March 11, 2024
Native Plants of the Month! Trees and shrubs, $25 off!

By Mary Reid Barrow

Bird’s foot viola.

As soon as I heard that name, I just had to have one of these plants! So right now, I am getting ready to order this little blue violet with leaves and flowers shaped liked a bird’s foot from LRNow.

LRNow is working with Trista Imrich of Southern Branch Nursery in Chesapeake to offer two native plants for sale in April, May, and June and again in the fall. The viola as well as coastal Joe Pye weed are the two plants for April.

Trista,  who also owns Wild Works of Whimsy, a landscape design company that specializes in natives in Virginia Beach, is fond of the little viola.

“I love its sweet bird’s foot shaped flowers,” Trista said. “I think violas are unappreciated and seen as weedy, though they provide nice semi-evergreen to evergreen ground cover, and pretty edible flowers.”

In addition, and a big plus, violets also are host to the great spangled fritillary and other butterflies and moths, including the giant leopard moth, Trista added.

Common violets are going to be blooming soon wherever they choose in my yard, whether in the pathways, the garden beds or elsewhere.  Like cute naughty toddlers, they are not very manageable, but I love them. Mary McGregor took this photo of her violets already in bloom!

Still, I was glad to hear that bird’s foot violas are a little more obedient. Like the common violet, they like sun to partial shade and dry to medium well drained soil, Trista said.

“But this viola blooms a little earlier and is more easily managed,” she said. “If it’s happy and conditions are right, it can spread, but I wouldn’t expect it to spread as well as the common violet, which we also carry along with six other species of violas.”

Order bird’s foot violas and also coastal Joe Pye weed with its great big blowsy flower heads that pollinators adore at through LRNow’s online store. Each is $13.95 for a gallon pot.

Your plants will be delivered to a seed and swap event at LRNow’s office on Holland Road for pick-up from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 27.

Keep your eyes open for Native Plants of the Month for May and June.


And that’s not all!  Get a native tree or shrub too!

Southern Branch Nursery was selected as one of 10 Virginia nurseries, and the only one in Hampton Roads, to participate in the Virginia Department of Forestry’s native tree and shrub discount, called Throwing Shade.

From March through May, all eligible native trees, and shrubs, $50 and up, at Southern Branch will receive a $25 discount. To redeem the discount at Southern Branch’s online store, select the Throwing Shade program category and select an eligible tree or shrub. Enter the coupon code VADOF at checkout. Find the online store here.

If you would like Trista to bring your tree or shrub purchase up to the LRNow office for pick up with the native plants on April 27, call Southern Branch Nursery to coordinate after you place your order, (757) 373-7763.


PEARL HOMES are places where people care about our environment and want to do what they can to help protect our resources.

Learn more»

Lynnhaven River NOW recognizes schools providing outstanding environmental education as a Pearl School.

Learn More»

PEARL BUSINESSES are essential to truly move towards a more sustainable Virginia Beach and cleaner waters.

Learn More »

We all want to do our part to restore the health of all of our sacred waterways and protect them for future generations to enjoy.

Learn More»

SUSTAINABLE YARDS PROGRAM: Let us help you “green” your Lynnhaven watershed home. This unique program provides specific stormwater management practices to your yard at a significantly reduced cost to you.

Learn More»