By Judy Klem
“Visitors loved seeing the goldfinches on the anise hyssop and cup plants, the monarchs landing on the swamp milkweed and bumblebees everywhere. There were literally ‘oohs and ahs,’” says garden host Adrian Fisher. With Mother Nature’s cooperation, the Interfaith Green Network, Green Community Connections and West Cook Wild Ones hosted a successful “Birds, Bees & Butterflies: A Native Garden Tour” in Oak Park and River Forest on August 6.
One of the best things about the tour, Fisher and other garden hosts agree, was all the pollinators and birds that flitted about in the yard, putting on a fabulous demonstration about why gardening with native plants is so important and wonderful.
Almost 200 human participants joined the tour featuring 15 private and public gardens brimming with life and beauty. The Cook County Forest Preserve opened its headquarters to offer guided tours of their rarely seen restored savanna--a true gem and great way to kick off the tour. Attendees ranged from having high enthusiasm and knowledge about natives to those beginning to incorporate natives into their landscapes and wanting to learn more.