Local Siouxlander shares her gardening passion and stresses the importance of growing native plants

Published: Jul. 17, 2022 at 4:10 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - A local Siouxlander with a passion for plants and gardening has transformed an open space into an impressive garden.

Her name is Cheri Stewart and her goal is to inform others about the conservation opportunities a native garden offers.

It all started just two years ago. Her entire garden area was full of brome, but now has blossomed into a garden full of native plants.

Stewart has come to love gardening, but the passion came when she realized the importance of growing native plants. Native plants and insects have evolved together, causing the two to rely on each other.

“Most of our plants, including the plants that we eat, are pollinated by insects. About 90% of them are. Without the insects, we won’t survive. So it’s so important to raise these plants,” said Cheri Stewart, Loess Hills Wild Ones Co-Vice President.

Her love of gardening was inspired by a local garden group called the Loess Hills Iowa Chapter of Wild Ones. The group promotes planting native landscapes in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

“It’s so gratifying, because these native plants, this is their home. You don’t have to coax them to grow. They’re gonna do their job,” said Stewart.

Most native plants don’t even need watering because their root systems extend deep into the ground once they’re established.

The goal of the Loess Hills Wild Ones? To share their gardening passion with others by offering programs to gardeners of all abilities, beginner or expert.

“They start listening to the bird sounds, they start listening to the bees buzzing around, they start looking at all the colors and the sights, and I just see their eyes light up. And they get excited about having entertainment in their own space, in their own yards,” said Ruth Rose, Loess Hills Wild Ones Co-President.

They hope the passion will blossom for everyone.

The Loess Hills Wild Ones is hosting their 3rd annual Garden Walk Series next week on July 23 in the Sioux City Morningside area. Garden Walk events are planned for July 23, July 30, August 20 and September 10.

More information can be found on their website or Facebook page.

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