Unfortunately, not everyone in the Mews has sunlight on their patios and this can be a dilemma, especially if you enjoy gardening. There are plenty of shade tolerant annuals at the local garden center, but another good alternative is a native plant. Many native plants are perennials returning year after year, require little watering except in drought, and best of all, look great.
Years ago, native plants were harder to find so I used Monticello’s Center for Historic Plants as a source for older, less used varieties. Today there are numerous options for obtaining Native and other historic plants. Below are just a few that are good for shady areas.
Maple Leaf Viburnum (Viburum acerifolium) is a native, shade, loving shrub: https://www.monticelloshop.org/bare-root-mapleleaf-viburnum-viburnum-acerifolium/
Obedient plants (Physostegia virginianum) bloom later in mid-September at a time when the garden looks like it’s done for the season (see right): https://www.monticelloshop.org/obedient-plant-physostegia-virginianum/
Finally, Short-Toothed Mountain Mint (Pycnanthenum muticum) is another selection. The information page at Monticello says that this prefers sun to shade, but it has grown well for me in shaded areas. https://www.monticelloshop.org/short-toothed-mountain-mint-pycnanthemum-muticum/
For other Native plant suggestions for sun and shade, visit the All Fairlington Bulletin “For the Love of Nature” column for April. http://www.fca-fairlington.org/wp-content/uploads/april_2021_afb.pdf
Keep up with the latest Fairlington Gardening news here https://www.facebook.com/FairlingtonGardening/?comment_id=Y29tbWVudDoxMTQxODgxOTcxMDI4NDRfMTIwMTcyNjEzMTcxMDY5
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY WEEDS?
You can’t always get what you want.
The Landscape Committee has received several complaints about the weeds this spring. Several years ago, Mews residents were upset about the use of chemical weed and feeds being used on the lawn. With chemical products, residents were asked to stay off the grass for several days after application. Our demographic now includes more families with small children and pets. The Landscape Committee was asked if we could change to an organic product instead. That said, organic products work differently and there are more weeds. Fern Birtwistle wrote a great article about the product we are currently using last March. You can find it here: https://fairlingtonmews.org/mews-news/page/5/
The bottom line is that we can’t have it both ways.
GREEN THUMBS UP – WE NEED VOLUNTEERS
An Invitation to Volunteer was sent to Mews residents at the end of March. We received several responses. So here’s a GREEN THUMBS UP to Nancy Sween (Ct 1), Jackie Livingston (Ct 5), Elta Wilson (Ct 12), and Janice Peters (Ct 13). We still need volunteers for the other courts. Often the job is relatively easy, such as filling a tree bag with water twice a week, or just keeping an eye on plants in your neighborhood. We hope that all of you will consider helping.
NATIVE PLANT OF THE MONTH
Golden Ragwort – a spring bloomer that does well in sunny or shaded areas. https://mgnv.org/plants/ground-cover/packera-aurea-golden-ragwort/