The Importance of Growing Habitats
We are big proponents of growing native plants here at the Arboretum, that's no surprise! The benefits they bring to our pollinators, birds, and other wildlife are unmatched by introduced species. However, we'd like to shed some light on the whole picture and the importance of not just adding a native plant here or there to your garden, but actually creating a cohesive habitat of native plants.
It all comes down to supporting the insects and animals that are attracted to native plants. Attraction alone is not sustainable, and thus, a garden needs the strength of a whole system to support the wildlife it is attracting.
How to Help
1. Do your research! Learn what different types of plants naturally live together in a given ecosystem. Do you have a sunny plot? Discovery the multitude of perennials and grasses that come together as a native meadow. Diversity is key to a garden or habitat's strength! Yes the showy blooms are beautiful, but the not so showy ones are just as important.
2. Purchasing plants - The Arboretum provides native plants and cultivars throughout the growing season (April - Oct). In addition to our upcoming spring plant sales, we'll continue to offer online ordering as well. The Natural Garden is another great resource within the Harrisonburg area that provides a variety of native plants for purchase. If you don't live in the Shenandoah Valley area, check with local nurseries to see if they offer native plants. Big box stores like Lowes or Home Depot are least likely to sell native plants specific to your area.
3. Maintenance - Staying on top of weeding out invasive plants is very important. Invasive plants tend to be aggressive and will take over an area quickly if you aren't careful!
Become a part of the Homegrown National Park movement! A grassroots call-to-action for planting habitats and restoring biodiversity through native plants!
Gift Shop Goodies
Frances Plecker Education Center
Monday - Friday | 8 AM - 4 PM
Did you know we have a gift shop at the FPEC? Stop by the during the week to pick out a new houseplant, mug, shirt, and many other gifts we have available!