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Native Plants

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Getting the Buzz from Pollinators in Mt. Cuba Center’s Trial Garden

by Sam Hoadley

Mt. Cuba Center’s mission is to inspire an appreciation for the beauty of native plants and a commitment to the native habitats that protect them. Over the past several years the Mt. Cuba Center Trial Garden has become an influencer to the nursery industry and to native plant enthusiasts. Learn about their trials, designed to identify the top performing species and cultivars within the genus that are best suited for the Mid-Atlantic region.

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Robert W. PRO waterfall 2019 summerDSC05715 

Native Plants Shine in Streambank Restoration

by Krissy Boys

Four years after replacement of a streambank water control structure, native grasses, sedges, and forbs planted at the site have become well established. Most species are thriving and have propagated themselves by self-sowing in the streambank gardens. Only two species out of 58 genera completely failed.

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Wildflower Meadow Swamp Milkweed 8-6-18 

From Wasteland to Wildflower Meadow at Greenfield Community College

by Maureen Sundberg

A campus wildflower meadow tucked onto a slope at Greenfield Community College was designed as part of a larger outdoor learning lab that includes a botanical garden, wetland garden, permaculture garden, and raingarden. Two years after planting, the meadow has become an oasis of learning for students across the academic spectrum.

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Aesclepias - Butterfly Weed 

Members Making a Difference: Native Plant Demonstration Garden Is a Labor of Love

by Maureen Sundberg

ELA member Marie Chieppo initiated a collaboration with the Town of Needham to install a native plant demonstration garden at a busy public park. With the help of local volunteers and her own teenage children, the installation took place over six weeks this spring, and she continues to maintain the site.

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nativars at lurvey 

Citizen Scientists Help Parse the Native/Nativar Debate

by Jessamine (Jessa) Finch

As pollinators lose ground, we’ve been urged to create more pollinator-friendly gardens, but are all pollinator gardens created equal? A team at the Chicago Botanic Garden has developed a project to evaluate native and nativar support of pollinators by gathering data on pollinator preferences across the country. You can become part of the research team.

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Anemone-acutiloba 

ELA Names Winners of 2019 Spotlight on Natives Contest

Photographers from across the country submitted nearly 100 images to ELA’s 2019 Spotlight on Natives Photography Contest. Each sought to capture the special allure of native plants – the unique structure of trunks, stems, leaves, blossoms, seeds; the juxtaposition of plants in a community; the interaction of flora and fauna. This year’s entries again encompassed an outstanding array of plants and habitats.

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Native Hedges and Hedgerows: Beauty and Biodiversity

by Heather McCargo

A native hedge introduces beauty and vitality into the landscape. While a fence may be a great solution in a tight space, shrubs can create a “living fence” for enclosure, privacy, and beauty. Additionally, shrubs add three-dimensional diversity to a landscape and provide important year-round habitat for fauna such as birds, pollinating insects, and other small creatures.

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Featuring Native Plants in Your Landscape

ELA’s Native Plant Tours are an enjoyable way to see native plants in all kinds of landscapes – urban to rural. Hosts generously share their gardens for a few hours, but they also share invaluable lessons they’ve learned about incorporating natives into their landscapes. Two former hosts share how they became interested in native plants and their insights into use of native plants in home landscapes.

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