Eastern tiger swallowtail butterflies on Joe Pye weed (eupatorium maculatum).
A meadow garden filled with all kinds of flowering plants provides great habitat for native insects, birds and wildlife.
A free gardening presentation, “Build a Native Plant Meadow,” will take place Tuesday, March 20, in Warrenton.
The workshop will start at 6 p.m. in the Fauquier Extension Office at 24 Pelham St.
Nancy Berlin, natural resource specialist and Master Gardener coordinator for the Virginia Cooperative Extension Prince William County, will teach homeowners how to plant a small native plant meadow. Ms. Berlin has firsthand experience with a meadow at her home.
Her presentation will site selection, preparation, propagation, weed control, wild flower suggestions, adding native grasses, planting techniques and maintenance.
A native plant meadow can offer a thriving habitat for bees, butterflies, other native insects, birds and other wildlife. It will offer food, shelter and nesting places.
Appropriate native Virginia wildflowers include joe pye weed (Eupatorium maculatum), bee balm (Monarda didyma) and purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). Native grasses include big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and Pennsylvania sedge (Carex Pensylvanica).
The “Build a Native Plant Meadow” presentation is part of the Fauquier/Rappahannock Master Gardeners’ Twilight Tuesdays program, a series of horticultural classes held from spring to fall each year. The classes are taught by horticultural experts and seasoned Master Gardeners and cover a broad range of topics – from gardening techniques and tips to advances in environmental and conservation issues. The series provides local gardeners with innovative techniques and best practices they can use.
The program is free of charge and open to the public, rain or shine. It will last 60 to 90 minutes. It is recommended to register and arrive early.