Entries tagged with “garden”.

Five-week course in sustainable gardening

Learn how even one home garden can begin to repair the web of life.

Landscape for Life is a sustainable gardening course designed by the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center and the US Botanic Garden.

It teaches us how we can transform our home landscapes and public places into healthy refuges that benefit not only birds, pollinators, and other wildlife, but also the surrounding community and the Chesapeake Bay.

Dates: Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
January 6 through February 3, 2015
Location: Morven Park
Cost: $50
Questions: geomom@lucketts.net
Registration: http://www.loudounwildlife.org/Program_Fees_Payment.html


Here’s an excellent article (with photos) that has the how to’s: 


Great Spangled Fritillary on Bergamot

Great Spangled Fritillary on Bergamot


Head out to your garden now and collect some seeds from your favorite plants — and see what comes up :) !




Tawny_Emperor_Joe_pye-weed_20140730Native Plant Sale ― Sunday, September 14, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Morven Park.

Native plants are beautiful and grow better because they are adapted for our weather conditions and soils; they also provide greater benefit to our native wildlife because plants and animals evolved together.

Hill House Farm and Nursery, Watermark Woods and Nature-By-Design will be selling plants at this sale sponsored by the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy.

To see plants each nursery carries or to place orders ahead of time (all nursery stock is not present), visit their websites:

Hill House Farm and Nursery: http://hillhousenativeplants.com/

Watermark Woods: http://www.watermarkwoods.com/

Nature-By-Design: http://nature-by-design.com/

More details about the food, fun and plants are here: http://www.loudounwildlife.org/Event_Native_Plant_Sale_Fall.html

You’ll find the plant sale happening at Morven Park in the big parking lot on Southern Planter Lane. The address is 17263 Southern Planter Lane, Leesburg.

See you there!


Don Davis from Ontario passed along this great information – especially click on the video embedded in the article. Ilse shows how to collect milkweed seeds and how to plant them:

Excellent article and video with Ilse Gebhard from a year ago,  illustrating how easy it is to plant a suitable area with milkweed seed. I am sure that others may have useful suggestions at this important time of the year, when milkweed pods are beginning to ripen and release their seeds.



Mona Miller put together this excellent video on how to collect Common Milkweed seeds with fantastic tips on how to do it without getting the fluff all over your house :)


It’s Time to Plant Your Garden!

Native_Plant_Sale_20120915-18Fall is the best time for planting, and natives are your best choice for plants that are low maintenance, beautiful, and great for attracting birds and butterflies to your garden.

Are you planting a Monarch Waystation? Make sure you get Goldenrods, Asters and other fall bloomers for nectar!

Nature By Design and Hill House Farm & Nursery will have a large selection of locally native plants for sale.

To see plant lists or place advance orders, visit their websites at: www.nature-by-design.com and www.hillhousenativeplants.com.

Please note that not all plants listed on the vendor websites will be available at the sale so if you know what you’d like to buy ahead of time, give them a call and place a pre-order.

And What about Milkweed?

Monarch_Male_20120805-114Yes!! We have 288 milkweed plugs available (in addition to the mature plants that the nurseries bring).

The plugs just came in from Monarch Watch and they’re ready for planting!

They were cut back for shipping so they don’t have enough leaves for feeding caterpillars this fall but their roots are robust and ready to grow!

Plant them now and they’ll come back strong next spring in time for the return of the Monarchs!

As you plant your Monarch Waystation, please register it with Monarch Watch!

It’s fast and easy, provides an example for others to follow and shows how your garden can make a difference! (but if you don’t register it, we don’t know you created it!)

Chat with Experts, Check out Exhibits, Visit with Monarch Butterflies before they head to Mexico!!

Asters 1 9_25_2004In addition to the plants, visit with local experts on native plants and the wildlife that they attract.

In the wise words of Janet Davis of Hill House Farm & Nursery, “Forget the mums! Plant goldenrod and asters!”

Exhibits at the sale include:
- Monarch butterfly waystations – we’ll bring caterpillars and chrysalides for you to look at and might even have Monarchs to release!
- Plants to attract birds and amphibians
- Audubon at Home program
- Native bee houses
- Pollinator license plate applications
- Help desk for advice on growing natives

Between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. enjoy freshly made fajitas and beverages for sale at the Good Grubbin’ food truck.

Come on Out for this Great Event! Let’s Go Native!

Location: Rust Nature Sanctuary 802 Children’s Center Rd. Leesburg, Virginia 20175

Date and Time: Saturday, September 14 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

For more information, contact Ann Garvey at agarvey@loudounwildlife.org


At the Unitarian Universalist Church of Loudoun, the largest fund raiser is the spring “Service Auction” in which members offer to provide services, such as swim lessons, theme dinners, wine tasting, child care, aerial tour of Loudoun in private plane, apartment in London, or anything that they have skills in and would like to share.  Then, at the dinner, the services are auctioned off and proceeds go to the church.

This year Natalie Pien offered a Monarch Waystation Garden and the Woodling family won the garden.  Plants came from Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and Abernethy and Spencer.  Natalie planted the garden the second week in June.

As a child, Terry, the husband, used to collect Monarch chrysalides and watch the metamorphosis.  So, he was really excited about the garden because he wanted to share the experience with his own 2 year old twin boys.

The garden is doing well.


Lori Berry led her troop, Cadette troop 458, in creating a wonderful Monarch Waystation right at the entry way to Morven  Park’s Carriage Museum.  This is a wonderful location because not only does it get good sun that the Monarchs and other pollinators and wildlife will enjoy but it also will be seen and enjoyed by visitors as they take the guided tour of Morven and learn about it’s rich history and by guests who come to Morven Park for weddings and other events that take place in the museum.

A big thank you to all the young women of Cadette Troop 458: Mia Berry, Tyra Krehbiel, Olivia Lang and Victoria Cristwell and to everyone at Morven Park for making this happen!

The plants planted in the garden include:
Common Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed, Bee Balm, Joe-Pye Weed, Black-eyed Susan, Goldenrod, New England Aster, Coneflowers, Zinnia, Marigold, and Lantana.

Milkweed plants were donated by Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and the nectar plants were purchased through a fundraiser led by the girls and funds donated by Morven Park.

The girls named the garden the ”Sra. Kirkendall’s Oyamel Oasis”.  This name honors a Spanish teacher at Harper Park Middle School who died this past year unexpectedly.  3 out of 4 of the girls had her as a teacher.  She was from Mexico and was very excited about Hispanic culture.  Since the butterflies travel to Mexico and are integral to the culture of that community, we thought the monarchs and her had a lot in common.

See the full photo album here


Here’s one of the latest Monarch Waystations that was just created here in Loudoun!  What a wonderful design!

On Saturday, June 22nd, Paxton staff and volunteers from our community created a butterfly-shaped Monarch Waystation. * The time series of photos show the steps taken to create our garden.

With generous donations of native plants (milkweed and nectar plants for Monarchs and other pollinators) from Earth Sangha and Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy; advice and plants from Ann Garvey of the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s program on habitat restoration; and the hard work and determination of 15 creative and enthusiastic volunteers, we were able to create a beautiful garden. We want to thank you all for the support!

This garden will not only help host the Monarchs through this leg of their journey, it will also serve to bring a natural sensory experience to our students, both at Open Door Learning Center, our pre-school and kindergarten program; as well as students from The Aurora School, our school for children and young adults with autism and other related disabilities.

View the full photo album which shows start to finish the steps involved with creating this wonderful waystation!


Here’s a wonderful video from Cornell that talks about milkweed – the biological arms race between the plant and the animals that love it: