Native Plants news
Go Local – Enjoy the Spring Native Plant Sales!
Are you looking for plants that will beautify your yard while requiring a minimum of maintenance? The plants that evolved here are the ones for you! The more local the origin of a plant, the more likely it is to be adapted to our particular soils and climate. There could be a big difference in the cold and heat tolerance of an Eastern Red Columbine that evolved in Virginia compared to one that evolved in Saskatchewan, even if they do look alike!
We are fortunate in Northern Virginia to have many sources of native plants. In addition to the native-only nurseries – some of which propagate plants themselves from local seed sources – there are numerous vendors who set up shop at special plant sales in the spring and fall. At least sixteen such sales are planned for this spring, in locations all over Northern Virginia. Find a list and a calendar on the Plant NOVA Natives website. If you are looking for particular plants, you can contact vendors in advance and ask them to bring them for you. Traditional commercial nurseries are selling more and more native plants as well (but don’t expect to find natives at big box stores).
Our local wildlife also agree that native plants are the best. In fact, the ecosystem is entirely dependent on the plants that evolved with our bees, butterflies, birds, etc. Why not give them a home on your property?
See our 16 second video ad for native plant sales.
Plant NOVA Natives is a joint marketing campaign of over forty private, public, and non-profit organizations and hundreds of individuals. Our mission is to educate the community and to promote the benefits to water quality and natural habitat of planting beautiful Northern Virginia natives, through the efforts of committed volunteers using multimedia outreach and events, and by working with local growers and sellers of native plants. All are welcome to participate in this collective action movement.
Friends of Wolf Trap is partnering with Plant NOVA Natives that advises:
Get paid to mow less!
How would you like to be paid to improve the landscaping on your own property? The Virginia Conservation Assistance Program (VCAP) – available for both private and community properties – does just that.
Although lawns may look natural, in fact they cause trouble for the environment. The streams of Northern Virginia, and ultimately our drinking water and the Chesapeake Bay, have been seriously degraded by storm water rushing off of impervious surfaces. Buildings, roads, and parking lots are the first problem, but lawns are not much better at slowing down the flow of water. This concern is so great that the state of Virginia offers 75% matching grants for a variety of storm water retention projects, including simply replacing lawn with conservation landscaping using native plants. Since turf grasses are non-native plants that provide no sustenance to wildlife, replacing some of it with native plants has the additional benefit of turning our properties into wildlife sanctuaries.
There is no telling how long these grants will last, and the process takes several months, so it would be wise to look into it soon for a spring planting. Click here for details and for practical advice about working with native plants. The results can be spectacular. Herndon Friends Meeting just installed conservation landscaping, partly thanks to a $3500 grant. There is still enough lawn for the kids to run around, but soon they will be joined by butterflies and birds enjoying the habitat as well.