Morella on the Barrier Islands

Young Wax Myrtle close-up showing clear spiral pattern of leaf growth and leaf glands (not on Hog Island).

The barrier islands are one of Virginia’s last great wilderness areas, virtually uninhabited by humans. They have one of the longest stretches of undeveloped coastline on the eastern seaboard, and the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier islands in the global temperate zone. The roughly 23 islands that make up this group are owned by The Nature… [Read More]

The Preservation of Remnant Native Oaks in Urban and Suburban Areas

house

I and others have recently received inquiries regarding cases of oak decline and death throughout Arlington County and the City of Alexandria, Virginia – oak species (Quercus spp.) being the dominant and characteristic trees of the upland landscape in both jurisdictions. In all cases over the years, I have not seen any evidence of disease… [Read More]

Lovin’ the Lichens!

Top left: Common Greenshield. Top right: Powdered Ruffle.  Bottom left: Hammered Metal. Bottom right: Sinewed Ramalina

The 2016 VNPS Annual Meeting was a lot of fun; full of laughter and mingling with old friends as well as making many new ones. The highlight of the weekend for me was a Lichen Walk at Wildwood Park. To our delight only four of us joined Gary Cote for the walk, and we were… [Read More]

Pollinator Week: Something to Celebrate!

"The future flies on wings of pollinators"

The fascinating process of pollination, and the beautiful creatures who perform it, these are indeed wonderful things to celebrate. Pollinator Week 2016, June 20 – 26, comes at a good time for us to focus on something we can all appreciate, understand, and support. Certainly there is more to know, but what fun would it… [Read More]

Best Management Practices for Lawn Care

Healthy, low maintenance glade of upland oaks and Poverty Oatgrass (Danthonia spicata), woodland sedges (Carex spp.), and diminutive wildflowers on the flat, gravel terrace at Arlington Forest Park, Arlington County, VA.  Photo by R.H. Simmons.

Important decisions about how to maintain a lawn area have received a lot of press as ideas  change about the ways we use, and treat, this part of the landscape. Rod Simmons spoke on the subject recently, and has kindly agreed to share answers to some of the follow-up questions from his presentation at the… [Read More]

A Suburban Mushroom

morel

Just a few weeks after learning about mushrooms at the VNPS Workshop, Plants and Their Friends: Exploring Partnerships Above and Below Ground, I got out of my car, wandered across to see what was blooming in the front yard. There, in bloom, was a wood poppy that a friend had given us a few years… [Read More]

Landscape Design for Biodiversity Education and Restoration

Gifts for our children: Education and Hope!

Part I.  Hope ~Paying attention to local natural systems teaches us how to bring forth the hidden potential of nature in areas where others have lost hope.  During our ecosystem surveys one of the primary things we find is hope. Although 300 years of landscape degradation have had a profound negative effect on the biodiversity… [Read More]

Post-Wild Planting Solutions

Plants are sociable. They grow in communities. Photo: spd

We may be planting in a post-wild world, but all the things we love about nature and the natural world are still the things we need and should be planting in our landscapes today. Thomas Rainer spoke to a full house Sunday at the Manassas Community Center, delivering a message that spoke right to the… [Read More]

A New Native Plant Mini Series on YouTube

Pussytoes, (Antennaria plantaginifolia)

Introducing a new series of videos! These are truly Mini in length, but mighty in content; each featuring one or two native plants at a time. Plant characteristics, faunal associations, and uses in the home landscape are covered. We think you will love these informative little doses of native love! The producer, a member of… [Read More]

Fundraiser Celebration In Richmond

The Governor listens as Clyde Cristman explains how VNPS rose to the challenge of "bringing a check twice as big" this year!

Governor McAuliffe expressed great appreciation as he accepted our ‘Big’ check from a VNPS Elf on December 17 in Richmond. President Nancy Vehrs had pulled out all the stops to make sure the event was a memorable one! The VNPS 2015 Fundraiser was a resounding success, by any measure; we were able to give $22,… [Read More]