The push for a BIG PULL

Garlic Mustard

Garlic Mustard

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) – you may be related to my beloved brussel sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower – but I LIKE YOU NOT! You are just as hated as the obnoxious Amur Honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) which I successfully eradicated from my yard last year. So there! You just think you can wander into our lands and choke out and out-compete our native plants and wildflowers with your aggressive growing manners. Well some of us have had it and we’re not going to take it any more. In fact, YOU are now on the hit list.


Honeysuckle invasion

Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm and Five Rivers MetroParks are working together to remove garlic mustard at Aullwood Garden MetroPark, the fomer home of Marie Aull. Marie was known as the Dayton (OH) area’s beloved naturalist and conservationist. In 1956 the gift of her land to the Audubon Society resulted in the creation of the Midwest’s first nature center, Aullwood Center and Farm. In 1977 her home and gardens were given to what is now known as Five Rivers MetroParks. She passed away in 2002 at the age of 105.

As in other areas of our state, invasives plants are overtaking the land. Garlic Mustard and Lesser Celandine (formerly Ranunculas ficaria now known as Ficaria verna) are running rampant. Ohio’s Former First Lady Hope Taft is asking for help.

Lesser Celandine

Lesser Celandine

On Tuesday, May 21, volunteers are needed for a BIG PULL. Learn how you can help research the best methods to remove garlic mustard, lesser celandine and other non-native invasives. There will be two work shifts. The first shift runs 9:30 am to noon, the second shift runs from 1-3:00 pm. Pack a lunch. Bonus: volunteers will get a special tour of Marie Aull’s home! Cookies and water will be provided.

The group is also looking for about 20 people to ‘adopt a plot’ and monitor (look at it and take a photo of it and describe what you see) what happens in it about 3 times over the growing season.

Marie Aull's home

Marie Aull’s home

For more information or to register for The BIG Pull, please contact Hope Taft,, (937) 848-2993 with your name, address, email and phone number and garden club. Last day to register is May 14.

Mrs. Taft is also available to give a short presentation on this topic and the value of removing invasive species for a club meeting.

Be sure to visit the EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES tab at the top of the page.


‘Leaf’ a Legacy – Plant a tree….or a couple hundred trees

Here in southwest Ohio, there are many threats to our forests. Imported pests such as the Emerald Ash Borer and the Asian Longhorn Beetle are on track to economically impact Ohio to the tune of billions of dollars. This doesn’t even take into account the tremendous void the loss of millions of trees will leave in an already fragile ecosystem.

Five Rivers MetroPark is offering a way to preserve our natural heritage in their “‘Leaf’ a Legacy” reforestation effort. They can’t do it alone and are asking for help with restoring our forests in the Dayton area. Since last year,  many tree mommas and daddies were caring for tree seedlings. Now it is time to get about 10,000 tree seedlings planted. There are several Seedling Saturday dates (times are 9 am – noon): Saturday,  March 17 (at both Carriage Hill & Germantown), Saturday, March 24 (Carriage Hill & Sugarcreek), Saturday, March 31 (Germantown & Weslyan).

Additional Seedling Planting dates (times are 1- 4 pm): Monday, March 12 (Carriage Hill), Sunday, March 18 (Carriage Hill ), and Monday, March 26 (Germantown) RSVP directly to for the chosen dates and indicate the location. You will receive a confirmation email with more specifics.

Did you know? The freshwater mussel has a very unique life cycle. Unlike oysters and clams, their life cycle includes a short parasitic stage attached to the fins or gills of a host fish. After the eggs are fertilized by a male, the  larvae (called glochidia) develop a while in the gills of the female mussel and are later expelled. The floating glochidia attach to the gills or the fins of a host fish where they develop 1-4 weeks before dropping off and settling in the stream bed to mature. Mussels have great value as an indicator of a biome’s health and play an important part of the natural purification process. I knew that mussels were different – I just never knew that they had such an unusual life cycle!

Hosta Society Meeting

The Miami Valley Hosta Society’s meeting Tuesday, March 13 will feature speaker Chris Wilhoit who will speak on Arisaema (Jack-In-The-Pulpit) and offer an unusual plant buying opportunity. The meeting is at 7 pm, at the Cox Arboretum, on St. Rt. 741 north of the Dayton Mall area.