August 8th Upcoming Garden Tour

This Saturday, August 8th, 2015 we will host a garden tour from the Kalamazoo Area Chapter of Wild Ones!

Downy Sunflowers Blue Sky

We will be the final stop on their tour with the group arriving around noon. We are excited to share the garden with this group of avid Native Plant gardeners!

Garden View Aug042015

In preparation, we have vigorously weeded out the queen Anne’s lace and spotted knap-weed that continues to challenge us.

Bee on flower

Gold Finches, swallowtail butterflies and many pollinators visit the garden for food and shelter.

Church Sign Yellow Coneflowers

Nearby human community members have also discovered the garden as a source of education and delight. We are happy to hear that more people are enjoying the garden and share our love and wonder at beauty of our natural world.

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May 1st and 4th Spring Cleanup Begins

Happy Spring of 2015!

We have begun our spring cleanup sessions. Friends of Skyridge Wildlife Garden met on Friday, May 1st and Monday, May 4th to pull weeds and mark the emergence of new growth in the garden.

Marilyn and Nichole

Many thanks to Marilyn, Karen and Nichole for their dedication and diligent efforts!!

We accomplished a lot, but there is still plenty to do! We will be meeting periodically to continue our weeding and care for the garden. Many plants have established well and multiplied. Others need defending from weeds and over-eager wildlife munching. (We support a bit of deer and rabbit browsing, but we want there to be plenty of plants remaining to sustain our diverse variety!) Prairie Smoke and Prairie Ragwort are some of our earliest bloomers.

Prairie Smoke blooming

Prairie Ragwort budding


Native Michigan Heuchera and Downy Sunflower are beginning to show their distinctive foliage.

Heuchera foliage

Downy Sun Emerging

Become a Friend of Skyridge Wildlife Garden!
If you garden in or near Kalamazoo, we’d welcome your help! Just bring your own hand tools, a weeding bucket and a sun hat. Time spent helping in Skyridge Wildlife Garden is eligible for Master Gardener Volunteer hours, but it is not necessary to be a Master Gardener to participate. Contact the email below with “Wildlife Garden” in the subject heading to receive notification of upcoming work days and events.


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August Update 2014


Native Liatris, Rough Blazing Star and yellow coneflowers bloom in the late summer garden.

Native Liatris, Rough Blazing Star and yellow coneflowers bloom in the late summer garden.

Late summer is a profusion of bloom in the Skyridge Wildlife Garden. Rough Blazing Star and yellow coneflowers bloom in August as wild bergamot and purple coneflowers fade into the background. Summer has gone fast! Our garden is booming. Many of our favorites will set seeds this year. Keeping up with weeding has been a challenge. We have many non-native weeds to battle before the season’s end.

A Monarch butterfly feeds on nectar from the Rosin Weed blooms.

A Welcome guest:  This Monarch butterfly feeds on nectar from the Rosin Weed blooms.

Monarch butterflies visit the garden. We hope that they will find a haven in our wildlife habitat to sustain them for many seasons to come.

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June 2014: A Surge of Spring Growth in the Wildlife Garden

June 2014 Sign

Skyridge Wildlife Garden has awoken from one of the coldest winters in recent memory. Our stalwart native plant varieties have been growing vigorously, but so have the weeds!

June 2014 workday

Marilyn, Devon, and Trish put in several hours of work pulling the most invasive weeds out of the beds. Burdock and Spotted Knapweed were the biggest threats. Some non-native daisies were picked for bouquets and their plants removed to the compost heap. Recent rains helped soften the ground to make our work easier.

June 2014 Shed

We celebrate the lush new growth of our plants. Bees, Butterflies, and a toad have made a home in our garden. A wild turkey strolled across a neighboring property as we worked.

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Waiting for Spring

Waiting for Spring

Skyridge Wildlife Garden is waiting for spring to arrive. The shape of the garden is slowly emerging from the snows of winter. Soon the soil will warm. We will start to see new sprouts, and the season of tending and celebrating the garden will begin again.

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New Sign Kiosk

New Sign Kiosk

Karen and Mason pose with our new sign kiosk! Thanks to Paul for building the sign and to him and John for installing it. Skyridge Wildlife Garden now has an official sign with the option to switch out contents of the kiosk when appropriate for educational purposes or upcoming events. The sign is also interactive – Viewers will be able to scan a QR code with their devices and zoom straight to the blog site. Visitors can post comments on the site or request information about the plants and animals they’ve seen.

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Turkey Sighting!

Turkeys in the cross garden

Wild Turkeys have been spotted on the grounds of Skyridge Church!

Our Pastor, Debbie and our Brethren Service Volunteer, Mason caught some snapshots of  these marvelous birds! Turkeys are a wonderful addition to the growing list of wildlife species sighted in the gardens surrounding the church. The garden pictured is the Cross Garden, rather than the Wildlife Garden which is in another area of the grounds.

Turkeys are active in the fall when the travel to new feeding grounds as fruit and nut trees ripen.

It’s inspiring to see these Thanksgiving birds and remember to count our blessings!

Turkey Posing on Bench

Trish Joseph

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