1. Monarch Nectaring on a Swamp Milkweed

Photo by Betsy Washington

The Northern Neck Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society is thrilled to announce, that this year’s Native Plant Sale will be held at Dug In Farm on Fleets Bay Rd., off Rt. 3 in White Stone. 

The local Chapter focuses on what’s in its name, “Native Plants,” through field trips, native plant presentations by experts, literature and other forms of education including an annual Fall native plant sale which raises money for these endeavors. The native plants offered for sale have been raised by a dedicated and experienced group of members. This year the Chapter thought the sale may not take place due to safety concerns and restrictions surrounding COVID-19 at their normal sale venue, Wicomico Parish Church. But fortunately, the Chapter found a new venue this year – Dug In Farm.

Dug In owner and member of the Chapter, Carolyn Quinn, heard the group needed a new venue and offered up space at her farm market. “I have been offering plants at the market for a while and I am increasingly focusing on native plants so when I heard the Chapter needed a venue this year, we got together for the benefit of all – especially the native plants,” said Quinn. The farm market is a perfect spot to have the sale – outside, open space, fresh air.

“Because of this wonderful partnership between the Chapter and the Farm, we will be able to extend our sale over several weeks from September 19 to October 10,” said Betsy Washington, botanist and NNNPS Plant Sale liaison. “This will reduce the inevitable crowding of a one day sale and allow everyone to shop at their convenience”. While the plants can be perused and purchased anytime the Farm is open, the NNNPS will have knowledgeable members on site every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon to provide advice in choosing the perfect native plants for all properties. The Chapter will also have its various education materials available for the public.

The sale will feature over 1,000 plants, all of which are Virginia natives with 95% of them native to the Coastal Plain of Virginia including the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula. It is one of the few sources of native plants in the area, although Dug In Farms is now offering more and more natives and will be offering about 20 natives for sale during the Chapter sale.

“Native plants are adapted to our local conditions so viability is so much better and they create food and habitat for all our wildlife and are so necessary for a heathy environment, not to mention protection of the land and the Bay,” said Past Chapter President, Kevin Howe.

The Northern Neck Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society is one of 11 chapters in the state. It is dedicated to the protection and preservation of the native plants of Virginia and their habitats, in order to sustain for generations to come the integrity of the Commonwealth’s rich natural heritage of ecosystems and biodiversity for purposes of enjoyment, enlightenment, sustainable use and our own very survival.

Under normal years, public meetings are held at noon on the third Thursday of the month at Wicomico Parish Church. Field trips are held throughout the year to natural areas, roadsides and native plant gardens. All activities are free and are supported by the annual plant sale.