Loyola Beach on Lake Michigan on the north side of Chicago. Known as the Dune Steward, Ann leads a group of over 200 volunteers who have worked since 2003 to protect and restore the dune habitat at Loyola Beach Dunes, 1230 W. Greenleaf. The mission is to maintain a native wilderness in the city and restore the dunes as a native shoreline.
Ann's presentsaion was totally captivating as she discussed the process of replacing non-native vegetation with grasses, flowering plants and trees that are native dunes inhabitants. Through the efforts of Ann, her volunteers and the Chicago Park District, beach erosion has been arrested in places and migratory birds and wildlife are returning. They are continuing their efforts as they move north along the shoreline to tackle more beaches.
For more information and photos, you can visit the website, Loyola Dunes Restoration which includes a link to their Facebook page.
Read more about it in the RogersEdge Reporter article here
Our guest speaker, Michael Orr, is a native Chicagoan—grew up in Rogers Park and attended Whitney Young HS. Currently, Mike is Recycling Director for the City of Cambridge, home to Harvard and MIT. He oversees all waste diversion programs, with the goal of reducing trash 80% by 2050, with 2008 as a baseline. With a $1 million budget, he oversaw the expansion of curbside composting to 32,000 households in 2018. He has also implemented the City’s Zero Waste Master Plan, the plastic bag and polystyrene ordinances, and mattress recycling. Previously, Mike served as the sustainability coordinator for Lesley University. Mike is a Board member of a nonprofit, MassRecycle.
Mike spoke about the Do's and Don'ts of home recyling and what happens to our recylclables after they leave our homes. To learn about Chicago's recycling rules, you can go to RecycleByCity.
Some recycling general rules are:
Our trash goes to landfill so it's important to recycle that which you can.
If you want to see what happens at a recycling center, go to this YouTube video.
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