Why go on a safari when a safari could come to you? Imagine yourself sipping lemonade on your lawn chair while strange and marvelous creatures entertain you. This is what you experience when you turn your yard into a wildlife sanctuary. Fall is the time to put in the plants that will bring this parade to your door.
Most perennials and shrubs and some trees do best when planted in the fall. The cooler, wetter weather puts less stress on the plants while their roots continue to grow well into winter. If you want to enjoy butterflies and birds, choose native plants, as those are the ones that support our local wildlife.
In Northern Virginia, we are lucky to have three native-plant only nurseries, as well as several other commercial nurseries that are labelling their native plants. In addition, September brings several special native plant sales including ones in Herndon, Arlington, Springfield, and Alexandria. You can find all these locations on the Plant NOVA Natives website.
Pictured above is the caterpillar of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly, demonstrating its “snake tongue” defensive maneuver.
For more inspiration, check out our native plant “Staycation” video: