As you drive into Oatlands, look to your right and you will see a rolling meadow that curves down to a swale where trees were planted in tribute to America’s civil war fallen. This is the Living Legacy Garden, part of a larger tree planting that will stretch over the 180 mile Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway.
Incorporated into that garden is the new Oatlands Monarch Waystation – and what a terrific spot for it! Not only does it get the right sun and soil and water that these plants will need to thrive but it also is a wonderful chance for people to engage in the garden and see the linkage between natural history with human history.
This waystation is made up of 125 plants – 96 milkweed plants (common milkweed and swamp milkweed) donated by Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and nectar plants: Blue-stemmed Goldenrod, New England Aster, Joe-Pye Weed (hollow-stemmed), Spotted Joe-Pye Weed, Narrow-leaved Mountain Mint, New York Ironweed, Boneset, Cardinal Flower, Great Blue Lobelia, Wild Senna.
The nectar plants were purchased through a yoga fundraiser by Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, Oatlands and the wonderful yoga experts, Yvonne Parrotte and Cathy Norman. Thanks to all who donated during the Migrating Hope for Monarchs event!
The monarch waystation planting was held on June 23rd as part of the Oatlands Greenhouse Birthday party. After singing and enjoying cakes, families brought their kids over to the Legacy Garden where the ground had been prepared for planting. One by one the holes were dug, the plants were placed into the ground, and they were watered.
Oatlands is also looking at how to change their mowing practices to enable greater wildlife diversity on the property. This will not only benefit grassland birds like Meadowlarks, Bobolinks and Grasshopper Sparrows but also a wide range of grassland butterflies in the skipper family as well as Monarchs that will use the Common milkweed growing wild in the fields!