GROUND COVER: Rhus aromatica ‘Gro-Low’ (Fragrant Sumac)

Fall leaves of Rhus aromatica (‘Gro-Low,’ Fragrant Sumac).

Fall leaves of Rhus aromatica (‘Gro-Low,’ Fragrant Sumac).

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

This vigorous, ground-hugging shrub makes an excellent ground cover, suckering and filling in areas quickly. Its glossy foliage turns brilliant reds, oranges, yellows and purples in fall. At first glance, it may look like poison ivy (Rhus radicans), but Fragrant Sumac is not poisonous. It occurs more commonly in the mountains of the Mid-Atlantic Region than in the Piedmont.

More information . . .

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Regional Gardens: Norfolk Botanical Garden, Part II

By Elaine Mills, Certified Extension Master Gardener
Photos by Elaine Mills, Bob Kline & Alyssa Ford Morel

Colorful plants in the Hummingbird Garden. Photo © Elaine Mills.

Colorful plants in the Hummingbird Garden.
Photo © 2018 Elaine Mills.

Part II of our profile of the Norfolk Botanical Gardens

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FERN: Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich Fern)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich Fern) en masse, in spring. Photo © 2016 Elaine Mills.

Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich Fern) en masse, in spring.
Photo © 2016 Elaine Mills.

Native mostly in the northern half of the Mid-Atlantic Region, Ostrich Fern is indigenous in only three places in Virginia, including along the Potomac River in Arlington and Fairfax counties. It requires a large landscape to show off to full advantage its long, finely dissected fronds, suggestive of ostrich plumes.

Learn more . . .

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Regional Gardens: Norfolk Botanical Garden, Part I

Garden entrance. Photo © 2018 Elaine Mills

Garden entrance. Photo © 2018 Elaine Mills

By Elaine Mills, Certified Extension Master Gardener
Photos by Elaine Mills, Bob Kline & Alyssa Ford Morel

Anyone planning a trip to coastal Virginia or the Carolinas may want to include a half-day stop in Norfolk to visit the Norfolk Botanical Garden. It’s worth a special trip in any season. Nationally recognized, the garden spans 175 acres, has plant collections, themed mini-gardens, and other special features to delight and educate children and adults alike.

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TREE: Aesculus pavia (Red Buckeye)

Aesculus pavia, Red Buckeye flowers in May. Photo © 2018 Elaine L. Mills

Aesculus pavia, Red Buckeye flowers in May.
Photo © 2018 Elaine L. Mills

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Native mostly to the southeastern United States,(but not to the Mid-Atlantic region,  this understory tree is found in woods and along streams. Its common name refers to shiny seeds called buckeyes, which are encased in husked seed capsules. Its showy flowers, suggestive of firecrackers, have led to its alternative name, Firecracker Plant.

Learn more . . .

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Between the Rows – November Edition

Welcome veggie gardeners! 

It’s time to check out the November VCE Garden Guide for vegetable and herb gardening!

VCE supports local gardeners with a host of resources, including free classes, plant clinics and this newsletter. Want to know more? Subscribe here to receive future editions.

All the garden guides are available at VCE Garden Guide under Resources on the MGNV site.

VCE Garden Guide - Between the Rows

 

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the Caterpillar and the exoSkeleton – a Halloween Video

Gravestones! Ghosts! Goblins! exoSkeletons! You may have seen some of these at the Glencarlyn Library Community Garden this last day of October. Several black swallowtail caterpillars cling to the fennel. Will they grow large enough before the first frost to form chrysalises in which they can overwinter? As each races time and matures from one instar* to another, it sheds its exoskeleton, often devouring it for nourishment. Today’s demonstration seems to be in the Halloween spirit. Hope your treats are as satisfying.


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Fall Fruit at Glencarlyn Garden

Ripening fruit on the persimmon tree after leaf drop in November. Photo © 2015 Elaine Mills

Ripening fruit on the persimmon tree after leaf drop in November.
Photo © 2015 Elaine Mills

By Elaine Mills, Certified Master Gardener
Photos by Elaine Mills and Bob Kline

 A medium-sized tree along the fenceline bordering the herb beds at the Glencarlyn Library Garden may not catch attention much of the year. In November, though, its bright orange fruits suspended from bare branches easily draw the eyes of visitors. Continue reading

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