A perfect day for planting

Planting at the Ladd Arboretum

Community members came out today to help plant wildflowers and grasses in the Ladd Arboretum’s new sun garden. The planting was part of Evanston’s local Oaktober celebration, held each year to raise awareness of the importance of oaks and oak ecosystems throughout the state.

The focus today was on an area behind the Ecology Center where non-native and invasive trees have been cleared to create a sunny patch where prairie plants will thrive. The garden includes grasses and sedges (including little bluestem, purple love grass, prairie dropseed, and Pennsylvania sedge) and a variety of flowers (from the dramatic compass plant to broad-leaved goldenrod and smooth-leaved aster). Rains arrive as we finish planting

Planting will continue next week in shadier patches along the slope, and we also will be working to mulch recently planted shrubs and put up temporary fences.

After weeks without rain, we had been favored earlier in the week by enough rain to soften the soil. Then today, as soon as we put the last plants in the ground, a storm arrived—the best way to help the plants settle in and make a good start.

— Wendy Pollock