By Sue Dingwell
The Potomac Overlook Park Native Shade Garden is growing up! ARMN members have been carefully tending this little niche, encouraging the natives, discouraging the weeds, and doing battle royale with the deer. This is the garden’s second spring. Volunteers were greeted on Tuesday, April 23 with colorful blooms and vigorous green shoots as preparations continue for the Open House at PORP on May 11.
It has been fun to watch the progress and evolution of this space, which was created to provide education for homeowners by showcasing native plants that thrive in the shade. Joanne Hutton, who is one of the the garden’s moms, says that the Packera aurea, commonly known as Golden ragwort, has done a marvelous job of filling in, making a dense patch that keeps out weeds. In fact, ARMN volunteers had to remove some of it from the pathways and surrounds of other desirable groundcovers!
If you visit the site this week, you will be welcomed into the garden with sunny ragwort blossoms gracing the entrance.
Trilliums, spicebush, wood poppies, Virginia strawberry and foamflower are also up and doing well.
Other blooming species for this week include golden alexanders, woodland phlox, wild geranium, green and gold, carex species; woodies in bloom include sweetshrub or calycanthus, hobblebush ( a native viburnum), redbud and of course dogwood. Get out and enjoy the show!
Even though it’s the end of April, Christine Freidel, Teri Epstein, Celia Denton, Sue Dingwell, and Joanne Hutton were still wearing jackets for this garden-sprucing effort. In addition to clean-up, two new Lonicera semerpvirens were installed in a sunny corner and to help our Master Gardener friends at the park, a flat of sturdy “extras” for their sale was potted up.
We’ll be showing off our demonstration garden when Potomac Overlook Park hosts its annual spring Open House, scheduled for Saturday May 11th, from 1 – 4 pm. If you’d like to help staff the ARMN general information table at that event, or to help talk about the garden and native plants to other visitors that afternoon, please contact Joanne Hutton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703 282-4964. We could use several hands, and it’s always a fun event with lots of young families.
Photos courtesy of Sue Dingwell