“This native plant garden provides important food and shelter for pollinators, birds and other wildlife,” reads a sign introducing a small but impactful plot of brightly colored flowers.
The native flower meadow our Piedmont Memorial Overlook property is almost at peak bloom!
This 50-acre property, which has one of the best views in Northern Virginia, is publicly accessible via Sky Meadows State Park. It’s a one-way 1.6-mile hike there via the Ambassador Whitehouse Trail, but many people make it a 4.6-mile loop that includes a stretch of the Appalachian Trail.
PEC partnered with the Endangered Species Coalition (ESC), Cliff Miller Jr. and RappFLOW to install a pollinator garden next to a walking trail by the Thornton River in Sperryville, Va. Using native plants such as perennials, grasses and shrubs from Hill House Farm and Nursery, the garden was installed during a volunteer planting event this past fall.
You don’t have to be a genuine bee keeper to help our native bees. You can create a place for them to thrive right in your backyard garden. First, assess your location. Is your project area in full sun, partial sun or is it fully shaded? Soil drainage also matters, whether it’s average, dry or wet soil. Once you know this, pick the plants that would thrive in that specific environment.
Choosing native plants is best for native bees, as they have adapted to each other over time. You can visit the Virginia Plant Atlas at vaplantatlas.org to see a selection of native species or review PEC’s “Go Native Go Local” guide at pecva.org/gonative to find retailers selling natives.