The flower of the beautiful native Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia).
The native Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentals) works as a great native alternative to the invasive butterfly bush and makes the perfect landing spot for small butterflies such as this Clouded Skipper.
A free gardening presentation, “All About Shrubs” will take place Tuesday, Aug. 28, in Warrenton.
The program will start at 6 p.m. at the Fauquier Extension Office at 24 Pelham St. Local Master Gardeners will cosponsor the workshop.
Kristen Conrad, Arlington County’s horticulture extension agent, will talk about the different types of shrubs for beautiful blooms and privacy, as well as plants that help the pollinators and feed the birds and other wildlife. Ms. Conrad will explain the basic care and pruning needed to keep shrubs healthy.
Different shrubs perform various functions in the garden. Some shrubs work as foundation plants which to those areas of many homes. The best shrubs for that would be evergreens that are deciduous and keep their color and leaves throughout the year. Other shrubs can be used as hedges or privacy borders. They include hollies and varieties used as accent plants, such as shrubs placed on either side of the front door.
Spring blooming shrubs can be a lifesaver for butterflies by providing much needed early nectar when not much else is in bloom yet. They provide a food source for birds and can attract warblers, thrashers, catbirds, orioles, tanagers and many more to your garden. The berries of hollies can provide bird food for much of the winter.
“All About Shrubs” is part of the Fauquier/Rappahannock Master Gardeners’ Twilight Tuesdays program, a series of horticultural classes held from spring to fall each year for the community. The classes are taught by horticultural experts and seasoned Master Gardeners, covering a broad range of topics.
For more information about Master Gardeners, visit www.fc-mg.org.