By Jody Lautenschlager, Dale St Garden Manager, and Susan Stalder, Extension Master Gardener Photos courtesy of Susan Stalder
The Dale St Community Garden, located at 65 Dale Street in Alexandria, is a thriving new example of a green and lovely garden spot that not only offers local residents space to grow crops and flowers but also teaches sustainable gardening practices and the benefits of fresh food and the uses of native plants.
In eastern North American lowlands, this vigorous native vine quickly climbs by twining or trails along the ground in twisted fashion. A prolific bloomer, its white flowers attract pollinators late summer into fall followed by showy seed heads reminiscent of an “old man’s beard,” another of its common names.
Swamp milkweed is considered of special value to native bees.
Gardeners who want to plant more perennials for pollinators will be interested in the results of a 2013 plant trial conducted by Penn State Extension, Bees, Bugs & Blooms. Three species native to our Mid-Atlantic region were ranked among the best plants for flowering longevity, and they also did well in attracting desirable insects. Continue reading →