Don’t forget to join us on November 20 at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom as Chris Migliaccio, photographer and Professor Emeritus (Ecology and Environmental Science, Miami Dade College), shares practical insights and beautiful images that center on his developing garden in Henrico County. After many years of “growing native” in South Florida, Central Virginia has offered new gardening discoveries along with a new palette of plants. Professor Migliaccio’s visual and scientific background lend a special perspective sure to make this a wonderful presentation. There will be time for Q&A following the presentation.
We are excited to share that Wild Ones NoVA Seedling Chapter founder Melinda Soltys is participating in a Nature Forward Conservation Cafe panel discussion about low-impact landscaping and HOAs hosted by nature writer and Humane Gardener founder Nancy Lawson.
The online Conservation Cafe starts at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16.
The program is a fundraiser for Nature Forward ($10-15 registration) and will be recorded; a link to view the recording will be shared with all event registrants.
This program falls on the same evening as the national Wild Ones presentation, “The Gardener’s Guide to Prairie Plants” with Neil Diboll and Hilary Cox, which will also be recorded.
Here’s Robin at our Wild Ones chapter display on Saturday at the “Plant Native!” festival in Henrico. We had a really great day (despite the occasional exciting wind gust!). The festival had a steady stream of visitors, we enjoyed good conversations, reconnected with some wonderful native plant colleagues, met some new chapter members in person for the first time, and even met a potential speaker for a future program on bluebirds that emphasizes the connections between native plants/habitat and these beloved birds. Festival organizers had kindly arranged the schedule so vendors could also enjoy the keynote speaker, Nancy Lawson (The Humane Gardener, Wildscape), which was an inspiring treat. And of course Robin and Sharon (inevitably?) took the opportunity to visit the nursery vendors and went home with some new plants, because–well, fall is a great time for planting native plants in Virginia!
Satruday also was busy for Wild Ones in Chesterfield County, where Julie shared the Wild Ones message at a neighborhood festival in her community, which is full of beautiful oak trees. Julie shared “We had a great time promoting native plants and climate resilient landscaping at the Surreywood Fall Festival!” Thanks to Julie’s friend Veronica for taking this picture of Julie.
Our evening Zoom on September 18 featured an enjoyable and informative presentation about container gardening from Membership Chair, Ed Deale. Ed created sun and shade containers this past growing season and provided tips for successful container gardening with native plants based on his research and experiences. Here are some highlights from the presentation:
Container gardening offers the opportunity to experiment, contain aggressive plants (like mints) or garden with natives in smaller spaces
It’s important to select containers that are deep enough to accommodate the (typically longer) roots of native plants
Using a good quality container soil mix remains important, as does efficient drainage (drill holes if needed)–however, it’s best not to add fertilizers as you would for non-native plantings
If you will overwinter the container or plan to retain/reuse soil in the container the next year, it can be refreshed by working in some compost once a year
Attractive arrangements may feature single species or combine species in a conventional “thriller, filler, spiller” format (Pictured is Ed’s half-whiskey-barrel container for a sunny area, which featured Phlox, Butterfly Milkweed, and Penstemon)
Ferns, grasses, or sedges also can be used to add visual interest (e.g., when other plants are not blooming)
As with conventional container plantings, it’s important to monitor the container and water as needed and, if overwintering, to provide shelter during very cold snaps (perhaps in an unheated cellar or garage)
Candidates for shade containers might include Wild Ginger and Pennsylvania Sedge
Members discussed examples of successful container plantings they have seen, including containers featuring Joe Pye Weed and Mountain Mint
A massive thank you to ISA Certified Arborist Mary-Ellen Stokes from Arborscapes LLC. for speaking to us about the importance of native trees and how to keep your native trees healthy! We had a great discussion and were able to offer this program online and in-person. Are you passionate about native plants and trees? Consider joining Wild Ones Greater RVA!
Wild Ones Greater RVA was at the Rockwood Park Backyard Beekeepers Association’s Honeybee Festival! We were pleased to exhibit alongside Plant Virginia Natives and the Pocahontas Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists, as well as the beekeeper volunteers at the “Bee Petting Zoo” station.
We spoke with many people about the importance of native plants to pollinators, including honeybees, and also about the importance of native plants to our *native* bees, many of which are specialist foragers.
To learn more about the Honeybee Festival and Rockwood Park Backyard Beekeepers visit their website or their Facebook page.