Free Butterfly Gardening Program

Click Here to Register – Oct. 8th.

Posted in Butterfly, Free | Leave a comment

Yard of the Month – Sessions Ave.

Bob and Mary Ann Schwarz are another winner of the Yard of the Month at 613 Sessions Ave. Their front yard garden can be seen easily from the street.

Their back yard is filled with mainly shade-loving plants like hosta, perennial geranium and they use Hydrangea as a hedge against a white fence. They told me that they have been working on the garden for the past fifty years, so I’m glad we can finally recognize their gardening efforts.

Posted in Yard of the Month | Leave a comment

Pruning in May

Above …. Ironweed in good soil.

Also known as the Chelsea Chop, cutting back certain plants by 1/3 to 1/2 is a common practice to maintain control and size in the garden.

One of the things I’ve noticed with native plants is that when you find them in parks with poor native soils, lots of competition, no extra water other than the rain and certainly no fertilizer, they seem to maintain a diminished size. Once you buy that same plant and put it into good garden soil with compost, fertilizer, lots of space and plenty of water, the native turns from dwarf to GIANT. In the past, I end up staking many of these plants just so they don’t fall over.

I am making a conscious effort this year, around May 15th, to cut back all of these giants by 1/2.

Here’s a list of plants which I plan to trim back.

  • Downy Skullcap (Scutellaria incana)
  • Echnacea purprea – Purple coneflower – only doing this with some so I can get some later blooms.
  • Helianthus silphioides – Silphium Sunflower – 2020 N
  • Heliopsis helianthoides – Ox-eye Sunflower
  • New England Aster
  • Oligoneuron rigidum – Rigid Goldenrod
  • Salvia – cutting back half of the plants.
  • Senna marilandica – Wild Senna
  • Solidago rigida or Oligoneuron rigidum – Rigid Goldenrod
  • Vernonia p. Ironweed 
  • Veronica – cutting back half of the plants.

Here’s a video on the technique.

Technique #2 – Pinching Your Plants

Many annuals and some perennials can have more branches and blossoms by simply cutting back the main stems – called pinching since you can use your fingers to make the cut.

When you pinch the main stems, you usually force the plant to send out side shoots which will make the plant bushier and increase flower production.

Here’s a good video on the process.

Technique #3 – Chop half the plants.

October 4, 2020

I noticed one year that the bunnies had taken a liking to some of my echinacea and kept them trimmed low most of the early part of the season. While most of my echinacea bloomed normally, the bunny-trimmed echinacea bloomed later in the summer and into the fall. I thought I’d try this technique by chopping back half of my echinacea so I theoretically will have echinacea blooming all year round.

Posted in Gardening Tips | Leave a comment

Yard of the Month – Larsen Lane

Diana Linsley is the newest winner of the Yard of the Month and is located on Larsen Lane.

She was recently awarded a grant by the WildOnes and had the club come over and install the garden in one morning. All plants are natives which is part of the mission. They have a number of free garden designs which might be helpful when setting up your native garden.
Attached is a link to the St Louis chapter of Wildones

Golden Alexander
Rain Garden
Rose Verbena
Diana and Blue Belle
Posted in Yard of the Month | Leave a comment

Recent Garden Videos – Terrific!

The St. Louis County recently sponsored a number of excellent gardening videos which are now available on YouTube.

Below is a summation of the videos and their location.

Keynote: Let It Be An Oak by Doug Tallamy

A 3-Year Suburban Landscape Makeover by Dave Tylka

Life in the Soil by Jerry Pence

Native Plant Gardens Bring Pollinators by Nina Fogel and Jenny Mullikin

Investing in Native Trees and Shrubs by Meridith McAvoy Perkins

Garden Maintenance for Wildlife: A New Way to Garden by Scott Woodbury

Rainscaping with Native Plants by Allison Joyce and Cody Hayo

Homegrown National Park by Jean Ponzi

Posted in Gardening Tips | Leave a comment

Honeysuckle Hack – Crestwood Park – April 30th

This volunteer opportunity will take place on Saturday, April 30th, 2022, from 9:00 am to noon. Pre-registration is requested. 

Click here to sign up!

Check-in will begin at 8:45 am.
Time period is 9 a.m. to Noon.

**This event will be held rain or shine except in the event of severe weather.  If this is the case, we will cancel the April 30 event and reschedule for a later date.

The removal method for this event will be to cut the plant using loppers and/or handsaws before treating it with herbicide. Long sleeves and pants are appropriate. Tools and supplies will be provided.

This effort is in conjunction with Missouri Botanical Garden’s regional Spring Honeysuckle Sweep for a Healthy Habitat effort.

Posted in Volunteers | Leave a comment

Beautification Grants in 2022

The Crestwood Beautification Committee wants to help Crestwood citizens make their neighborhoods more beautiful. We are offering to help neighborhood volunteers fund their projects.

If you would like to beautify the entrances or common areas or islands in your neighborhood, the Beautification Committee will assist you by paying 50% of the total costs up to a maximum of $500.00 per project. For example – if your total anticipated project cost is $400.00, you could receive $200.00 from the grant. If you have higher project costs expected, such as $1400.00 you would only receive the maximum grant amount of $500.00.

This grant program is not intended to be the sole source of funding for your project, rather it is to supplement other resources you have secured for the project. These resources might include raising funds through fundraising, in-kind donations or cash contributions.

Previous projects may apply again to help with replacement plants and supplies.

If you are interested, fill out an application. You don’t have to be a member of any committee to do this. All you have to do is organize some of your neighbors to contribute their effort to get the project done. This can be a way to make new friends or have some fun working together with old friends to improve your neighborhood (and its property value)!

In addition to the funding, The Beautification Committee will help you with getting started, designing the project and ideas for fundraising. However, the neighborhood volunteers will be in charge of their project. We encourage groups to use native plants if possible.

For all projects, the Beautification Committee must approve designs in order for neighborhoods to receive funds. Designs also must comply with city ordinances. (A list of city ordinances can be found on our website.)

If you’re interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, please fill out the application. When complete, please email it to or you can mail it to:

Beautify Crestwood Grant
9016 Robyn Rd
Crestwood, MO 63126

Applications must be received by May 31, 2022. 

Only fully completed applications will be considered.

Grant recipients will be notified by June 10, 2022.

In order to receive funds from the Beautification Committee, projects must be completed by October 1, 2022. All receipts must be turned in by Oct. 1, 2022.

Please note that the Beautification Committee can commit to contributing only $2000.00 in total for all these Crestwood projects in 2022.

If you have any questions, please contact us.


Posted in Projects | Leave a comment

Blazing Star – Liatris spicata

Blazing Star is one of the easiest native plants to grow. You can buy these as either plants or bulbs and the cost can range from $15.00 for plants to 25 cents for bulbs.

The Beautification Committee is giving away these bulbs to residents at different events so make sure you subscribe to the website news.

Plant the bulbs about two inches deep and six inches apart.

One tricky thing to notice is planting the bulb in the correct orientation. It’s easy to plant the bulbs upside down. The roots have white hairs while the top has more spikey tops.

Bottom of bulb

Top of bulb

Note – Voles love to eat these bulbs. That’s why I only buy the inexpensive bulbs.

Because these are native plants, they don’t require specific soil or fertilizer.

Posted in Native Plants | Leave a comment

Honeysuckle Event Canceled for Tomorrow

The April 2nd, honeysuckle cut has been canceled at Whitecliff.

The machinery to chip up the honeysuckle is broken.

Posted in Misc | Leave a comment

Father Dickson Cemetery Clean-Up

Volunteers Needed. Father Dickson Cemetery Clean-Up

845 Sappington Rd, St. Louis, MO 63126

Saturday, April 2, 9:00 a.m. to noon.

Time to clean up the honeysuckle, etc. again.

Bring rakes, pruners for trimming ivy, loppers for branches/honeysuckle, and lawnmowers.

Sponsored by – The Kiwanis Club of Crestwood-Sunset Hills

Posted in Volunteers | Leave a comment