Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic
This low, spreading ground cover forms a star-studded mat of velvety foliage that is as attractive at the front of a formal border as it is in a naturalistic setting. In the Mid-Atlantic Region, it is mostly found in Virginia, where it is common in the Piedmont and lower mountains.
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Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic
The Glencarlyn Library Community Garden coordinators are creating a new series of short videos about locally invasive plants and native alternatives. This series looks at individual invasive plants, discussing how to remove them and suggesting native plants to consider as replacements. This month's post is on Japanese Pachysandra(Pachysandra terminalis).
Also known as Japanese Spurge, this vigorous plant was brought to the United States from eastern Asia as an ornamental ground cover. Although it is widely available at conventional garden centers, it is not a good choice for woodland gardens or stream banks as it can easily escape cultivation. It is reported as invasive in 15 states, including Virginia, and in nearby Rock Creek National Park.
This native of Eurasia, also known as Fig Buttercup, was introduced as an ornamental and is still commercially available. Its aggressive spread in moist conditions poses a threat to early-blooming spring flowers and thus has a negative impact on native pollinators. It is reported as invasive in the eastern U. S. as far south as Tennessee and locally in both Arlington and Alexandria.
One of the most popular ground covers in North America, this non-native climbing vine was introduced by early European colonists. Its vigorous growth creates an “ivy desert” as it chokes out other plants on the ground, and it poses a threat to both buildings and trees as it grows up vertical surfaces. The plant is reported as invasive throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region, including Alexandria and Arlington, Virginia.
Also known as Moneywort, this European native was introduced to the United States as an ornamental ground cover, and it is widely available in the nursery trade. Many states now list the plant as invasive as it can spread aggressively into sensitive wetlands. It is posing a threat to national parks in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. It is listed as an invasive species in Arlington, Virginia.
The Glencarlyn Library Community Garden coordinators have recently created a new series of short videos highlighting the beauty of native plants. We are sharing these videos on our website every month as well as glossary words that go along with each month's topic. This month's focus is on native ground covers.
Gardeners often consider it a challenge to plant in the shady parts of their gardens, but home landscapes with trees can bring welcome relief from the increasing summer heat we are experiencing in our region. Join Extension Master Gardener Elaine Mills to learn how to make the most of your shady yard.
Over the past few years, local residents have faced increasing problems with damaging downpours, flooding, and lingering wet spots on their properties. Learn how several Extension Master Gardeners living in Alexandria implemented sustainable practices for dealing with stormwater issues on their properties.
Two gardening practices, cutting back and deadheading, can keep native perennials looking their best through the growing season.
This table lists many common native perennials and indicates which practices may be of benefit in maintaining them.
Native perennials may benefit from periodic division to improve their vigor and appearance. Indications that a plant requires division are dead sections at the center of the clump, reduced size or abundance of flowers, or sparse foliage. Division can rejuvenate the plant and stimulate new growth. Perennials can also be divided for propagation purposes.
This table of common perennials indicates the root type of each plant, the best season for division (if appropriate), and specific advice on frequency and manner of division.
Invasive plants in the home garden like English Ivy, Bamboo, Porcelainberry, and Mimosa, can spread from cultivation to our natural areas where they out-compete beneficial native plants. Learn how to rid your yard of some common invasive plants and substitute alternative native species that have similar ornamental qualities and which also support our local wildlife.
The Glencarlyn Library Garden Coordinators Talk About Their Personal Spaces and Public Collaboration
Learn about the transformations in the gardens of Judy Funderburk, Elaine Mills and Wendy Mills
In 2010, the City of Alexandria worked with Extension Master Gardeners to create the children’s garden at Tancil Court adjacent to the Ruby Tucker Center which provides after-school programming and other family services to the residents in the surrounding area. The goal was for kids to be more active outside and learn about healthy food choices while having fun. Preschoolers through fourth graders at the public housing project are coached by Master Gardeners to learn how to plant, cultivate, harvest and use vegetables, fruits and herbs in healthy snacks.
One houseplant that has been on the market for many years, but still gets overlooked is the Syngonium. These vining plants, also called arrowhead vines (especially in older literature), are perfect for beginners as they thrive in medium light, don’t have any special watering needs, and come in a variety of leaf shapes and colors
Insect Pest Management for the Vegetable Garden - Fall Crop Pests and Tips and Tricks for Reducing Overwintering Pests
The new(ish) leadership of our Quarry Shade Demonstration Garden has reinvigorated the garden with more native plants.
Learn about adaptive strategies that gardeners can take to improve their soil.
Maintaining the health of our soil is the primary strategy for climate resilience. As the second largest ecosystem after the world’s oceans, soil not only provides physical support of our plants, but also is crucial in the cycling of water and nutrients. In addition, it provides habitat for a multitude of living things, including beneficial microbes that develop special relationships with plants.
The bounty produced by the Library Garden this fall captivated many visitors. Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia love sharing the beauty and abundance of Nature's gifts, while also having the opportunity to answer lots of questions elicited by the great variety of seeds, berries, fruits and the one “faux-nut” displayed in our Glencarlyn Library Teaching/Demonstration garden.
Second in our series on Climate-Conscious Gardening, this article has suggestions for science-based techniques individuals can implement to directly reduce the sources of greenhouse gas emissions and slow the pace of further climate change.