Monday, March 5, 2007

Local Color: Virginia Native Plant Society

Virginia Native Plant Society
Boyce, Virginia

Native plants are a big part of organic gardening - as they acclimate to your garden site without needing pesticides or fertilizers. They also don't require as much in the way of watering and coddling. They know the land, they know the conditions. Drought? Sure thing. Clay soil? No problem. Bring it on.

I'm planning a small native plant/sitting garden and have found that the Virginia Native Plant Society site offers just what I need to learn the basics. They have an extensive list of native plant nurseries and, on the flip side, a list of invasive and alien plant species of Virginia. And the group isn't preachy - just excited about the possibilities of introducing natives to your gardening world.

Visit this section for a detailed overview on why planting natives is so important - but also why it is so rewarding - . One of the points that got me was the thought of attracting more butterflies, song birds . . . and hummingbirds!

The Virginia Native Plant Society also increases awareness of these plants through workshops, newsletters and the Wildflower of the Year.

These Wildflower of the Year photos are courtesy of the Society. Counterclockwise from bottom; Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) - photo by S.G. Shetler; Trailing Arbutus (Epigaea repens) - photo by W.S. Justice; and Large-Flowered Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) - photo by S.G. Shetler.

Next year - a woodland garden! Be still my heart . . .

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