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We have waited a long time to formally announce our nursery of native, edible, herbal and medicinal plants! We have loved this nursery venture into being over the course of many years and so it is with excitement and grateful hearts that we share this good news with you! Starting this fall, you will be able to purchase our plants at The Friendly City Food Coop and the Farmer’s Market in Harrisonburg.
Our nursery has grown from multiple sources. Karl's journey with seed collection and propagation started early in his work with native plants and was encouraged by friend, restoration specialist and seasoned grower Brian Wagner (co-owner, Ecosystems Services, LLC). Brian has been a valued and extremely generous mentor in the last couple of years as we have learned important seed collection and plant propagation methods. Marly has been growing plants for years and, with her experience in cooking and herbalism, she has a keen interest in providing a broad and diverse array of herbal and medicinal plants. Elise, our nursery manager, brings a passion for plants and her dream of running a nursery, matched with ours, has made our nursery a reality! We are so grateful that her caring approach and tireless attention to every detail has made this nursery possible.

We have many beautiful, useful, and hardy plants and it is our goal to make it very easy for you to buy and use our native, edible, herbal, and medicinal plants. To make your planning easier we will have a helpful catalogue of native, edible, herbal, and medicinal trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses, ferns and vines. Our catalogue should be ready for you this fall/winter as you start your planning for 2015.
Our nursery is a dynamic work in progress with a growing plant list and lots and lots of small seedlings in our care. We are humbled by this opportunity and are interested in hearing about the plants you would like to be able to buy. Please do contact us to let us know the plants you would like to see available. 

Come see us on Saturday’s at the Farmer’s Market where we look forward to talking with you about plants!

The Natural Garden Team

This summer, The Natural Garden is documenting the blooming season of a mature, native wildflower meadow. We planted this 15 acre meadow 4 years ago just outside of Harrisonburg, VA. This photographic journal is a way for us to educate not only ourselves but you too! The meadow is an impressive organism that unfolds in stages throughout the spring, summer and fall and we're very excited to be taking a more detailed look at its process.
My first day out to the meadow was an overcast morning. At a faraway glance, green was the dominant color, the rolling hillside lush, but with no initial signs of blooming. However, once we began the walkabout through the meadow, hidden blossoms presented themselves. Beardtongue, spiderwort and butterfly milkweed were a few of the species in bloom or just beginning. Two weeks later, my second visit, there was already a huge difference in color. The butterfly milkweeds had begun to paint the hillside orange, oxeye sunflowers also started to open up, bringing pops of yellow to the palette. My third visit, showed an even greater transition. The oxeye sunflowers and wild bergamot had taken over, creating a sea of yellow and purple. During this trip, I spotted my first monarch of the year! Its vibrant orange wings stood out like a beacon, skipping just above the wildflowers. I'm anticipating my next trip with great excitement, finding new species opening their blooms and the frenzy of pollinators there to greet them.

To see more photos of this beautiful meadow, check out our Facebook page here.
As part of our mission, we not only want to provide services for planting native, herbal, edible and medicinal landscapes, but also serve as an educational resource to our community. The 'Help Our Monarchs!' campaign is just that, a way to educate about the monarch's declining natural habitat while working together towards a solution. The monarch is a unique and iconic species known for its incredible migration from Canada to Mexico each year. Unfortunately with the loss of milkweed habitat, which is the monarch's exclusive larval host, its own population has begun to decline.
Throughout the late spring and into the summer, we've put out two posters for the Help Our Monarchs campaign. The first, a single chrysalis suspended; honors the extraordinary beauty of the monarch’s mesmerizing transformation. The second poster introduces the monarch itself, emerging from the chrysalis cocoon. The third and final poster in the series will be the culmination of the previous posters – revealing finally the milkweed. Milkweed is the hope. And we want to inspire you to plant it! There are a number of species native to Virginia that accommodates a variety of conditions ranging from the moisture loving swamp milkweed to the drought tolerant butterfly milkweed and common milkweed. This fall we will be selling milkweed and providing milkweed seeds at both the Friendly City Food Coop and our booth at the Farmer’s Market in Harrisonburg. We will have more information, campaign updates, and links to other monarch organizations on our website and Facebook page so, stay tuned! And be on the look out for the beautiful final poster hanging around town in various shop windows.
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