To Inspire, Transform & Heal

Linda Wiggen Kraft
Creativity for the Soul

Wild Things – They Are In The Garden & The Book


There are Wild Things going on in my own garden and in the downtown Saint Louis Library. There is a celebration and exhibit of Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak throughout the library. Wild Things have invaded my garden too.

frog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogIt’s the wild time of year in my garden.  Lots of plants that I never planted are blooming.  Animals show up from who knows where.  It’s the season of Wild Things.



Those monsters who “roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws” have invaded the library. They are found in lots of places including the Great Hall.





And in my garden the Wild Thing Plants have invaded many places.  In the front gardens is the native blue ageratum. These are plants that just showed up.  I never planted them and most years try to pull them out as best I can.  They then return with vigor the next year.

wild-things-ageratum-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogI do love the blue of Wild Ageratum, Blue Mist or Blue Boneset. It’s botanical name is Conoclinium coelestinum, formerly Eupatorium coelestinum.  It fills garden spaces even when I am constantly pulling it out.

The pink perennial begonia (begonia grandis) spreads its seed all over and who knows where it came from.



There is also the lovely but deadly white snakeroot (ageratina altissima), that in places grows five feet tall.  This plant is like baby’s breath on steroids.  Unfortunately it is poisonous to people and animals.  Many people died in the 1800’s by drinking milk from cows who had eaten this plant.  Abraham Lincoln’s mother was one victim. It is called “Milk Sickness”.



The Monarchs are almost gone.  A few weeks ago the gardens were full of them as they migrated through.  Last year I got to see one of the final Monarch destinations in Santa Cruz, California. It was amazing to see tree branches covered with these beautiful butterflies.



Poke Weed (Phytolacca americana) grows to six or seven feet tall in great abundance in my neighbor’s yard. The birds carry seeds to my garden. It’s name comes from the Native American word for dye used for clothes, feathers, arrow shafts and houses. Although parts of poke weed have been eaten for centuries or more, the entire plant in poisonous.  I think it is wildly beautiful.


Back in the library, the Wild Thing’s footprints lead you up the stairs to a very special room.



There is a big room with original art by Maurice Sendak on the walls and Max’s bedroom inside the room. When Max told his mother he would eat her up, she called him wild thing and sent him to his room without eating.  And then, “That very night in Max’s room a forest grew and grew and grew until his ceiling hung with vines and the walls became the world all around”.


“And an ocean tumbled by with a private boat for Max and he sailed off through night and day”. And then he became the King of the wild things.


After getting tired of being King of the Wild Things, “Max stepped into his private boat and waved goodbye and sailed back over a year, and in and out of weeks, and through a day and into the night of his very own room, where he found his supper waiting for him, and it was still hot.”


Perhaps some of the warm food waiting for him was from his family’s wild garden.




PS- A Month for Mandalas starts soon.



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