Brushwood Center's Native Plant Gardens
Amongst the unspoiled woodlands and prairies of Ryerson Woods, Brushwood Center’s native plant gardens bring a lovely, tranquil addition to this unique conservation area. With award-winning garden beds and front porch planters filled with plants native to our area, artists, photographers, writers, and gardening enthusiasts have found inspiration.
Thanks to the Brushwood Wild Bunch, we received Conserve Lake County’s 800th Conservation@Home award! According to Sarah Surroz, Executive Director of Conserve Lake County, “The garden volunteers, aka the Brushwood Wild Bunch, are to be commended for their efforts of maintaining the gardens, as well as all the partners involved in this project. Keep up your great work incorporating and caring for your natives.”
The Brushwood Wild Bunch brings more than just gardening skills to our organization. They inspire a culture of caring for and about nature. Looking to join this Wild Bunch? We welcome all levels of gardening experience and interests.
The Brushwood Wild Bunch welcomes
- Visitors to the Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods who enjoy spending time in the gardens and want to learn more about using native plants in your home garden
- New volunteers who want to learn along with us how best to garden with native plants, and
- Groups interested in touring our gardens or having us share our experiences at your group meeting*
About Brushwood Wild Bunch
Fun-loving volunteers who share passions for native plant gardening and learning together.
During the growing season we meet every other week or so to take care of the beds and planters we’ve created and share our interests, latest books, travels, and etc. In the winter, we meet as needed to plan for the upcoming growing season including any new projects we want to do, with input from our professional landscape advisors. And once a month we meet-up for Happy Hour at a local restaurant!
Since 2012, we have renovated two large beds behind the Brushwood home and plan to do a third smaller one in June 2017. We are also in our third year of experimenting with native plants in four large planters on the front porch.
To develop the gardens and landscape around the Brushwood home to:
- provide a more inviting and beautiful setting for programs and for visitors to Brushwood
- publicly demonstrate the transformation and maintenance of a home landscape through the use of native plants and green landscaping methods
Why is gardening with native plants important?
- Provide essential food chain links for songbirds and butterflies – both of which have become regular visitors.
Native plants have deep roots that:
build rich soil
aid in both water purification and rainwater absorption.
Evolved under this climate with these soils – so they're hardy and require less maintenance once they’re established.
Join the WildBunch!
2017 Workdays (we meet from 1:30 – 3:30pm unless otherwise noted)
Thursday, April 13
Friday, April 28
Thursday, May 18
Thursday, May 25
Thursday, June 8
Thursday, June 22
Thursday, July 13, 9:30 - 11:30am
Thursday, July 27, 9:30 - 11:30am
Thursday, August 10, 9:30 - 11:30am
Thursday, August 24, 9:30 - 11:30am
Thursday, Sept. 7
Thursday, Sept. 21
Thursday, Oct. 5
Thursday, Oct. 19
Thursday, Nov. 2
2017 Happy Hours at 4:30pm at Kona Grill in Lincolnshire
Tuesday, April 25
Tuesday, May 30
Tuesday, June 27
Tuesday, July 25
Tuesday, August 22
Tuesday, Sept. 26
Monday, October 9
Wednesday, November 15
Wednesday, December 6
Subscribe to the Wild Bunch Calendar here.
*Brushwood Center Garden Tea, Talk & Tour
Learn about Brushwood Center Gardens and the transformation from ornamental flower garden to a sustainable native plants garden. The presentation will also include the container garden experiment featured on Brushwood’s front porch. Presented by Leigh Stewart, president of Brushwood WildBunch, this presentation will include herbal tea and cookies and will be followed by a tour of the gardens. The workshop begins with a presentation, then, during a break, attendees are invited to wander through the gallery. Then participants head out to the gardens to learn about the unique native plantings. Afterward, you’re guided to the Ryerson prairie where you’ll observe native plants in their natural environment.
If you would like to learn more, please email Jackie Rockwell, JRockwell@BrushwoodCenter.org or call her at 224-633-2427.
We are grateful for past and ongoing support of
- The Lincolnshire Garden Club
David Eubanks of Eubanks Environmental
Barbara Rosborough of Rosborough Partners, Inc.