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August 2017 update

Updated: Apr 25, 2018

Fall native plant sales -

v September 9, 9 am – 3 pm. Green Spring Gardens. The Virginia Native Plant Society offerings are behind the visitor center.

v September 9, 9 am – 3 pm. Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy sale.

v September 23, 9 am – 2 pm. Northern Alexandria Native Plant Sale

v September 24, 10 am – 2 pm Earth Sangha Open House and Plant Sale

Looking for a particular plant, or multiples of one plant? You can contact the vendors ahead of time and request that they bring enough for you.

And don’t forget our local native plants nurseries – Nature by Design in Alexandria and Watermark Woods in Hamilton are open all season to supply your needs. Earth Sangha is open by appointment between sales.

Wolf Trap demonstration gardens – Sept 3 event – Wolf Trap is indeed a National Park with great natural areas – and fantastic native plant gardens. Phil Goetkin will lead a special tour on September 3 at 1 pm. The Friends of Wolf Trap also lead tours monthly as well as before performances.

Hometown Habitat event September 18 – 7 pm, Fairlington Community Center. Click here for more information.

Unlimited tabling opportunities – Would you like to see Plant NOVA Natives represented at an upcoming event, whether small or large? Then represent us! Contact us to find out whether one of our partnering organizations already plans to be there. If not, we will mail you the materials you need. Click here for detailed suggestions on how to be an effective apostle for the native plant movement. Let’s spread the word to every citizen of Northern Virginia!

Garden of the Week – yours could be next! We plan to highlight a different garden every week on Facebook. It does not matter if the garden’s native footprint is only the size of a postage stamp – as long as it has at least one native plant that is looking aesthetically pleasing, your photo can inspire others to start planting natives, too. The photo should be of the whole plant setting, not just of a flower. Please email us pictures of your gardens, or of any garden you know including those in public spaces, and tell us a few words about the photo. For instance, this Yucca filamentosa is looking sharp in front of the Burke Centre Safeway.

This month’s newsletter article – Please reprint these articles on social media and in any newsletter you can – work, faith community, HOA, club, etc. Or link to them on our blog, which includes previous articles in this series

Accidental environmentalism: How yard-sign envy led to a butterfly and bee paradise

This is the story of a gardener who wanted to impress (and encourage) her neighbors by displaying an Audubon-at-Home yard sign that designates a property as an official wildlife sanctuary. How could she earn that coveted plaque? The Audubon Society of Northern Virginia’s program lets the animals decide if sustainable practices have been successful. Certification would require her to spot at least ten species of animals from a list of thirty, but the gardener’s ability to identify wildlife was rudimentary at best.

As a first step, she requested a site visit from an Audubon-at-Home ambassador, a thoroughly knowledgeable and laid-back volunteer. He walked the property with her, suggesting native plants that could go well in her landscape and gently pointing out the invasive introduced plants such as Japanese barberry, honeysuckle, and pachysandra that were displacing the natives. She had planted the pachysandra just a few months before and was sorry to lose its “old money” look, but the thought of it spreading into the adjacent woods convinced her to tear it out again (and not a moment too soon – it had already started to creep in that direction.)

Creating usable habitat proved to be easy and fun. She gradually got a handle on the invasives and learned which Northern Virginia native plants would produce the desired aesthetic results. And she eventually figured out an easy way to identify the insects and other wildlife: “Shoot first and ask questions later.” Rather than searching for particular species of animals, she took a picture of any little thing that flitted or scurried by, then enlarged it and look it up on Google Images. It turned out that her yard was chock full of amazing and beautiful creatures who had been enjoying the fruits of her labor without her even knowing it. It was a proud day when her Audubon-at-Home ambassador returned to declare her property to be an official wildlife sanctuary, allowing her to put up that yearned-for sign. But by then her property was its own living advertisement, as butterflies, bees, frogs, and birds had transformed it into a symphony of sound and colorful motion.

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 committee 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.


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