Archives of Native plants

Western sunflower (Helianthus occidentalis) in the Civic Center Bird Garden

Take a tour of the Civic Center bird garden

We created the bird habitat garden in Spring 2017 as the North Shore Channel Habitat Project kicked off as a vivid demonstration of the attractions of gardening with plants native to this region—and of the City of Evanston’s commitment to exp...
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Black walnut shells at the Ladd Arboretum

Black walnuts

If you’ve walked through the Ladd Arboretum recently, chances are you’ve noticed some deposits like this—and maybe the sound of chewing overhead. It seems to be a mast year for the black walnut tree in this area, and the squirrels have ...
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Planting lizard's tail with Friends of the Chicago River

More habitat for water-dwellers

Friends of the Chicago River continued work along the North Shore Channel banks in mid-July, focusing efforts along sections of the channel that run through Evanston. Water willow and lizard’s tail, sourced from the nearby DuPage and Fox Rivers...
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Choosing trees and shrubs

Getting ready to order trees and shrubs

We’ve begun sourcing trees and shrubs for fall planting in the Ladd Arboretum as well as areas of Twiggs and Harbert Parks. The order list is based on planning by arboretum stewards, working together with bird conservation expert Judy Pollock ...
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Flats of plants for Civic Center garden

What are those plants in front of the Civic Center?

The new garden in front of the Civic Center demonstrates principles of bird-friendly landscape design. Plantings are layered—including tall trees, understory trees and shrubs, and wildflowers—and plant selection takes into account the timing of m...
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Concept plan for fall planting in the Ladd Arboretum

Selecting new plants for the arboretum

Even as we continue clearing invasives in the Ladd Arboretum, it’s time to order the plants that will go in this fall.  The stewards who have been working on the site are bringing to the task their collective knowledge of native plants, restor...
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Turtle in the arboretum


Even a cyclist riding through the arboretum at high speed this week can't miss the bright orange butterfly milkweed....
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Rescuing plants from Schaumberg garden


Neighbors near and far have been generous not only with their time, but also with their plants. Last week, the latest contributions came by way of Colorado. Over 20 years, Dennis Paige had worked to assemble more than 175 species of native woodland, ...
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Jenn Engelke and Antonio Guzman check organizing plants

A bird-friendly garden for the Civic Center

With hundreds of plants now in the ground, the demonstration habitat garden at the corner of Ridge and Leonard Place is beginning to put down roots. Jenn Engelke of Living Habitats was there today to lay out the plants (here, with the help of Antonio...
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