Native Plants

Invasive Species Awareness Week: Burning Bush

By: Mary Nell Murphy While driving on Hwy 12 near the Indiana Dunes parks last fall, I stopped at a wayside for a stretch break and looked across the road to a sea of watermelon pink under the forest canopy. Delightful? No! As I suspected, and as I confirmed “upon further review of the field” …

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Bags of neatly labled plant seed

Discovering a New Passion in The Great Marsh

By Dale Nichols Given the right growing conditions, the budding seed of curiosity can sometimes blossom into a wonderful new passion.  My name is Dale Nichols, and this is a story about a three-and-a-half-month journey of discovery involving my own curiosity with, well, seeds—more specifically the seeds of native plants growing in the Shirley Heinze …

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Gardening from the Roots to the Treetops – Create a Backyard Food Forest!s

By Christine Maloney Four mature maple trees around my house (two on the south and two on the north) leave only a narrow strip of full sun in the middle to grow my favorite sun-loving garden crops.  To complicate things further, my house and driveway take up the majority of that area in my typical …

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Photo of Rick Goltowski Granger Community Church

Bringing Nature Home Garden Recognitions

The tenth season of our Bringing Nature Home Program was not to be deterred by a pandemic. The ability to spend time outdoors, tending to gardens and landscapes has become a great source of respite for many, and the applications came in. Plantings ranged from small city gardens to multi-acre rural landscapes. While we were …

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White Lady’s Slipper Orchid

A Quest for Aphrodite’s Slippers in Northwest Indiana

By Rich Hawksworth Earlier this year I committed to locating the six species of lady’s slipper orchids native to Northwest Indiana. These alluring wildflowers are members of the genus Cypripedium. The name, which is derived from Ancient Greek, is an early reference in mythology to Aphrodite, meaning “sandal” or “slipper.” Like their namesake goddess, lady’s …

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Warren Buckler in his garden

On the 10th Season of our “Bringing Nature Home” Program, a Look Back – and Forward.

By Warren Buckler    When Peg Mohar and I embarked on our Bringing Nature Home project ten years ago, in part as a way for older members to remain active, we had no idea what response we’d get from the gardening public. Our goal, inspired by Doug Tallamy’s book “Bringing Nature Home,” was to recognize …

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An Allegorical Story: Good Versus Evil and Sanity Versus Insanity

By Peg Mohar The ten-year anniversary for “Bringing Nature Home” program brings back fond memories of the garden visits, award ceremonies and dedicated people I had the pleasure of working with! It does my heart good to have been part of the beginning of a great program. When we moved to Virginia in 2015, we …

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How Backyard Native Plant Gardening Can Help Save the Natural World!

For gardeners, this is a busy time of year. Depending on where you are in your gardening journey, (and it truly is a journey), you may be looking at flats of seedlings in your window (or green house, if you’re lucky!), placing orders from a nursery, or planning to attend a local plant sale. Maybe you are starting your very first garden, or thinking about planting trees and shrubs to enhance your …

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