Monarch habitat

Where have all the monarchs gone? The monarch butterfly population has plummeted in recent years. But you can help monarchs by creating habitat in urban and suburban areas. A kid-friendly workshop on growing monarch habitat will be presented 9:30 to 11 a.m. May 16 at the Nokomis Community Center.

The presentation, by Vicki Joy Bonk, will cover the monarch life cycle, habitat needs, the role of milkweed, annual migration and an introduction to the plants in the "Monarch Garden to Go" kit. The kit contains 12 local native host, nectar and shelter plants, to help you get started, and is available for two soil types. The cost is $25 (a $36 value); workshop participants who want kits must register by May 8. Registration forms with plant kit information are available at or by calling 612-724-5652. Attendance at the workshop is free for participants who do not want the kit. The Nokomis Community Center is at 2401 E. Minnehaha Pkwy., Mpls.

Going native

Want to add more native plants to your landscape? Prairie Restorations will host open houses at its Princeton and Scandia locations on four Saturdays: May 9 through 30, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Experts will be on hand to explain the benefits of native plants, including their relationship to bees, butterflies and other pollinators, and how natives can be incorporated into a landscape plan. Special events include appearances by native plant authors Lynn Steiner ("Landscaping With Native Plants of Minnesota") at Scandia on May 16, and Heather Holm ("Pollinators of Native Plants") at Princeton on May 23; both will offer on-site advice and sign books. Anne Bodnar will teach visitors how to make natural bug repellent at Princeton on May 9 and at Scandia on May 30. For more detailed information about the open houses, visit

Prairie Restorations in Princeton is at 31646 128th St.; the Scandia location is 21120 Ozark Court N.

Sustainable landscapes

Wild Ones Prairie Edge chapter will host a free presentation, "Saving Our Planet One Yard (36") at a Time," by Douglas Owens-Pike, landscape designer, president of EnergyScapes and author of "Beautifully Sustainable." The presentation will be followed by a discussion. The time is 7:15 p.m. May 13; the group meets at the Glen Lake Activity Center, 14350 Excelsior Blvd., Minnetonka.

Wild Ones also is planning a native plant sale fundraiser, including kits featuring easy-to-grow pollinator favorites. Kits and plants must be preordered. Order deadline is May 12, with pickup on May 31. Order forms are available at

Kitchen gardens

If your plans for the growing season include a kitchen garden, you can learn everything you need to know at a Bachman's workshop, "Planning Your Kichen Garden." The workshop will cover vegetable varieties, how much growing space you'll need and other details for a successful kitchen garden. You'll learn how to make the early choices that affect your later culinary enjoyment.

The workshop will be offered twice, 5 to 7 p.m. on May 13 and May 19. Cost is $10. Register at 612-861-7311 or

Also at Bachman's in May are workshops on "Spring Basket Design" ($50), "Summer Container Design" ($50) and "Duo Container Design" ($80, which includes two take-home creations). For details and to register, visit or call 612-861-7311.

Spring at the Arb

What are you doing Friday, May 8? It's National Public Gardens Day, and to celebrate, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is offering free gate admission to all visitors. Special events include a "Spin the Garden Wheel" game from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., guided tram tour along Three-Mile Drive ($5 per person), a tree-themed Scavenger Hunt (pick up a map at the Info Desk, find all the trees and win a button); preview shopping at the Auxiliary Spring Plant Sale from noon to 2 p.m.; story time at the library at 10:30 a.m., and "Let's Talk Plants" demonstrations and Q&A sessions at 10:30 a.m. in the Visitors Center.

If you can't make it to the Arb on May 8, the Auxiliary Spring Plant Sale will be in full swing over the weekend, May 9-10, where you'll be able to browse hard-to-find varieties and University of Minnesota introductions. Highlights include sections on shade perennials, sun perennials, ferns, rock garden perennials, day lilies, peonies, roses, hostas, woody plants, ornamental grasses, herbs, fairy garden supplies, fruits and vegetables. Members of plant societies will be on hand to offer growing tips. Sale hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can pick up an official plant list at the Arboretum lobby desk for $1, or visit the Arb's website ( to download a copy. Gate fees apply during the sale ($12 for adults, free for ages 12 and under and for members). All sale proceeds benefit the Arboretum.

Kim Palmer