MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

New apps for field work

Not too many years ago, hiking meant carrying a heavy backpack filled with my favorite field guides – ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

The aftermath of finding a rare plant

A good part of last year was spent hiking with a list of plants that needed to be ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

Torrey’s mountain mint: A rare find

It’s been so hot and dry that I decided Oct. 4 would be my last major hike before ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

A tale of persistence and what grows in the swamp

While mucking about in a swampy area at Holliday Lake State Park last month, I stumbled upon an ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

Long-lobed arrowhead: An uncommon plant

In the early days of the commonwealth, the naming of rivers was arbitrary. Settlers along a particular waterway ...

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The difference in buttonweed

It’s been so hot that my hikes have been reduced to half-hearted slogs up and down the back ...

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Wood Betony: an interesting hemiparasite

There are some native plants that I just can’t keep straight in my head unless I see the ...

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Slipper Orchids: Love and obsession

Wildflower people are both incredibly generous and seriously obsessive. This spring I’ve been the recipient of untold generosity. ...

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The thrill of the find

In my ongoing rambles in the woods, I visit new places every year, but I also return to ...

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Lyre-leaf sage: An assertive native

Walk across any unkempt lawn (mine!), waste area or woodland clearing this month and you’ll find basal rosettes ...

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Coltsfoot: an early sign of spring

By late February, most of us are so desperate for early signs of spring that we’re overjoyed to ...

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Naming plants

When people on my Facebook wildflower page talk about plants, there can be massive confusion. Many of them ...

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Virginia Creeper: vibrant color to brighten a fall day

Visit that massive stone heap, Blenheim Palace, in October and you’ll find the walls near the main entrance ...

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Blue Mushrooms and Hens for Dinner

When I was a kid, about a 1,000 years ago, mushrooms were an exotic food that came in ...

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The Wild Onion Controversy

As many of you know, I manage a Virginia Wildflower Community Page on Facebook. It has just under ...

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Dodder: An interesting parasite

Yesterday I was driving on the Powhite Parkway, getting ready to merge onto 288 S. when something bright ...

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Thugs and potential thugs

I’ve been searching for wildflowers since I was about 12 years old. It’s what my dad and I ...

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Species of roses

Roses are very old flowering plants. Fossil evidence shows that they’re around 35 million years old. The cultivation ...

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The mystique of lady’s slippers

Virginia has quite a few species of native orchids. Some are showy, while others are almost drab by ...

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Yellow confusion in Mother Nature’s garden

It all began with a series of posts on my Facebook wildflower community page. There was a flurry ...

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A tale of two plants

Walk through just about any wooded area in Prince Edward or surrounding counties and you’re likely to find ...

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Old friends rediscovered in new places

Nearly 10 years ago, I found some trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens) at Holliday Lake on the Lakeshore Trail. ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

Consider the dandelion

Dandelions. Children are endlessly fascinated by them. They’re often the first flower that kids can identify, and probably ...

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Native Plants for winter interest

It’s still cold in the woods, so February is the perfect time to take a leisurely stroll through ...

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Thugs and potential thugs

Just like people, plants manage to slip into our country uninvited; they hitchhike in packing materials or grain, ...

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In my father’s time

There is renewed interest in using natural, native materials for holiday decorations. It’s part of the nativist movement ...

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Pokeweed is an amazing plant

It’s been immortalized in song, grown at Kew Gardens as an exotic, used to make ink, eaten as ...

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