Saturday Programs

Community Stories

HillsideES-1

Hillside Hawks Vegetable Garden

Judging from the vegetable garden at Hillside Elementary in Broadlands, the answer is a resounding yes!

MillRun3

Mill Run ES Receives GreenKids Grant

Mill Run Elementary School is pleased to announce the receipt of the 2 year grant-funding from GreenKids and the Audubon Naturalist Society starting on 2014-2015 school year.  GreenKids Network provides participating public schools with two years of free resources and field experiences to foster watershed stewardship and environmental literacy while meeting established curriculum goals. “At Mill Run, we want our children to be lifelong lovers of outdoor learning. This isn’t about preparing for a standardized test. This is far more profound than that. Our children will be stewards of the environment, for better or for worse. We are so excited that they will learn how their actions impact the environment. Through the GreenKids program, they…

Lucian_2TN

Loving to Grow Food

I was curious to visit Bryn’s home since she has told me about the large quantity of tomatoes that a few of her plants produced. She had so many that she even shared with her neighbors, family, and the food bank last year.  Having grown up on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania where her family was always growing things in their large backyard garden, it was only natural for Bryn to have a garden of her own. Her education in horticulture makes gardening easier for her, but after my visit it was obvious that gardening was something that anyone can do with a little dedication. Bryn and her family have been living in their townhome…

Meet Your Native Plants

AB

American Beauties

Native plant experts and wildlife experts have teamed up to create four gardens guaranteed to bring life to your landscape by providing food and habitat for a variety of desirable critters.

bulb

Time to Plant Virginia Native Bulbs

Planting in this area starts in mid to late October for most bulbs. Planting after the first hard frost (late October or early November) is best for tulips. Bulbs are not shipped after early December, so plan accordingly.  There are some exceptions to fall planting – Colchicum is best planted by early fall before it blooms. Planting Depth and Width – Use the general three times rule when planting most dormant bulbs Plant about 3 times the height of the bulb (measured from the soil surface down to the tip of the bulb).  Space bulbs at least three times their width apart.  Actual planting depth can vary from about2 times to 4 times the height of the bulb – bulbs…

PP

Getting to Know Paw Paw

Pawpaw season will arrive soon in the Eastern US.  So just what is a pawpaw, other than something many of us sang about as children? And what the heck does one taste like? It’s actually an interesting story… The Common Pawpaw is the northernmost New World representative of a chiefly tropical family, which includes the popular tropical fruits Annona, Custard-apple, Sugar-apple, and Soursop.  It produces the largest edible fruit indigenous to North America. The plant has large oblong leaves and many observers think it looks like a tropical plant, although it is native to over 25 states in the eastern U.S.  It’s generally found in patches in well-drained, deep, fertile bottom-land and hilly upland habitat. The wild…

Penstemon

Beard Tongue

Penstemon albidus Nutt. White penstemon.
A stout, erect, 8-12 in. perennial with broad, rough leaves and a densely flowered spike of large, tubular blossoms. Flowers are white, sometimes with a pale pinkish or bluish tube.

lavender hyssop

Lavender Hyssop

Blue Giant Hyssop – A 2-4 ft. perennial with dense, terminal spikes of small, tubular, bright blue flowers.

Columbine

Eastern Red Columbine

Aquilegia canadensis This is an erect, branching perennial, up to 2 ft. tall, well-known for its showy flowers.

Amsonia Hubrectii

Blue Star

Blue Star – Amsonia hubrichtii This tough but delicate looking plant is not well known despite being a three season beauty. Steely blue starry flowers from May to July and light green feathery foliage form add texture all season. In the fall, the leaves turn a glorious golden yellow. Blue Star is deer resistant.