Friday, March 28, 2008

Garden Questions Answered: Native Plants

A question from a LISH reader:

Tracey -

I'm pretty new to central Virginia, a novice gardener, and I find myself with a big blank-canvas yard for the first time in my life. I'm hoping to start up some new flower beds and I'd like to keep to native varieties, but I'm not having any luck with the local garden stores. Do you by chance have any suggestions on where I could look, or on easily available flowers that happen to also be native? I'm especially interested in finding an assortment of VA wildflowers, but any lead would be extremely appreciated.

Thank you!

Charlottesville, VA

Hi I.R.,

How cool . . . and exciting. On both your love of natives and your 'blank canvas.'

Two suggestions . . .

Although they have closed for business, Hyla Brook Farm's website feature details on natives, and only natives, for our area . . . perennials, vines, shrubs, ferns, trees. With photos. Very helpful.

The Virginia Native Plant Society. Their website is a great resource and they have a native plant sale every spring - over at Ivy Creek Nature Center. Also - check out their "Growing Native Plants" section - it includes a list of nurseries that specialize in native plants, as well as a recommended list of plants for our state.

Sometimes, I will find natives at nurseries such as Milmont Greenhouses (in Stuarts Draft). If you stick to the Latin names of each variety, it will ensure that you are getting the correct plant.

Have fun - sounds like you have a busy spring ahead of you!

Very best . . . Tracey

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