RVA Earth Day Festival was a success!

Thank you to everyone who came out and visited our booth at this years Earth Day Festival in Manchester.  The event was awesome and we appreciate all the hard work IMG_2707that went into making it happen.
Since our primary goal is to educate, we loved the chance to chat with hundreds of people on the importance of using native plants in their residential landscapes.  We also sold far more plants than anticipated which is fantastic.  The cumulative effect of choosing natives over non-natives can not be understated.  Every plant makes a difference!  Thanks to everyone for doing their part!

 

If you missed us this past weekend we will be at Maymont Herbs Galore this coming Saturday the 22nd.  Hope to see you there!

 

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Megan & Brian
Plant by Design LLC
Plant by Design Native Nursery

Native Landscape Design Richmond, VA       Plant by Design Native Nursery Richmond, VA

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Goodbye Euphorbia :-( Hello Sedge!

A little over 2 years ago I obtained a sprig of Euphorbia amygdaloides ‘Robbiae’ from a clients house we were doing work at.  Despite reading about its invasive tendencies I dDSC_0007ecided to give it a try due to its incredible beauty as a dense shady groundcover.  I told myself, “Surely I can keep it in check by regular maintenance”.  Big mistake!  Not only did it quickly spread by masses of runners, but after 2 years I started noticing the plant popping up 10 to 15 feet away from the mother plant.  This told me that itDSC_0006 also spreads readily by seed.  This was the turning point for me.  I knew if I didn’t eradicate the plant soon it would begin to spread into my nearby woods quickly out competing current native species inhabiting it.  I had to say goodbye to my Euphorbia.

The good news is there are plenty of beautiful native ground covers that enjoy similar growing conditions.  The plant I chose to replace this invasive nonnative is a sedge DSC_0013known as Carex pensylvanica.  At first glance it looks like a type of grass but sedges are in fact their own separate thing.  Come next spring the plugs I have installed will begin to fill out to 12″ wide and about 6 to 8″ tall.  It’s a great ground cover to intermix with other plants.  In the photo shown I have both Aruncus dioicus (Goats beard) and Meehania Cordata (Meehan’s mint) in the same area.  I will post photos next year to show its progress.

There are tons of great varieties of native sedge currently in propagation.  A few of our favorites are:
–  Carex pensylvanica
–  Carex woodii
–  Carex Texensis  (More tolerant of sun)
–  Carex Appalachica  (Thinner more delicate leaf)
–  Carex leavenworthii

All of these Sedges do a great job of creating a shady ground cover that can also be used to substitute traditional non native lawns.  The above varieties tend to max out at 6 to 8″ if left unmowed.  IMG_2805
Mowing once a year in winter is a good idea to keep them healthy and full.  Sedges typically spread by runners rather than seed so planting plugs is the preferred method.  If you need help obtaining native sedge for your yard just let us know.

Final thoughts:  No matter how beautiful the non-native plant may be, if it’s invasive, it’s not worth it!  I will be battling seedlings of the Euphorbia for years to come.  Lesson well learned.

Happy gardening!

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