VINE: Lonicera sempervirens (Trumpet Honeysuckle)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Check out Mary Free’s video of Hummingbirds feasting on Lonicera flowers.

MGNV - Native Plants LogoLow maintenance and showy, Trumpet Honeysuckle blooms intermittently until frost with coral flowers and red fruit present together. A more compact cultivar, ‘John Clayton,’ produces fragrant yellow flowers and copious orange-red fruit. It was discovered in 1991 on the grounds of a 17th century Virginia church. The species name “sempervirens” refers to the plant’s evergreen habit, particularly in the South. The Virginia Native Plant Society selected Trumpet Honeysuckle as Wildflower of the Year for 2014.

Learn more . . .

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Faux-Nuts, Fruits, Berries & Seeds

Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia share the beauty and abundance of Nature’s gifts in this time of Thanksgiving!

Aesculus pavia (Red Buckeye) faux nuts in September.
Photo © 2017 Elaine Mills

by Judy Funderburk, Extension Master Gardener

The bounty produced by the Glencarlyn Library Community Garden, a teaching-demonstration of MGNV, captivated many visitors this fall. Here we invite you to enjoy the beauty and variety of some of those trees, shrubs, and plants through words and photos. Continue reading

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Invasive Plant Factsheet: Chinese & Siberian Elms (Ulmus parviflora & U. pumila)

These Asian natives were introduced in the 1860s for their hardiness, fast growth, and adaptability and are still sold as shade and windbreak trees. Their quickly developing fruits can be dispersed by wind away from landscape plantings, and grasslands and stream banks are vulnerable to infestation. The trees are classified as invasive in 25 states, including Virginia, and are locally prolific.

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SHRUB: Viburnum prunifolium (Black Haw)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

MGNV - Native Plants LogoCommon throughout the Mid-Atlantic (except the northern half of Pennsylvania), this elegant shrub grows mainly in thickets and woods. The upright oval crown common in young plants often becomes, with age, irregular with drooping lower branches. Creamy white flowers give way to pink berry-like fruits (drupes), edible when ripened to deep blue-black. Learn more . . .

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The Lure of the Lawn

By Wendy Mills, Extension Master Gardener
Photos by Wendy Mills

For 28 years I’ve lived in Arlington in a one-story, red-brick rambler on a quarter acre of land. Over the years, the house has changed and so, too, has the yard. Perhaps no change is more pronounced than this one: the amount of turfgrass in my garden has shrunk to a fraction of what it originally was. No longer the focal point of the front and back yards, turfgrass now is balanced by a much greater plant palate of perennials, small trees, vegetables, and summer annuals.

My decision to remove most of the turfgrass from my yard germinated over many years and after learning about the state of the nation’s lands and waters. What’s the connection? Our love affair with our lawns—with a thick green carpet of grass, free of weeds—comes at a steep cost to the environment. .
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