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18th Annual Native Plant Management Seminar February 21


On Saturday February 21, from 8:30 am &endash; 3:30 pm Garfield Farm Museum will hold its 18th annual Prairie, Woodlands, and Wetlands Management Seminar for property owners and natural area enthusiasts. This in depth seminar features all the steps necessary to begin and maintain an existing natural area or to plant Illinois flora in ones garden borders.

Roy Diblik of Northwind Perennial Farm, Springfield, WI, Kelsey Shaw of Possibilities Place Nursery in Monee, IL and Jerome Johnson of Garfield Farm Museum will cover the basics in working with native flowers and trees for back yard gardeners to owners of farms or woods.

The seminar will begin with a look at the library and map research that can highlight pre-settlement conditions on a particular property. With Garfield Farm's perspective of how land use evolved over time, a discussion on settlement, farming practices and urban development will identify opportunities for restoring or establishing native plants.

Jerome Johnson, museum biologist, will continue the presentation with a look at native plant species, using two slide projectors, so side by side images of plants with similar sounding names or confusing appearances can be compared and contrasted.

Roy Diblik who has over 23 years of experience in growing native plants from seed will discuss the use of native species in gardens and formal installations. His tips can save time, money and frustration as soils, water regimes, blooming times, and design challenges vary from site to site. Diblik's love for his work is reflected in his talk and concern for a sustainable environment. He is a pioneer in propagating native plants for wholesale and retail operations first at Natural Gardens of St.Charles and later at his Northwind Perennial Farm in Wisconsin.

Kelsey Shaw will focus on his experiences learned from his father Conner, who founded Possibility Place Nursery near Monee, IL. All the native trees the Shaws sell are grown by them from seed, producing specimens that are well prepared for transplanting. Their method produces a high number of roots that gives each tree a better chance for survival. Shaw's knowledge of what conditions will cause native trees and shrubs to thrive makes this presentation useful to all property owners.

Johnson will complete the session with a discussion of management methods to encourage and increase native plantings in woods, open or wet areas. Ways to control invasive species of plants that left alone will overtake any type of local ecosystem will be discussed. Controlled burns, herbicide use, weeding or cutting need to be integrated into any plan for the maximum impact.

The seminar is in part sponsored by a 2002 grant from the Kane DuPage Soil and Water Conservation District. The District recognized Garfield Farm with an Award for Excellence in Conservation and Education in 2000.

There is a $40 fee for the seminar to be held at Garfield Farm Museum, five miles west of Geneva, IL off ILL Rt. 38 on Garfield Road. Reservations can be made by calling (630) 584-8485 or email Garfield Farm Museum is a 370 acre historically intact former 1840s prairie farmstead and teamster inn being restored by donors and volunteers from 37 states as an 1840s working farm museum.

For more information about Garfield Farm send an e-mail message to: or call 630/584-8485.

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