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Container Gardenin g with Native PlantsButterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
What exactly is a Native Plant?• Native Plants are the species that occur naturally in a given area.• Native Plants include ferns, grasses, water and marsh plants, herbaceous perennials, shrubs, trees and vines. • There are so many choices! They come in many colors, shapes and sizes. Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)
Why Containers?• Physical limitations – Low maintenance – Easy access• Landscape limitations •PropagationPurple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) Coreopsis (lanceolata) -You can separate some of your perennials annually and gift or plant in your landscape. •Recycle -Great way to reuse many household items
Containers 101• Plan your container• Determine light and moisture requirements• Select type of container•Mix soil and any soilamendments neededaccording to VTErecommendations Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica)
Little Bluestem(Schizachyrium scoparium) •About • Small, non-spreading grass with blue-green leaves that turn reddish orange in the fall •Fluffy silver seed heads are ornamental through winter •Grows to 2’-3’ X 1’ •Full Sun •Well drained, dry soil •Benefits •Deer resistant •Drought tolerant •Attracts butterflies and birds •Uses •Dried flowers •Cut flowers •Rock gardens •Bonsai •Companions •Butterfly Milkweed •Pale purple coneflower •Stiff Goldenrod
Woodland Phlox (Phlox paniculata)•About •Partial to Full Shade • Average Size 6”-1.5’ •Average to moist soil • Prefers Organically rich soil•Benefits •Attracts Hummingbirds and Butterflies •Beautiful Spring Flowers•Companion Plants •Virginia Bluebells •Christmas Fern •Goat’s Beard
Madienhair Fern (Adiantum pedatum) •About •Full Shade/Deep Shade •Moderate Moisture •Organically rich soil •Deciduous • Height 18”-2’•Facts •Can be divided in Autumn or Winter •Maidenhair fern is the source of a pleasantly aromatic volatile oil long used as a rinse or shampoo that rendered black hair very shiny, hence the name Maidenhair. •The tough, water-repellant, shiny black stems were used by Native American peoples in basket weaving.
Where Can I Purchase Native Plants Locally?Colonial Nursery – WilliamsburgSassafras Farm – GloucesterCooke’s Garden – WilliamsburgLet it Grow – WilliamsburgHomestead Garden Center – Toano 2011 Native Plant Sales John Clayton Chapter/Native Plant Society 4-30-11 Virginia Living Museum 4-16 & 4-17 & 4-23-11
Where Can I See Native Plants?• VIMS Teaching Marsh• Williamsburg Botanical Garden• Melissa’s Meadow at William & Mary• Stonehouse Elementary School• W&M Wildflower Refuge• Virginia Living Museum• New Quarter Park• Norfolk Botanical Garden• Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden• JCC Human Services (Master Gardener Project)
Websites of Note • www.wildflower.org •Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center site has excellent articles on gardening with natives, including guidelines for container gardening •www.nps.gov/plants/pubs/chesapeake/ •Web and PDF versions of handbook, Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping, Chesapeake Bay Watershed, now out of print. •www.claytonvnps.org •John Clayton Chapter, Virginia Native Plant Society, extensive plant lists by county, excellent photo gallery. •www.dgif.virginia.gov/habitat •Extensive how-to information for environmentalBlack Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia heliopsidis) stewardship for homeowners, schools and businesses. •www.floraofvirginia.org •Comprehensive research project publishing 2012 will describe more than 3,500 native plants with photos and illustrations.
Great Resources for Native Plant Information The Essential Guide Virginia Just updated with Habitat FAQ’s and a Partnership regional plant list. State Certification National Wildlife John Clayton Federation Chapter 140,000+ registered VNPS- Local habitats Experts
Why use Native Plants?• Want to do less watering? Native plants are survivors and adapt to whatever is happening in their environment.• Feel concerned about excess nitrogen causing algae blooms in the Chesapeake Bay? Natives don’t require fertilizer.• Native Plants provide familiar sources of food and shelter for wildlife.• On a broader ecological scale, planting native species contributes to the overall health of natural communities.