Thursday, December 29, 2016

Nancy and Ed Weiss - Batavia Citizens of the Year

We congratulate Nancy and Ed Weiss who were just named Batavia Citizens of the Year.  Nancy and Ed have tirelessly contributed to so many wonderful programs in Batavia, especially our own Batavia Plain Dirt Gardener Wildflower Sanctuary.   We have learned so much about native plants and trees thanks to their commitment to share this knowledge through the Sanctuary as well as the website.  Enjoy this article about this beautiful couple. The complete article can be viewed at:

Congratulations Nancy and Ed.  The Batavia Plain Dirt Gardeners are proud to be part of the many adventures you are involved with and to claim you as dear friends.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Happy Holidays - A reason to enjoy Cran-Apple Slab Pie!

Our December holiday gathering included great food, gardener bingo complete with white elephant prizes (guess who has gardened in her pajamas or pulled weeds in a public garden!), and a room filled with the joy from many gardeners delighted to be together.  As 2016 comes to a close, we hope you enjoy the holidays with friends and family as much as we enjoyed being together Tuesday night.  Below is a recipe that we all enjoyed and thank Yvonne Richter for sharing it at the pot luck and sharing the recipe.  We tasted it and it is GOOD!  It is adapted as the amount of sugar is less so it is a tart sweet treat.  Enjoy! 
Adapted from Slab Pies –Family Circle Nov 2016

15x10” pan    makes 20+ servingsFiligree accent drawing with fork and knife in center

4 refrigerated pie crusts –ROOM TEMP
3 pkg (12 oz each) fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
4-5 apples –peeled & chopped into pieces
¾-1C sugar (+ 1T for topping)
½ C flour
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1/8  tsp salt
¾ C walnut pieces
1 egg –beaten for topping
Heat oven to 400  Flour surface and roll 2 crusts together to make 20x14 rectangle. Place in bottom of 17x12 pan and up the sides. Repeat with remaining 2 crusts to make a 17x12”  crust for the top. Set the top crust aside.
In large bowl mix cranberries, apples and remaining dry ingredients thoroughly coating all the fruit. Pour into prepared bottom crust. Cover with top crust and crimp edges. Cut slits in top crust. Brush top with beaten egg and sprinkle with 1 T sugar.
Bake  60 minutes until browned. Let cool 45 minutes before serving

Yvonne Richter

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Holiday Potluck Gathering - December 20

We will have our annual Holiday Potluck Gathering on December 20th at the Batavia Public Library.  The evening starts at 6:45 to 7:00 pm with a pot luck dinner.  Please do the following if you are able:

1). Please bring a dish to pass (side dish, veggies, salad, dessert, munchies or appetizer). Drinks and a main dish will be provided.

2) Please wrap and bring a "White Elephant gift" to be one of the "prizes" for a fun activity being planned.  If everyone brings one, everyone will go home with one.  Please don't go out and buy anything new for this, none of us needs more shopping to do this time of year. "White Elephants" are something that can be home made, gently used, or a "re-gifted" item that just needs a new home.  If you aren't sure about the item, it is probably just right if it has at the very most a $5 to $10 value if you found it at a thrift shop or garage sale.

3) Please wear something festive to celebrate the season.  Be this your favorite holiday outfit or the most wacky holiday sweater, we gardeners will be the decorations at this fun event!

We look forward to seeing you.  Come relax and enjoy a little time out with good gardening friends,  

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Join Us This Saturday - at the Wildflower Sanctuary

Mother Nature has extended our fall this year, so we will be having a work day at the Wildflower Sanctuary on Saturday, December 3rd at 9:00.  We will be on the east (shady) end removing honeysuckle, buckthorn and any other weeds we see, so please bring gardening gloves, eye protection, clippers, loppers, weed diggers or saws if you have them.  I will bring the snacks!
Thank you for your help!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Wildflower Sanctuary Workdays - November 9th and 19th

A big thank you to everyone who helped out at Saturday's work day!  We got a lot done. 
Today I toured the WFS with Steve Matravers from Davey Tree.  He helped me with tree tags, and will be giving us an estimate on taking out some of the big dead trees.  I contacted him because he helped out so much with the Batavia Arboretum.  
Since the season is winding down, there are two work days on the schedule.  On Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 9:00 am, we will be working on the area between the Riverain parking lot and the sidewalk, near our little prairie.  On Saturday, Nov. 19 at 9:00, we will be working on honeysuckle, buckthorn and weeds on the east/shady side of the WFS, closer to the dam than we were last weekend.   If you have them, please bring gardening gloves, eye protection, clippers, loppers, weed diggers and a bucket or tarp for hauling.
Hope to see you then!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Paper Making from Flowers - November 15th!

Our November 15, 2016 speaker will be Lynn Elam discussing paper making from flowers.  Plan to join us! 

Batavia Plain Dirt Gardeners meet the 3rd Tuesday of the month at the Batavia Public Library, meeting room just inside the lobby.  Join us for Meet and Treats at 6:45pm; a short business meeting 7:00pm; and our special guest will speak immediately following the business meeting.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Wildflower Sanctuary Fall Work Day

Please join us on Saturday, October, 29 at 9:00 am at the Batavia Wildflower Sanctuary.  We will start at the east (shady) side and work our way around the riverwalk as we go after buckthorn, honeysuckle and any weeds that we see along the way.  If you have them, please bring gardening gloves, weed diggers, clipppers, loppers and eye protection. 
The weather forecast looks beautiful, so we hope to see you then!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Scare up some Fun - Work at the Wildflower Sanctuary

Thank you so much to everyone who helped out at the Wildflower Sanctuary last weekend!  Fall is a beautiful time to check it out if you have not been there for awhile.
Our next work day will be Saturday, October 29 at 9:00, and we will be going after buckthorn and honeysuckle.  By then, they should be easy to spot!

Batavia Arboretum Rededication - Saturday Oct. 22 at 10:00 AM

The Batavia Arboretum Rededication will take place on Saturday, October 22 at 10:00 a.m. The Batavia Woman's Club has purchased a plaque commemorating all those for whom the trees were planted 50 years ago.  One of their donors also donated a park bench in memory of his sister, and Davey Trees donated tree ID tags which will be attached to each tree. The arboretum is on the Main Street side of BHS, and parking is available in the Main Street lot or at the church across the street.

For more information contact Rosemary Henders   

They are Tiny and They Bite!

Marge Clark did some research on the  tiny, biting, black bug showing up on our windows and screens (and able to come through those screens!) that we were discussing at our meeting last week.  The link below will take you to an article that may solve our mystery.  Thanks to super sleuth Marge for this good information!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

October 18 Meeting: Prairies and Woodland Prescribed Burns

Our speaker this Tuesday, October 18th is Trish Burns, Manager of Peck Farms who will be speaking on "prescribed burns".  Come learn about this process, why it is done and some of the equipment used by those brave souls who do this.  Two of our members have participated in burns and share that it is exciting and offers different conditions if one participates in a prairie versus woodland burn.  What is all the excitement about? Come find out!
Join us for the Batavia Plain Dirt Gardener's October 18th meeting held at the Batavia Public Library in the meeting room:  6:45pm meet and treats; 7:00pm short business meeting; educational program follows.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Wildflower Sanctuary Saturday Morning Sprucing!

The weather forecast for Saturday (October 8th) looks perfect for working outside, so please join us at the Batavia Wildflower Sanctuary at 9:00 am.  We will be working on the little prairie (west side) to do some trimming and weeding.  Please bring  gardening gloves, eye protection, clippers, weed diggers, and totes or tarps for hauling if you have them.   
Happy Fall!

Friday, September 16, 2016


Christa Bormann will give a presentation on Hydrangeas and answer your many questions about hydrangeas on Tuesday, September 20, 2016.  Hospitality at 6:45 pm; short meeting at 7:00pm and then we will hear from Christa.  Join us in the meeting room at the Batavia Public Library. 

Next month:  Trish Burns will speak on prescribed burns to keep natural areas healthy. 

Get involved with the Batavia Plain Dirt Gardeners for a year of gardening knowledge and the fellowship of gardeners!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Hydrangeas Abound - September 20th Kick-Off-The-Year Meeting!

Christa from Heinz Brothers in St. Charles will be with us to share her expertise on making hydrangeas one of your favorite garden highlights!  Come learn about the varieties, their blooms, preferences, and ways to use them to delight the eye and the landscape! 

Join us on September 20th in the meeting room at the Batavia Public Library.  Social time with the gardeners starts at 6:45 pm.  Short business meeting at 7:00 pm and Christa to speak right after the business meeting. 

Bring a new friend.  Renew your friendships with those we've been gardening with over the years.  Looking forward to a wonderful meeting with those who love gardens!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Beautiful Day to Work at the Wildflower Sanctuary

The weather forecast looks beautiful for Saturday (Sept. 10th), so there will be a work day at the Wildflower Sanctuary at 8:00 am.  We will start out at the east (shady) end, and work out way around the boardwalk with trimming and weeding.   Gardening gloves, eye protection, pruners, loppers, and weed diggers will come in handy if you have them.  We will end the morning with a walk to ooh and ahh at the beautiful plants that are currently blooming. 
Please save the date: Our next work day will be Saturday, October 8 at 9:00 in the prairie section of the WFS.
Thank you for your help!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Mulch Reprieve.....Wednesday deadline!

Please save the date: our next work day at the Batavia Wildflower Sanctuary will be Saturday, Sept. 10 at 8:00 am.  I will have more details when the date gets closer.
We got an extension and have mulch until at least Wednesday if you need it for plots or paths.  There is a wheelbarrow and a lawn cart next to the compost bins that you can use for hauling.  BYO shovel.
Thank you so much to everyone who has been helping out over the summer, and especially to Yvonne for the help this weekend!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Wildflower Sanctuary Activities - Come help!

Dear Gardeners,

We will have a work day on the shady/east side of the WFS on Friday, Aug. 19th at 9:00.  The rain date is Sunday, Aug. 21st, also at 9:00.  Please note the later start time than recent work days. 

Some people are needed to finish cleaning up the sidewalk edges towards the north end of the WFS, and others will be needed to spread mulch. Our ultimate goal is to get the brush pile as high as possible and the mulch pile as small as possible before these need to be cleared out for the Sept. 8th HUD inspection for Riverain.  Shovels, rakes, gardening gloves, clippers, loppers, weed diggers, and eye protection will come in handy if you can bring them. 

Riverain will be having an important HUD inspection on Sept. 8th, so our mulch and brush piles to the west of the building must go on Monday, Aug 22.  We have until then to use any of the wood chip mulch that we can.  If you are planning to mulch any plants or paths at the Wildflower Sanctuary, this will be your last chance for the year. 
Please do not pile up any brush, branches, weeds, etc. in the area of the brush and mulch piles after the piles are removed.  We will be working with the park district to find another place to put our debris.  
Thank you so much!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Ball Gardens open Every Saturday in August! Go visit!

Ball Gardens are open to the public for free every Saturday in August from 9 am to 12 noon.  Ball Gardens is located at 622 Town Road in West Chicago. 

Free Program for Gardeners.....Enjoy

The Kane Master Gardners will be hosting the Open Idea Garden Days this coming Tuesday, August 16 from 9 – 11 am.
Come and visit us and see this year’s creative ideas. This year’s ideas include a vintage victory garden, pollinator plots, pallet gardening, tomatoes grown from second generation seeds from space, a patriotic garden, a color inspiration space, and a shrub plot. Also several varieties of tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, and herbs, as well as new additions of kiwis and elderberry bushes.
Please share this with anyone who may be interested.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Rose Mallow putting on a show at the Wildflower Sanctuary

Hello Gardeners!
As soon as you have a chance, take a stroll along the boardwalk at the Batavia Wildflower Sanctuary.  The rose mallow (hibiscus) is putting on a show along the river's edge, and cardinal flowers are brightening up the center, savannah area.  The little prairie is also in bloom right now.
Thank you so much to everyone who came out for the work day Saturday!  The sidewalk edges look much better!
Our next work day will be on Saturday, August 13 at 8:00 am.  We will again be on the shady (east) side to clear the edges further north.  If possible, bring gardening gloves, clippers, weed diggers. loppers and something to haul plants in. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Camouflaged Looper......can you find any in your garden?

Kane County Connects is a daily e-newsletter that can keep you up on what is happening in Kane County (road closings, recalls, special events, you name it!)  Today they shared an article about the Camouflaged Looper, an inch worm that covers its body with flower petals from the plants it eats in order to stay hidden from view before it can make the transition to become a lovely green stripped moth.  Enjoy learning about one of the many little creatures that may be in your garden right now enjoying a leaf or petal! Use the link below to read the article and see a picture of this wonder of nature.