Landscape Design for Biodiversity Education and Restoration

March 27, 2016

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…

Here Come the Bryophytes!

March 13, 2016

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 new field guides, classes, and restoration projects, as well as…

Trout Lillies and Trouts Signal Spring!

March 6, 2016

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 leaf out and bloom, warming activity on a trout…

Post-Wild Planting Solutions

February 22, 2016

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…

Big Tree Hunt

February 20, 2016

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 many species of trees in Virginia.  Measurements…

Wetlands

February 2, 2016

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 sense of the word. In the 500 or so year history of European use of American land, the…

A New Native Plant Mini Series on YouTube

January 31, 2016

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…

Getting Rid of Japanese Barberry: Why and How

January 23, 2016

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 branches touch the ground and where seeds are dropped in place to make…

VNPS 2016: Full Steam Ahead!

January 11, 2016

We have a serious commitment to a lofty Mission Statement, we better be going full steam ahead! For those who would like a short version, our mission statement pretty much says we’re tryin’ to save the world. As in: protect and preserve native plants and their habitats discourage and combat practices that endanger or destroy…

Take A Walk On The Wild Side: Travilah Barrens

December 28, 2015

Standing in a cul-de-sac of the development, where every lawn was manicured to within an inch of its struggling life, it was impossible not to think of the song. The crowd gathered for the Annual Solstice Walk on December 20 listened carefully to an explanation of what they were about to see ‘on the other…