Volume 25 Issue 1, Winter 2020
by Michele Savage
Winter can be difficult for those of us missing warm days in the garden among the milkweeds, oaks, and other native plants we’ve planted and nurtured. So traditionally we spend this season making new plans for our gardens.
We have plenty of inspiration. More and more seed catalogs, gardening blogs and websites, and books reflect our embrace of native plants. Now, local gardeners can turn to a new version of an old favorite that’s packed with practical knowledge about growing native plants here. Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy has released a revised version of its Planting for Wildlife in Northern Virginia: A Resource for Enhancing Wildlife Habitat With Native Plants, which originally was published more than 10 years ago.
This paperback guide is filled with tables of information about native flowers, trees, shrubs, bog and water plants, and more. But beyond how tall your Wild Bergamot grows or its light and soil needs, the book shows it is a host for the Gray Hairstreak butterfly and 12 moth species, and what pollinators are drawn to its nectar. One section of the book advises gardeners what to plant to attract turtles, dragonflies, and amphibians.
“This is the only publication we know of that features the wildlife value of the plants,” said Julie Borneman, president of the Loudoun Wildlife board, native plant expert, and part of the team that revised the book. “The goal is to help people be successful at growing plants and attracting wildlife to their habitats.
Many local gardeners have used Plant NoVa Natives’ excellent Native Plants for Northern Virginia guide to build the foundation for their native gardens, and Planting for Wildlife in Northern Virginia is “the next step,” Borneman noted. “The comprehensive list of plants and data-focused layout is for someone who is ready to bring their home habitat to the next level of conservation.”
A team of volunteers took more than a year to revise the book. “Ann Garvey and David Edmundson did all of the research, and they were supported by several wildlife experts and proofreaders,” Borneman said.
The new Planting for Wildlife in Northern Virginia is available for $7.50 via our online store or at Loudoun Wildlife’s office in The Gatehouse at Morven Park. For purchases of 25 copies or more, contact Loudoun Wildlife about wholesale pricing.