Thu 27 Jun 2013
Wed 12 Jun 2013
It’s still a great time to plant your garden – make it beautiful with native plants – they’re all the rage but tough to find so we’re making it easy!
Pre-order by Friday and pick up on Saturday at Morven Park in Leesburg.
Mon 10 Jun 2013
On May 28th, I received a great email from Casey Gustowarow at Potomac Vegetable Farm. He and his team just planted 1200 milkweed and nectar plants in addition to seeding another area with a native perennial pollinator mix! Here’s the note I receive from Casey:
With some rainy weather last week we could not do farm field work and instead got our pollinator patch planted. I am super excited. I ended up getting about 1200 plugs of wildflowers and native grasses to plant.
We used our bucket loader to scrape away top grass layer and then used cardboard and newspaper to sheet mulch and then covered with thick layer of leaf mulch which we planted into.
Now we will just wait for them to grow.
I also seeded a Xerces pollinator seed mix from Ernst in another area. We will see what happens with them. Some things have germinated but I am not sure how they will compete with the weeds.
Casey and I had met a few months earlier as he was getting plans together to really ramp up some great habitat for pollinators at the farm. As we talked about pollinators and plants, and of course Monarch butterflies, Casey took me on a drive around the farm to look at areas where he planned to plant milkweed and nectar plants.
One thing I especially love about this waystation is how it demonstrates so beautifully that linkage between farming, native plants and pollinators. By planting these great native plants, Casey and his team are putting out the welcome mat to not only attract pollinators but also provide them with shelter and places to reproduce. In return, they will visit the farm plants and we will have food to eat.
If you have a vegetable garden at home, you can apply the very same practice that Casey did. Along your garden plant a waystation, welcome the insects, and don’t spray any pesticides (none, nada!).
Wed 5 Jun 2013
Monarch butterflies (and other pollinators) need our help and we know it’s hard to find native plants in local nurseries – especially pesticide free (pesticides kill insects, including Monarch adults and caterpillars)!
To help you help the Monarchs (and numerous other wildlife), we’ve lined up a special event so you can buy what you need and get your Monarch Waystation planted.
Monarchs are on the way – let’s plant a feast for them!
What’s Happening: Nature By Design is taking pre-orders for native plants between now and June 14.
Place Your Order: See list of plants below (and on the Nature by Design website) and Call 703-683-4769.
More Milkweed: In addition to the plants offered by Nature By Design, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy will have a limited number of Swamp Milkweed plants (3 inch pots, for $3 each). These are not available for pre-order but can be purchased, while supplies last, when you pick up your other plants.
Where and When: On Saturday, June 15th, between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. come to Morven Park in Leesburg to pick up your plants. We will be set up in the main parking area before you get to the mansion. Address: 17263 Southern Planter Ln., Leesburg.
Learn more about the plight of the Monarch and what you can do to help bring back the Monarch and keep the magic alive!
Get your friends, neighbors, coworkers involved – plan a community waystation in your neighborhood, at your church, where you work, at your kids’ school! [See who's Making a Difference!]
Take another step – certify your yard as an Audubon at Home Sanctuary – we have people who can advise and guide you.
Monarch Host Plants [Milkweed is a must!]
Swamp Milkweed, Asclepias incarnata, 2.9 qt. $13
Butterfly Weed, Asclepias tuberosa, 1 qt. $8, 2.9 qt. $13
Nectar Plants [Attract adult Monarchs and other butterflies]
Blue-stemmed Goldenrod, Solidago caesia, 2.9 qt. $13
Dwarf Goldenrod, Solidago nemoralis, 2.9 qt. $13
New England Aster, Symphyotrichum novae angliae, 2.9 qt. $13
White Wood Aster, Eurybia divaricata, 1 qt. $7, 1.8 qt. $10
Heartleafed Aster, Symphiotrichum cordifolium, 2.9 qt. $13
New York Aster, Symphiotrichum novae-belgii, 2.9 qt. $13
Blue Mistflower, Conoclinum coelestinum,1.8 qt. $10
Joe-Pye Weed, hollow-stemmed, Eupatoriadelphus fistulosus, 2.9 qt. $14
Spotted Joe-Pye Weed, Eupatorium maculatum, 2.9 qt. $13
Dense Blazing Star, Liatris spicata, 1 qt. $7
Narrow-leaved Mountain Mint, Pycnanthemum muticum, 2.9 qt. $12
Orange Coneflower, Rudbeckia fulgida, 1 qt. $7, 2.9 qt. $12
Blackeyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta, 2.9 qt. $13
New York Ironweed, Vernonia noveboracensis, 2.9 qt. $12
Boneset, Eupatorium perfoliatum, 2.9 qt. $13
Threadleaf Coreopsis, Coreopsis verticillata, 1 qt. $8
Tall Tickseed, Coreopsis tripteris, 2.9 qt. $13
Other Butterfly Nectar and Host Plants
Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis, 2.9 qt. $12
Great Blue Lobelia, Lobelia siphilitica, 2.9 qt. $12
Wild Strawberry, Fragaria virginiana, 1 qt. $8
Little Bluestem, Schizocarium scoparium, 1 qt. $8
Pipevine, Aristolochia macrophylla, (Pipevine swallowtail), 1.5 gallon, $30
Paw Paw Tree, Asimina triloba, (Zebra swallowtail), 3 gallon, $48
Blue False Indigo, Baptisia australis, (Wild indigo duskywing, Eastern tailed blue, Clouded sulphur), 2.9 qt. $12
Yellow False Indigo, Baptisia tinctoria, (Wild indigo duskywing), 1.8 qt. $11
Pennsylvania Sedge, Carex pensylvanica, (several of the skippers), 1 qt. $8
Pignut Hickory, Carya glabra, (Eastern tiger swallowtail, banded hairstreak), 3 gallon $48
Wild Senna, Cassia marilandica, (Cloudless sulphur, Sleepy orange, Little yellow), 2.9 qt. $13
White Turtlehead, Chelone glabra, (Baltimore checkerspot), 1.8 qt. $10
Blue Violet, Viola sororia, (Several fritillaries), 1 qt. $8
Spicebush, Lindera benzoin, (Eastern tiger swallowtail, Spicebush swallowtail), 2.9 qt. $24
Trumpet Honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens, 2.9 qt. $14
Switchgrass, Panicum virgatum, (Several skippers), 2.9 qt. $13
May Apple, Podophyllum peltatum, (Great Spangled fritillary), 2.9 qt. $13
High bush Blueberry, Vaccinium corymbosum (Spring azure), 2.9 qt. $24
Southern Arrowwood, Viburnum dentatum (Spring azure), 2.9 qt. $24, 3 gallon $52
Blackhaw, Viburnum prunifolium (Spring azure), 2.9 qt. $22
American Cranberrybush, Viburnum trilobum (Spring azure), 2.9 qt. $22
Smooth Witherrod, Viburnum nudum (Spring azure), 2.9 qt. $22
Smooth Azalea, Rhododendron arborescens, 2.9 qt. $27
Coast Azalea, Rhododendron atlanticum, 2.9 qt. $27
Piedmont Azalea, Rhododendron canescens, 2.6 qt. $24
Pinkshell Azalea, Rhododendron cumberlandense, 2.9 qt. $27
Pinxterbloom Azalea, Rhododendron periclymenoides, 3 gallon, $48
Early Azalea, Rhododendron prinophyllum, 2.9 qt. $18
Wed 22 May 2013
Last December as we got the wheels spinning for our Monarch Butterfly campaign, we placed an order for milkweed with Monarch Watch — 2200 plants!
As you know, milkweed is the only plant the Monarch eats as a caterpillar. If you do not have milkweed, then you will not have Monarchs. Needless to say, I love milkweed !
So how did the plants that we ordered come to be? Last fall, volunteers from our area collected milkweed seeds and sent them to Monarch Watch for propagation and the opportunity to help get more milkweed plants planted across our region.
It’s exciting that the plants that we ordered are from our area because those seeds know our climate and soils and are best suited for being planted here in our Monarch Waystation gardens. It gives these plants a leg up.
The seeds were carefully cared for and planted in January and the growing began! Like expectant parents, many of us eagerly awaited updates and photos from Chip Taylor on the developing seedlings.
The seedlings had already been trimmed once to encourage growth and this was their robust regrowth – bright and green!
That’s when I sprung into action and reached out to all the teachers who had expressed interest in creating a Monarch Waystation garden at their schools. So far, 20 schools are jumping in to this – which is pretty exciting!
On May 15th, I received another email from Chip – this time with the subject, “great photos”. Indeed, it was great! Our plants were all packed up and ready to come home!
With sweaty palms, I tracked their trip from Kansas and talked with Chip and the grower, Elliott, from Applied Ecological, almost every day. One challenge that popped up was that we needed a place with a forklift in order to receive the plants since they were packed on pallets and coming via semi-truck.
To cut to the chase, we ended up having them delivered to a plumbing supply company in Leesburg, VAMAC. Charles and James at VAMAC were so understanding and so helpful – we really thank them for their help!
On Monday, May 20th I received the call from VAMAC saying “Your plants arrived!”. My husband Gil hooked up his trailer and we went over to get the plants. Mona Miller then came over and we unloaded and unpacked them, and got them ready for teachers to come over and pick them up.
So today and tomorrow most of these plants will be winging their way off to places across Loudoun – local seeds that went to Kansas, grew up big and strong, and came back home to put down roots and welcome Monarch Butterflies (and 457 other species) to enjoy their bounty.
After the requests from schools have been filled, we will be selling the remaining plants to anyone who is interested in planting them. No milkweed shall go unplanted!
If you are interested in buying some of these plants, you can email me at email@example.com. They must be picked up though – these guys have had enough shipping experiences
Thank you Chip Taylor and everyone at Monarch Watch for making these available and Elliott at Applied Ecological for growing such gorgeous plants and being a part of the solution in Bringing Back the Monarch, Keeping the Magic Alive!
And thank you Dulles Greenway! The Drive for Charity funds are making this donation of plants to schools and the kickoff of this Monarch campaign possible!
Sat 18 May 2013
Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuary registration and certification is now a partnership project of the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia. Certifying properties as wildlife sanctuaries is a volunteer implemented program. The core of the program is the “Healthy Yard Pledge” that stresses the following actions:
- Conservation and protection of water, e.g. using rain barrels
- Removal of invasive plants
- Replacement of non-native plants with native species
- Reduction or elimination of commercial fertilizers and pesticides
- Greater preservation of public and private natural areas
Eligible participants comprise not only homeowners, but also schools, churches, homeowner associations, parks, and other potentially sustainable wildlife habitats. Trained volunteer Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy Ambassadors will visit with participants to identify opportunities to enhance their habitat. The commitment of participants and the outcome of their conservation actions are recognized by certifying their property when at least 10 of the 30 Sanctuary Species are observed – the aim is to “let the animals decide what makes a suitable habitat”.
Native habitat for our flora and fauna is being steadily diminished by sprawling development in Loudoun County. While we strive to protect the remaining habitat, it’s time to turn our attention to the conservation and restoration of native habitat in our own backyards and neighborhoods.
Tue 14 May 2013
Volunteers of all ages are needed to help plant wetland species Saturday, May 18 in a restored shallow-water area at the Marion duPont Equine Medical Center next door to Morven Park in Leesburg, VA.
Most of the planting will take place in shallow water, so volunteers are advised to wear boots or shoes that can get wet, as well as a shovel and gloves. Volunteers will meet in the parking area of the main office building, 17690 Old Waterford Rd, at 10:00 am for a brief introduction to the project and wetland and ecology.
The restored wetland area will improve water quality in Big Spring Creek by reducing the severity of flooding downstream and by filtering the water from two headwater tributaries. The project will also provide improved habitat for birds and other wildlife. This project is a cooperative effort between Loudoun County, the Equine Medical Center and Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, with a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
If you are interested in helping, contact Scott Sandberg at 571-258-3304 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fri 3 May 2013
Ok friends, so the relay of life is on. Monarchs departed Mexico with the last ones leaving the sanctuaries on March 17th. They headed over mountains and desert to reach what needed to be rich meadows and fields in Texas and the gulf states to lay their eggs and pass the baton to the next generation.
Well, they flew and did the best they could. That generation has now passed on and their young, generation 1 of 2013, now carries the hope for the future.
I’ve been watching the reports from Texas and they have all be along the same lines as that from Kip Kiphart below, which he sent out on April 29th.
Very few remigrants this year.
Fewest I’ve seen.
When they arrived in the area, the weather was cool to cold, not really to their liking. (Three bears)
Not a great abundance of milkweed then but certainly infinitely more milkweed than monarchs.
Not a lot of nectar sources. Abundant wildflowers now.
I saw a sum total of 3 adults, one was a male for sure and the other 2 were probably males. from their flight pattern……………..not looking for milkweed.
At Cibolo Nature Center, we’ve seen very few eggs and ZERO caterpillars except for a queen.
This is the 12th year we have been doing MLMP@CNC, and it is by far the worst year we have had.
I’ve had 1 egg and 1 cat in my milkweed patch.
I’ve checked 100 – 200 milkweeds on walks with my dog, ZERO caterpillars.
A person who took our MLMP training last fall at CNC, is monitoring 2 milkweed patches in Pipecreek and has reported some eggs and a few caterpillars.
In a word, the spring migration was DISMAL and Gen1 production SCANT.
So what does this mean for us? Well…..where’s my glass that’s half full? Ah, here it is….for those of you who have come to the programs that we’ve done lately, you’ve heard about Lola, an injured butterfly from last fall who we saw lay over 300 eggs..which we then raised to adults and launched to Mexico last fall.
The bottom line is: If given the habitat (milkweed plants to lay eggs on and eat as caterpillars and nectar plants to drink from as adults) then the Monarchs will do their part to bring back the population.
What we’re missing is habitat (ok, and yea, the number of Monarchs is frighteningly low right now too) so let’s rebuild it!
Let’s plant the milkweed and the nectar plants: Let’s welcome this first generation of 2013 with a feast fit for kings (indeed, for Monarchs!). Let’s help them on their journey north and in bringing generations 2, 3 and 4 into this world!
Let’s restore the habitat — it will help not only Monarchs but also other pollinators, birds, mammals and more!
We have all the resources you need on our website and are happy to help answer questions: http://www.loudounwildlife.org/Monarch_Campaign.html
Locally in Loudoun, 4 nurseries will be stocking milkweed and nectar plants for your Monarch Waystation. Download this pdf for a simple plant list and list of the nurseries.
Once you have your garden in, make it official! Certify it with Monarch Watch, tell us about it via our Contact Us page, and put up a Monarch Waystation sign to let others know about the great work you’ve done!
Thu 2 May 2013
This just in from Randee at Nature By Design:
There will be a Native Plant Sale at Walker Nature Center this Saturday from 1-5 pm.
This plant sale is a much much smaller sale than the Rust sale, so if you are interested in specific plants you should pre order by contacting Randee (email@example.com)
Because the sale is so much smaller, Randee can accept all pre orders if they are received by the end of the day on Friday (obviously sooner is better).
Customers should check their emails as Randee will confirm receipt of orders and that he will be able to fill the order so you don't show up and be unhappy if they are out of certain plants.
Let’s not let any milkweed go unplanted this year!!!
Sat 20 Apr 2013