Chapter Meetings

The Lexington Chapter of Wild Ones holds a meeting with a presentation or other activity on the first Thursday of every month, or occasionally on another day of the month. We offer refreshments at these meetings, and there is time for socializing. Indoor meetings take place at St. Michael’s Church, 2025 Bellefonte Drive, Lexington.

In addition, we offer outings and other events throughout the year. In 2022, we are adding something new: the opportunity to visit a number of private gardens. These visits are meant to be enjoyable, informative and casual with no pressure on the hosts to spruce up their gardens for the occasion. A reflection about gardens appears on our Essay page.

All meetings and events are open to chapter members and to the public, unless otherwise noted.

Chapter Events of 2022

Thursday, Feb. 3, at 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church, 2025 Bellefonte Drive, Lexington

Michaela Roger: How Gardeners Can Help the Bats of Kentucky

Michaela Rogers, Environmental Scientist with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, presents an overview of Kentucky bat species and their varying life habits. Attendees to this presentation will learn about the places bats inhabit in the state, and how threatened and endangered bat species are monitored by biologists. This presentation will identify the needs of bats that gardeners can address and provide ideas for creating bat habitat in your own backyard.


Thursday, March 3, at 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church

Gwynn Henderson: Kentucky’s Indigenous Farmers 

Native peoples living in Kentucky turned to a farming way of life around A.D. 1000. Their ancestors had domesticated several native Kentucky plants long before then, and the farmers emerging 1000 years ago drew on their plant food growing techniques. Gwynn Henderson is an archaeologist and education director with WKU’s Kentucky Archaeological Survey. She will discuss this long tradition of Native farming, drawing on archaeological research conducted in Kentucky.


Thursday, April 7, at 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church.

Dan Patrick: Insect Orders. Insects are crucial to the plant world, which is the world in which we live. Every insect feeds on plants or is the predator of an insect that feeds on plants. It is the largest animal group in the world, but probably the one about which we know the least. Dan Patrick, a retired biology teacher, provides this introduction to the different kinds of insects we may encounter in our ramblings through nature.


Saturday, April 9, 2-4 pm, 308 Greenbriar Rd., Lexington

Garden Visit. Hosts: Eve Podet and Mike Finucane. Rain Date: Sunday, April 10, 10 am – noon. This garden was one of the first to open its gates for visits by our Wild Ones group. Early this century, when native plants were very difficult to come by, Eve and Mike scouted out every possibility for obtaining them. They introduced hundreds of different species into their garden and kept a list of what they planted. They have remained native plant purists. About 10 years ago they added some beautifully designed hardscaping to both their front and back yards. During our visit in early April, the focus will be on a small section of their garden where woodland wildflowers are well established.


Saturday, April 16, 1 pm, Wildflower Hike at Lower Howard’s Creek Nature Preserve

Leaders: Lee Meyer and Beate Popkin: We will walk along one of the most beautiful creeks in the Bluegrass and admire the spectacular rock faces that form its banks. A great many invasive plants have been removed at this preserve by a group of dedicated and energetic volunteers. And it shows: now that those honeysuckle bushes are gone, a stunning display of wildflowers covers much of the forest floor in spring. In some places along the creek, Virginia bluebells are particularly abundant; hopefully this hike is timed such that we can catch their full splendor.

This hike is moderately strenuous because the trail includes a sustained slope into (and out of) the creek valley. All participants must wear solid shoes with a good grip.  (Limit: 15 participants)


Saturday, April 23, 2-4 pm, 124 Idle Hour Drive, Lexington

Garden Visit. Host: Beate Popkin. Rain Date: Sunday, April 24, 2-4 pm. This garden in an older suburb is full of trees, both established and newly planted. As the trees grow, shade-loving plants establish themselves more and more. Purple phacelia, in particular has spread throughout the garden and will hopefully be in bloom during this visit. Both native and non-native plants grow in this garden. In the remaining sunny areas, tulips, narcissus and other bulbs flower among native perennials that have only just begun to show some green.


Sunday, May 1, 1 pm. Location: The Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky, Alumni Drive

The City Nature Challenge

Central Kentucky Audubon Society, Floracliff Nature Sanctuary, North American Butterfly Association-Central Kentucky, UK Forest Health Extension, UK-LFUCG Arboretum, and Wild Ones-Lexington will lead a wild nature discovery walk to participate in the City Nature Challenge. The City Nature Challenge is a global 4-day community science event aimed at documenting nature in and around urban areas. Floracliff Nature Sanctuary, Lexington Parks & Recreation and NABA Central Kentucky are hosting the City Nature Challenge 2022 for Lexington. During this event at The Arboretum, we’ll discover the wild nature this urban landscape supports and document it using the iNaturalist app. Observers of all skill levels are welcome to help discover nature from the soil to the treetops—not everyone will need to use the iNaturalist app. We’ll be looking for blooms, pollinators, birds, fungi, and more along the Walk Across Kentucky trail! Those who are unfamiliar with iNaturalist will learn how to use it; please download the iNaturalist app in advance.


Thursday, May 5, at 6 pm (!). St. Michael’s Church, 2025 Bellefonte Drive, Lexington, upper parking lot.

Plant Exchange. Participants can bring their surplus plants in pots or, if dug up on or near the day of the exchange, wrapped in moist newspaper and plastic. All participants get to choose multiple plants to take home.  We will set up the exchange in the upper parking lot of the church.

The plant exchange is also our chapter’s main fund raiser, and there will be a fee for participants: chapter members: $5, non-members: $7.


Saturday, May 28, 11 am – 2pm, 992 Stonewall Rd., Lexington

Garden Visit. Host: Jannine Baker. Rain Date: Sunday, May 29, 11 am – 2 pm


Thursday, June 2, at 6:30 pm, Hill’n Dale Park.

Beth Kelly: Essentrics for Gardeners and Picnic. Beth Kelly is a wellness coach and will guide interested participants in learning strengthening exercises and stretches helpful for gardeners. Gardening is a whole body workout that involves manual labor. Essentrics will increase flexibility and overall strength to help with the repetitive movement and the getting up and down involved in gardening. We will learn some exercises to help unlock tight joints and to prevent injuries. Wear comfortable clothing.

This will also be the meeting where we will hold our annual summer picnic.


Saturday, June 11, 10 am to noon, 3374 Briar Hill Road, Lexington

Excursion to Fields-to-Forest Nursery and a recently reforested rural property in Fayette County. Leader: Ann Whitney Garner, farm and nursery owner. During the last 10 years, the Garners planted 10,000 tree seedlings on their 20 acre property in Fayette County which used to be Bluegrass pasture land. The trees, half of which are oaks, are on their way to becoming a forest. This is a fascinating project showing what can be done with rural properties that their owners have taken out of farming. Ann Whitney started a tree nursery to help other property owners, both urban and rural, on their way toward a more sustainable use of their land.


Saturday, June 18, 10 am – noon, 4868 Waterside Drive, Lexington

Garden Visit. Hosts: Vicki and Jeff Holmberg. Rain Date: Sunday, June 19, 10 am to noon. This garden is likely to surprise you. It extends over a large suburban property from the front of the house along both its sides and over a back yard that slopes down to the edge of a lake. An immense variety of native plants grow here and many should be in bloom during this mid-summer visit. Two very old chinquapin oaks give dappled shade and an enormous dutchman’s pipevine climbs up an arbor and into a willow that leans over the water. The water’s edge provides opportunities for wetland plants rarely seen in other gardens like scouring rush horsetail, lizards tail, hibiscus, narrow-leaf sunflower and others.


Thursday, July 7, 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church

Shannon Trimboli: Attracting Fireflies to Your Property. Many different species of fireflies live in Kentucky. This talk will discuss some of these and explain how to distinguish between them.  It will also explain their lifecycle and make suggestions on how to manage a garden that attracts them and encourages them to make their home in it.


Saturday, July 16, 10 am – 1 pm, 514 Ridge Road, Lexington

Garden Visit. Host: Susan Abbott. Rain Date: Sunday, July 17, 10 am to 1 pm. This is a sunny garden, and Susan is an eclectic gardener as well as an artist. She accommodates her favorite non-natives among her many native plants and finds room for her veggies and herbs among the flowers and shrubs. The back yard is enclosed on all sides which makes it feel intimate and yet also expansive, due to the open sky above. The surrounding fences support significant vines: American bittersweet for the winter birds and thornless blackberry for pies and jams. This garden is casual, flowing and exuberant, but also well cared for and orderly. Its imaginative ornaments are a special touch.


Thursday, August 4, 6:30 pm. Location to be Announced.

Ellen Crocker: Understanding and Suppressing Invasive Plants. This workshop will focus on some of the lesser known invasives and those that have recently become a threat.


Saturday, August 6, 10 am – noon, 882 Wyndham Hills Drive

Garden Visit. Host: Katrina Kelly. Rain Date: Sunday, August 7, 10 am – noon


Saturday, Sept. 1, 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church

Linda Porter: Thinking about the Winter Garden. Few things are more certain in our gardens than the seasons and the changes they bring.  As Autumn wanes and Winter beckons, many gardeners take advantage of the last warm days to cut back “dead” and dying foliage; and to do what they can to make their garden more aesthetically pleasing.  But is your garden really dead in the Winter? What life lurks there waiting until Spring?   Can that life be left undisturbed while appearances are considered?  The answer to these question can guide you toward a more life-sustaining approach to the winter garden.


Saturday, Sept. 10, 10 am – noon, 2127 St. Mathilda Drive, Lexington

Garden Visit. Hosts: Jack Taylor & Paul Brown. Rain Date: Sunday, Sept. 11, 10 am – noon


Saturday, Oct. 1, 8:30 am – 4 pm, Floracliff Nature Sanctuary

Bluegrass Land and Nature Symposium. This all-day meeting focuses on the plants and animals of our region, on our biodiversity and the stewardship that individuals and groups offer to manage and preserve it. Dr. Margaret Carreiro, an urban ecologist from Louisville, will give the keynote address: “Planning a Resilient Future for Flora and Fauna in the Bluegrass.” All subsequent sessions are led by local naturalists and will take place outdoors on the Floracliff grounds. Details about the Symposium schedule and registration are here.

The Lexington Chapter of Wild Ones Hosts the Symposium in partnership with Floracliff Nature Sanctuary. Pre-registration is required and the cost of $35 includes lunch.


October 8 to 15: As in years past, we will partner with Tree Week and offer several events

1.) Tuesday, Oct. 11 and Thursday, Oct. 13, 5:30 to 6:30 pm, 124 Idle Hour Drive, Lexington: Small Trees for Urban Spaces. As urban gardens shrink in size, so does the room for planting a tall oak or a spreading blackgum. But on most properties there is usually space for a small tree or several of them. In choosing a small tree, homeowners and landscapers gravitate toward dogwoods and redbuds. Other species are neither well known nor readily available. This one-hour walk through an urban landscape highlights about 10 to 15 plants in the large shrub/small tree category, all native to eastern North America. We will talk about growth habits, proper placement, pruning needs and availability.


Thursday, Nov. 3, 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church

Bringing Back the Bluegrass. Officials from the LFUCG Department of Parks and Recreation will present their program to take sections of Lexington parks out of mowing and to renaturalize them.


Thursday, Dec. 1, 6:30 pm, at St. Michael’s Church

Katherine Shaw: Making Holiday Crafts from Natural Materials. This is a hands-on workshop. Katherine will teach participants how to make decorative items and gifts, based on natural materials, for the holidays and beyond.



Links to Events of Past Years