In bloom

Mid-May in the Civic Center Garden

A year ago the space at the northeast corner of the Civic Center was a wet, weedy lawn. This month, the garden that took root there last summer has demonstrated that native plants are attractive not only to birds, bees, and butterflies, but to people, too.

Wild blue phlox and Pennsylvania sedge in early May

Early in May, as cold lingered, wild blue phlox bloomed among Pennsylvania sedge around two hawthorn trees, while prairie smoke appeared in another area.

Prairie smoke in early May

After a spell of warmer weather and more rain, golden alexander and shooting stars were in bloom last week. Chickweed and dandelions also appeared. The sandy soil here makes it easy to weed for the volunteers who work here once a week. We meet at 5:30 on Thursday. Come by if you want to join in. Or just come by any time to visit and enjoy the show.

A website maintained by John Hilty is a great source for learning about these and other Illinois wildflowers. You also can find lists of plants in our project sites here.

— Wendy Pollock