Are you feeling inspired by the plants in the Native Plants for Northern Virginia guide but want to see them in a garden setting before choosing ones for your yard? Northern Virginia has numerous native plant gardens that are open to the public and which can be located using the new map on the Plant NOVA Natives website. They range from public gardens and demonstration gardens maintained by professionals or by Master Gardeners, to landscaping projects at places of business or places of worship, and from formal grounds to a cottage garden look. The summer vacation season is a great time to see the panoply of gardening choices that can include native plants.
If you are travelling up or down the East Coast this summer, public gardens are a great place to stop. Many of the species of plants that are native to Northern Virginia can also be found north or south of here. More and more public gardens are incorporating sections of natives into their designs, and several gardens use native plants exclusively.
Do you know of any gardens that are missing from our map? Please email the name with a description – and photos if you have them – to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is one location that you might never guess: the Dale City rest stop on northbound I95 has a huge native meadow that was planted and maintained by volunteers. There is also a smaller monarch waystation at the southbound rest stop. Check out our one-and-a-half minute video about the critters that take advantage of those oases.