Invasive Plant Factsheet: Asian Viburnums (Viburnum spp.)

A number of Viburnum species native to China and Japan were introduced to North America in the 1800s as ornamental shrubs, and they are still widely available commercially. Birds act as a major vector for the spread of their seeds beyond cultivation, and they are now reported as invasive in natural areas of Virginia, including the George Washington Memorial Parkway, Arlington, and Alexandria.

Continue reading

Posted in Invasive Plants | Tagged , , ,

Between the Rows – August Edition

Welcome Veggie Gardeners! 

This year, the Between the Rows Garden Guide has a new look and additional content. Let us know what you think of  this month’s 2020 MGNV version of the Garden Guide for vegetable and herb gardening.

Check out the August 2020 issue.

2019 garden guides are available at Between the Rows.

VCE and MGNV support local gardeners with a host of resources, including free classes, plant clinics and this newsletter.

Posted in Between the Rows, MG in the Garden, Organic Vegetable, VCE | Tagged , ,

PERENNIAL: Eupatorium hyssopifolium (Hyssop-leaf Thoroughwort)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

MGNV - Native Plants LogoClouds of Hyssop-leaf Thoroughwort flowers are more likely to float over NoVA* roadsides and meadows than residential landscapes. However, these pollinator magnets can tolerate many challenging home environments: dry, (partially) shaded areas, sunny slopes, “hell strips” and gardens near the seashore.

*It also is native in DC and concentrated in the extreme southeastern corner of PA. It is common in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont of DE and VA but rare in the mountains.

Learn more . . .

Posted in Perennial, Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic | Tagged , , , ,

The Long View – Meditations on Gardening: Gardening in the Time of Pandemic

Occasional essays by Christa Watters, Extension Master Gardener
Photos © Christa Watters

Gardening in the Time of Pandemic

Gardening is a lot like life, as I’ve often noted in this space. It is one long lesson in patience, and the gardener is often beset with setbacks and frustrations. Weather, climate, insect or disease invasion, and our choices of what to plant are all the stuff of ordinary garden dilemmas. Yet gardening also rewards us with unexpected joys to counter the tough times. If we’ve gardened more than a year or two, we recognize that change is a constant, and we accept it as the background to our joys and sorrows. But this year of Covid-19 has been extraordinary in a whole different way and to a whole other degree. The rules for coping with the pandemic have caused some of us frustrations of access to our demo-garden spaces, or limited our usual plant shopping habits. But those very things have offered us a different opportunity: We have been reminded that the garden is not just the taker, the place that eats up our time and labor; it is also a much- needed source of joy, a giver of balm to the soul in a time of worry, stress, and isolation. And it has reminded us that often the garden matures all on its own, without much need for intervention from us.

Continue reading

Posted in The Long View – Meditations on Gardening | Tagged , , , , , ,

Mystery Seed Packages

Public Asked To Report Receipt of any Unsolicited Packages of Seeds

The Problem

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has been notified that several Virginia residents have received unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have originated from China. The types of seeds in the packages are unknown at this time and may be invasive plant species. The packages were sent by mail and may have Chinese writing on them.

Continue reading

Posted in MG in the Garden

Invasive Plant Factsheet: Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)

Noted for its exotic blooms, this shrub’s native range is Asia where it is the national flower of South Korea. It was introduced sometime before 1600 as an ornamental with herbal applications. Although it is commonly planted along fence lines, this prolific seeder has escaped cultivation in much of the eastern U. S. and is reported as invasive in Virginia, specifically in both Arlington and Alexandria.

Continue reading

Posted in Invasive Plants | Tagged , , ,

PERENNIAL: Heliopsis helianthoides ( [Smooth] Oxeye)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

New Fact Sheet in 2020!

MGNV - Native Plants Logo
Sometimes referred to as False Sunflower, this hardy native* of open woodlands, prairies, and fields is notable for its eight-week period of peak bloom. Its 2- to 3-inch, showy yellow flowers attract a wide variety of pollinators and make it a wonderful addition to a cutting garden.

*In the Mid-Atlantic Region, it is native to DC. rare in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain of DE, and present in MD and in much of PA. It is found in NoVA, although it is most frequent in the mountains and rare in the Coastal Plain in VA.
Learn more . . .

Posted in MG in the Garden, Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic | Tagged , , , ,