Wild Gardens

Years ago, NBRP volunteers recognized that seed is a critical part of restoration work. In fact, it can be the limiting factor in bringing back healthy native habitat. After weeds are pulled and brush cut to let the sun through, the grasses and wildflowers may be diminished or absent. The ground cover must be restored and spreading seed is often the only way to accomplish thish While much of the seed can be gathered from healthier areas, some species may be rare or absent. Other species may be available but release their seed in ways that are hard to collect in the wild.

Home gardeners can be the perfect answer to the problem. Seed is collected and germinated, and the seedlings given to willing volunteers to care for in their yards. When the seed of these temporarily domesticated plants is ripe, the “wild gardener” collects it, to be returned to restore forest preserve sites. etc etc

Jane Balaban