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, mesic, and wet prairie plants in a series of plantings around his Schaumberg condo complex. In a landscape dominated by turf grass, his efforts were so exceptional that WTTW’s Chicago Tonight profiled him for three years in a row. But then he retired and moved to Colorado. During a recent visit, Dennis learned that the condo board had decided to remove most of the native gardens. So he spread the word through Wild Ones of West Cook County and last week, fielded more than 80 calls from gardeners offering to rescue his plants.

Brad Frederick and Linda Kruhmin drove to the site to rescue two car-loads of plants for the arboretum and Edible Evanston’s Food Forest, across the street. Brad found blue flag iris and queen-of-the-prairie in this swale. The outpouring of interest is heartening—and Dennis’s generosity is an inspiration. We are grateful!

— Wendy Pollock