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The Dog Days of Summer

Lonicera sempivirens native honeysuckle
native honeysuckle

When Chesapeake summers bring long streaks of 90 degree plus days, it's time to sit back, put up your feet and enjoy your garden from a shady seat, whether on your balcony or the back 40. Here are a couple of native plant fun things to pass the time.

Gardening for Hummingbirds:

Mt. Cuba, the epicenter of all things native plants in the mid-atlantic is offering a webinar on gardening for these fascinating birds on August 8th. The class costs $20 and you will learn about all of the native plants you can add to your garden to attract hummingbirds and possibly replace hummingbird feeders using sugar water. It's sure to include the native honeysuckle!

Our Own Gardening Expert:

The tireless Kathy Jentz publishes a magazine just for gardeners in the metro Washington DC area, produces a podcast, organizes webinars, tours, talks, and seed swaps and provides hyper local gardening advice about perennials, shrubs and trees, many native to the Chesapeake Watershed. It's incredibly helpful to have advice so focused on the peculiarities of gardening in the mid-atlantic. I love her plant profile series. Check out profiles on natives: bee balm, oak leaf hydrangea, and serviceberry. As Kathy says "You Can Grow That!" I was honored to join Kathy recently on her podcast to talk native plants.

Your Own State Park:

A while back, we talked about turning your own garden into a National Park -- the proposition by noted entomologist, gardener and author Doug Tallamy that significant ecosystem gains could be had if we all planted our gardens with native plants. Maryland's Department of Natural Resources started a Create Your Own State Park Challenge if you don't feel ready to go national yet. The website has all info you or a young person in your life will need and, if you are in Maryland, you can submit your efforts to receive a certificate and be eligible to win prizes.

Back to the dog days of summer, the phrase is a reference to the fact that, during this time, the Sun occupies the same region of the sky as Sirius, the brightest star visible from any part of Earth and part of the constellation Canis Major, the Greater Dog. If you knew that, you are smarter than both our dog and I - we just thought it was the best time to lie about in the shade!


We want you to be as excited about planting Chesapeake natives as we are. “Plant This or That” gives you a native alternative to popular plants. Other posts highlight really fabulous fauna native to the Chesapeake.

Nuts for Natives, avid gardener, Baltimore City admirer, Chesapeake Bay Watershed restoration enthusiast, and public service fan.

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