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Native plant planting ahead

Master gardener at Bon Air Herb Garden
Master gardener at Bon Air Herb Garden
James George

Arlington Outdoors is on the road this week, but on this Saturday morning there is news from Ballston Pond reminding that it is time to think about planting native plants. Jen McDonnell who writes Ballston Pond blog for Arlington County says that natural plants do better during dry periods. We’re about to test that hypothesis because my natural plants aren’t going to get unnatural watering this week while I am away.

White finch
Tim George

By the way, don’t clear the dying flowers too soon because then you destroy the seeds that birds have waited for so long. It is exciting to watch them visit them. I have seen hummingbirds, finches and cardinals. They seem to know just when the time is right.

“Fall 2014 Native Plant Sales

jmcdonnell | August 15, 2014

Native plants offer many positive attributes including food and habitat benefits for local wildlife, an adaptation for our climate and soils, and a decreased need for pesticides, herbicides, or extra watering during dry periods.

Our region is home to several native plant nurseries and spring and fall native plant sales. Not sure what would be a good choice for your yard? Interested in plant recommendations to add variety to your garden? Visit these sales and nurseries and get their advice.

Spring Plant Sales

Click on the links below for more information and check back often! This list will be updated as we hear about more sales.

Herring Run Nursery, Baltimore, MD – sales in August, September and October. Check the website for details.

September 13: Green Springs Garden, Alexandria, VA
September 27: Parkfairfax/Northern Alexandria Native Plant Sale, Alexandria, VA
September 28: Earth Sangha, Fairfax, VA

As for the Ballston Pond itself, Arlington County improved the channel in the early spring by dredging. However, nothing was done to remove the plastic, and buckets and trash remain hidden for now in the scrub that grows around the pond. When fall arrives again, that will reveal the mess again. Maybe that is when they plan to complete the job that surely isn’t finished.

Have you noticed the variety of finches? We have lots of goldfinches, orange and purple finches, and even white finches. The white finch is one photographed by my brother in Ohio, but I have seen them in Virginia too.

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