VNPS News & Updates

Here Come the Bryophytes!

All of a sudden, mosses, liverworts, and friends are on a minor upswing in popularity. That thin green mat cushioning your feet and plastering tree trunks, that lowly layer of who-knows-what, is now more popular with the botanist and gardener than ever; it has spawned... read more

Trout Lillies and Trouts Signal Spring!

I am a gardener and an angler.  In the spring, these two passions vie for my attention simultaneously because gardens and trout streams wake up from winter at around the same moment.  Just as warming ground stimulates seeds to germinate, bulbs to flower and trees to... read more

Post-Wild Planting Solutions

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... read more

Big Tree Hunt

The College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech is the creator of the  Virginia Big Tree Program, and the New River Chapter recently took a field trip to learn more about it.  The purpose of the program is to  find and record the biggest examples of... read more

Wetlands

I cringe when the word ”Improve”, or “Improvement” is used about land. It’s applied, of course, to describe the process that adapts land for human uses such as farming or construction. This isn’t improvement in any conventional... read more

Getting Rid of Japanese Barberry: Why and How

Japanese barberry, (Berberis thunbergi), arrives in the woods by birds eating the fruits in winter and pooping/planting them. It can grow in full shade and established woods. Nobody, (especially not deer), eats the leaves or the prickly twigs. It can root where... read more

Fundraiser Celebration In Richmond

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,... read more

Older Posts

Interview with Izel Plants: An Online Nursery

The newest nursery listing on our VNPS website is Izel Plants; a retail nursery of a different stripe! Find out all about how it works in this interview with Claudio Vazquez, who is the co-owner, and co-founder of this brave new enterprise. Sue:  Claudio, when I heard...

Into The Swamp at Cypress Bridge

Champion Trees, Notable Trees, and Just Plain Wonderful Trees at Cypress Bridge Swamp! We waited for over a year and we finally made it to the 380 acre Cypress Bridge Swamp Natural Area Preserve!  We  had been disappointed when our trip during the 2014 annual meeting...

Finding and Losing Ginseng

One of the highlights for me of this year’s VNPS Annual Meeting was the opportunity to explore a colony of ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.). On a walk led by Tom Dierauf, our congenial group explored the plants and geology of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the...

Red-berried Greenbrier: A New Record

Made a nice if small discovery. While accompanying a field trip, I noticed some unusual Greenbrier, (Smilax),  plants. It wasn’t just that they were growing in the water, but the color of the berries was not your typical purple/black of ones I’m used to. I...

Journey To A Native Yard

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...

Who Belongs to the Dead Plant Society?

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...

Salt-Tolerant Native Shrubs

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...

Raise Your Voice

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...

Native Wildflowers: A Feast in the Fall

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...

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

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...