The season is underway, and now is a great time to start planning for your spring and summer garden! This spring support additional habitat by planting more native species in your home or balcony garden. Once established, native plants typically need less care because they evolved with local soil and climate conditions. Natives also support butterflies, birds and pollinators such as the Monarch - which is the poster child for so many more important invertebrate species. Get to know some of our native beauties! The resources of the Plant NOVA Natives initiative can support you in this.
Here are three easy native plants for each season that every gardener can enjoy:
Native Plants for All Seasons (pictured above)
Red Columbine Aquilegia canadensis
Virginia Bluebells Mertensia virginiana
Wild Geranium Geranium maculatum
Orange Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa
Scarlet Bee Balm* Monarda didyma
Blazing Star Liatris spicata
Black-Eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta
Cardinal Flower Lobelia cardinalis
Blue Lobelia* Lobelia siphilitica
* In the right conditions, the species marked with a star may spread quickly. Plant carefully!
These native plants are all featured in the Plant NOVA Natives guide, a resource specifically designed for Northern Virginia gardeners with information on locally native species. Download a free copy of the guide and see where you can find these plants at www.plantnovanatives.org. The website offers listings of native plant sales, nurseries, deer resistance information, and much more. There's even a new app developed to go on the road (and to the nursery or plant sale) with you! Tell your neighbors about it, and look for copies of the guide at events and sales - it makes a great gift for a friend or neighbor (hard copies can be ordered directly online courtesy of the Virginia Native Plant Society, one of its many sponsors).