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Conservation and native Virginia plants

Plants help control stormwater runoff
Plants help control stormwater runoff
James George

The latest news from “Ballston Pond” is a discussion about using native plants to control stormwater runoff. See Jen McDonnell’s link here. In the article she takes a group on a hike through Turkey Run. That is one of my favorite places to hike as it provides many trails, a glimpse of history, and lots of up and down exercise. You must be in good condition as coming back up is at least 10 stories high.

Wild ginger at Turkey Run
James George

In the slideshow today, we will trace Jen’s tracks to see more of what she observed.

She mentioned the plant called Virginia sweetspire that is also called itea virginica. It turns red in the fall. They grow to approximately 4’ x 4’ and are an attractive bush without flowers.

She mentions lirirope that is something people call monkeygrass.

Hosta is an interesting plant. I have seen potters and printmakers produce art that is inspired by hostas leaves.

My favorite plant is the wild ginger. See the amazing photo that I took at Turkey Run in the spring as the feature photo.

Heuchera that she lists is also called coral bells.

A walk in the woods this time of year on a dry day, you are likely to see reptiles. The plants are in their mature states.

Watch high in the trees to see birds, especially skittish woodpeckers. Robbins and grackles will likely be ahead of you. As you move along the path, that causes insects to take cover and birds pick them off just as birds follow cows in a field for that purpose.

Also, while looking up, you see small paw paws forming as America’s indigenous fruit. They won’t ripen for 6-7 weeks from now.

These email reminders from Ballston Pond are great, and I hope people follow them like I do. I will remind you and expand on Jen’s inspirational posts.

"Want to Learn About Native Plants? Talk a Walk.
jmcdonnell | July 23, 2014

The 2014 StormwaterWise program year is currently in full swing. Homeowners and HOAs across Arlington are making plans for how they will reduce stormwater runoff. Native plants are a key component of two of the stormwater practices that are supported by the program – conservation landscapes and rain gardens. For many of our program participants, this is their first exposure to the world of native plants. Azaleas, liriope, hostas – many have these non-natives. Natives like Virginia sweetspire, wild ginger, heuchera – not so much.”

Ballston Pond

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