Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wildflower Wednesday Celebration: January, 2013

Last fall (sometime in September, 2012) I got a delivery of native plants that I had ordered through my affiliation with the Audubon of Northern Virginia's 'Audubon at Home' program, where I volunteer as an 'At-Home Ambassador'.  Serving as an Ambassador includes connecting with individuals in my community and sharing how to create natural habitats in their yards. We visit community properties, both private and commercial, and do a walk-through with the owners,  encouraging things like conserving water (ie: using rain barrels), removing invasives and replacing with native species, and reducing and/or eliminating pesticides and chemicals. If the property owners are really motivated, they set out to become certified with Audubon's 'Wildlife Sanctuary Program' as a Certified Wildlife Sanctuary. For me, this all came about as part of my local Master Gardener involvement. Last year, the Master Gardeners in my area and Audubon of Northern Virginia formed an alliance, establishing a relationship that opened up opportunities for many of us to become Ambassadors. I have enjoyed this added dimension to my Master Gardener involvement. I am going to talk more about this wonderful program in future posts, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, let's get on with the native plant delivery, which you can see part of on my driveway, below.


Believe it or not, that photo isn't even all of them! There were some resting on either side of my driveway, as well. You see, not all of these natives were for me alone. I had ordered them for three other 'habitats' that I had certified as Wildlife Sanctuaries. Two yards were local individuals, each of whom purchased five natives a piece, and one was for a local church, where five natives were also ordered. The program doesn't often include opportunities to purchase and deliver the native plants; usually we offer recommendations to the property owners based on what sort of wildlife and/or pollinators they would like to attract to their yards. But sometimes Audubon of No. Va. is able to arrange a sale, and this was one of those times. Three plants native to our area of VA (including ground covers and vines) and two seedlings (including trees and shrubs) were offered as a package for shady areas or sunny areas. Audubon's local 'source' for the natives was Earth Sangha in Fairfax, VA.  Below is the list of plants we were given to choose from (I have placed a * on those I already had or a * on those just added):

Sun: 
Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)*
Blazing Star (Liatris spicata)*
Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)*
Narrow-leaved Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum tenuifolium)*
Three-lobed Coneflower (Rudbekia triloba)*
Black Eyed Susan (Rudbekia hirta)*
Dwarf Goldenrod (Solidago nemoralis)*
Smooth Blue Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)*
Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) shrub*
Black Chokeberry (Photinia melanocarpa) shrub*
Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) vine*

Shade:
Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)*
Mist Flower (Conoclinium coelestinum)*
White Wood Aster (Eurybia divaricata)*
Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)*
Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)*
Golden Ragwort (Packera aurea)*
Bluestem Goldenrod (Solidago caesia)*
Zigzag Goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis)*
Downy Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea) shrub*
Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) shrub*
Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) shrub*

In future posts I'll share some of the plants that I chose and a bit about each of them as they bloom throughout the upcoming seasons. I am linking to Gail's Clay and Limestone blog, for her monthly meme, Wildflower Wednesday. Stop over and see what other plants native-enthusiasts are sharing on the first Wildflower Wednesday this January 23, 2013.      



What gifts have you discovered today? Until next time,

Words and photos ©Thanks for today.™, by Jan Huston Doble @ http://www.thanksfor2day.blogspot.com/

Not to be reproduced or re-blogged without express permission of the author.

16 comments:

  1. Jan, Love this post~I've learned about a very cool program and get to see your fab wildflower order. Starting a similar program in Nashville would be something the master Naturalists might want to consider. Way cool. Happy WW! gail

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Gail ;) At least two of our local Master Naturalists are also At-Home-Ambassadors, having completed the Audubon training at an earlier time, and they actually join with us Master Gardeners when we have our Aud. meetings. Some of our MG's are MN's...there is some overlap:) I want to do the MN training at some point but for now this is about all I can handle:) The Audubon at Home program isn't all over, it's only in areas where there is enough volunteer interest to have the program. So maybe you could help get something started in your area!

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  2. That Audubon at Home program sounds like SO much fun! I know you are a good ambassador for native plants. It would be neat if TN had something like that.

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    Replies
    1. Thank so much, Tina...it has been fun! You and Gail should look into forming a group in TN :)

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  3. What a great program. When I saw your plant delivery I thought - That woman must have a gigantic garden! - before reading that you were sharing between several properties. I grow almost all those natives in my garden here in Oakville, Ontario and count on them to perform no matter what kind of summer we get. These natives have earned a spot in my garden and deserve to be grown more widely.
    B.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Barbara. I actually did get 3 orders for myself...so there were quite a few to plant! I have about 1/3 acre to work with (that includes both front and back). Definitely not as much room as I'd like...but it's amazing what you can fit in if you want something badly enough;)

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  4. What ba great program and so many great plants...can't wait to see more of them

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    Replies
    1. It is a really great program Donna :) It's not 'national' though, so it requires people to show an interest and start individual programs in their own areas. I'll try to be a better blogger this year and write about my plants! Thanks again for visiting!

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  5. What nice collections of plants! It sounds like a neat program, and a great way to encourage native plantings.

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    Replies
    1. It is a neat program, Beth...encouraging people to think about 'habitat' for critters as well as taking measures to protect the environment.

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  6. How nice to team up with the Audubon Society. I wonder if SC has a group that would be interested in teaming up with our MG group.
    What a great collection of plants Jan, just lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Janet. It will be a long while before any of the seedlings do much of anything! But the plants should bloom in the spring, summer or fall so I'll get 'some' gratification! The AAH program seems to be only in select areas, and I'm not really sure why. Probably has a lot to do with volunteer interest, and time commitments to the program. I'll be interested to hear whether there's anything like it near you.

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  7. Sounds like a great program. I'm a fan of native plants.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Linda. The program isn't specifically about native plants, per se, but they do enter into the picture when we start thinking about how to attract various critters and also, how to provide the best source of food for them. Not to mention how to help the environment in a sustainable way:) Maybe you can see if your area could get one started?!

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  8. What a great partnership, I'm going to tell our local county master gardeners about this!
    Looking forward to hearing how your natives grow this season.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Heather. I love your natives :) You have such great knowledge and I like how you share so much of it. It's worth checking into the program. It's definitely up to each chapter to decide how they wish to operate. Our area certainly is fortunate to have this arrangement, I will say that. Best of luck!!

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Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to comment! Please enjoy your TODAY and all of the gifts in YOUR garden of life!

Jan

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