Journey To A Native Yard

Donna and Mark preferred a more naturalistic style rather than formal one. They used hardscape features to bring a sense of order into the design.

Thirty four years ago there was not a single tree, and no lawn, on the site where Donna Murphy’s new house was sitting. She knew very little about native plants at the time, and was planning on  establishing a traditional lawn, with  perhaps a vegetable garden for some fresh food and a good experience for… [Read More]

Who Belongs to the Dead Plant Society?

Bye-bye bittersweet!

How often do you get to kill something and feel good about it? It’s good anger management therapy! There we were, hiking up Stone Mountain, near Atlanta, going through one of the smallish wooded areas (most of it is bare granite). When what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a bunch of bittersweet….oh, my… [Read More]

Salt-Tolerant Native Shrubs

Groundsel Tree Female Painted Lady HLH

In our area of southern tidewater Virginia, three salt-tolerant shrubs (or small trees) grow on pond shores and marsh edges. The most striking is Baccharis halimifolia, covered with white fuzz; the white blooms indicate the female plant. The fruits are covered with tufts of white silk that carry them to new destinations. It is known… [Read More]

Raise Your Voice

Alan Ford pulling invasive plants on Invasive Plant Removal Day last year.

A conviction that native plants are important is what motivated Ruth Douglas to raise her voice. Deciding to become active in their support was not an easy choice for Ruth, who had to overcome an inherently shy personality, but it’s a decision she does not regret. Her journey through deeper levels of commitment has given her… [Read More]

Native Wildflowers: A Feast in the Fall

Symphyotrichum dumosum var dumosum,  Bushy aster

Our native wildflowers are still putting on a show, in addition to provisioning late season pollinators and butterflies searching for fuel to carry them through the winter. Some of those creatures hibernate right here, others are taking wing and heading south, but they are all adapted to count on the late season boost from those… [Read More]

Generation Y Won’t Garden Because of Fear of Failure?

Millennials are becoming parents now. Who will gently lead them in?

Millennials, especially the Gen Y batch, are proving a hard target for the nursery industry to get a bead on. They have a fear of failure, said a recent article written for professional growers. Furthermore, the article states that Gen Yers were urged to their best in school every day, (surprise!) to beat the competition;… [Read More]

Adding Land to Cedars Natural Area Preserve

From Chris Ludwig, Chief Biologist, Virginia Division of Natural Heritage: “I understand that we are almost 90% of the way towards our fundraising goal for additional acreage on the tracts to enhance The Cedars Natural Area Preserve in Lee County Virginia. WAY TO GO VNPS!!!!  Many of you will never see this preserve; it is… [Read More]

Report From A Tagalong Spouse

A 1700s Irish farm at the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton. Photo used with their permission.

Hosting the VNPS Annual Meeting at the Frontier Culture Museum was a great choice. If you haven’t been to the museum, it consists of about twelve exhibits of typical homesteads, (houses, barns, fields, etc.), of the people who originally inhabited North America, including the American Indians and those people who immigrated to the Atlantic coast… [Read More]

Rescue, Reclaim, Restore: Annual Meeting 2015

Nancy Vehrs leads quarterly in dairy barn - milked for all it was worth!

In the unusual setting of a dairy barn, VNPS President, Nancy Vehrs, opened the 2015 Annual Meeting in Staunton with the quarterly gathering of the Board. After the traditional business session, (the nuts and bolts that keep VNPS running), Rod Walker, from the Blue Ridge Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) was on hand… [Read More]

The Importance of Preserving Our Natural Areas

Shenandoah National Park in the 1930s.

This year members of the Virginia Native Plant Society will continue their support of natural area preservation throughout the state. These efforts take place at the local and regional level, and VNPS as a whole will focus on raising funds to support land acquisition to expand the Cedars Area Natural Area Preserve. The importance of… [Read More]