Posts Categorized: Blog

Considerations for Pollinators in Your Winter Garden

Author: Lisa Trapp

It’s easy to take our pollinator friends into consideration when the bright blooms of spring and fall are literally buzzing with activity, and when the lazy days of summer encourage nearby bees and butterflies to look for salt on sweaty arms. But we need to think of these helpful heroes in the winter too, creating a pollinator-friendly green space is a year-round endeavor.

 

Most bees and butterflies will be in a dormant period or state of “diapause” over the winter.

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Winter Tool Maintenance

Author: Mary Petres

Hello Gardeners! Though it may seem as if the garden has slipped into peaceful slumber and we should do the same, a gardener’s chores are never done.  Spring and summer will creep up before you know it, and there is plenty that we can do now to have a more fruitful start to the growing season.

With that in mind, let’s talk tools!  This is an excellent time to take stock of your tools and provide a bit of T.L.C. 

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What I learned this year…

Author: Shelly Barrick Parsons, Executive Director

Following a commitment made in 2020 to focus on sustainable management practices, Capital Trees launched this blog in May of this year to detail our processes, successes, and challenges.  Capital Trees also adopted a strategic plan in June of 2022 with three program pillars:  Build, Manage, and Educate.  Our blog, our community engagement, and our partnerships to make Richmond a Bee City are all initiatives under our education focus. 

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Creating a Mulch Improved Soil Part 2

Capital Trees Demystifies Mulch Part II

Author:  Anna G. Aquino

Let’s rethink living in a bark mulch world, using mulch only as a tool to encourage thriving ecosystems with abundant plants and animals

The best mulch is often free of charge or the least expensive and has the best weed control, moisture holding capacity, temperature moderation, and nutrient availability.

In Demystifying Mulch Part I we described Capital Trees’ sustainable mulching guidelines,

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GREAT SHIPLOCK PARK REFRESH — 2022 Update and What’s Still to Come

Author: Mary Petres

In the life of a garden, nine years is an eternity.  If you have ever dabbled in the dirt, you quickly realize that gardening is not a static activity.   Gardens are constantly in a state of change due to factors we can control and those we cannot. Our gardens in Great Shiplock Park (GSP) are no different.  Every day in the garden is a learning experience.

A lot has changed since the initial installation of the Gardens at Great Shiplock Park and the road to today has not been without its challenges. 

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Creating a Mulch Improved Soil Pt 1

Author:  Anna G. Aquino

Capital Trees Demystifies Mulch Part I

Mulch is material (such as straw, leaves, or small pieces of wood) added to the soil surface that protects and replenishes this invaluable topsoil. 

Let’s rethink living in a bark mulch world, using mulch only as a tool to encourage thriving ecosystems with abundant plants and animals.

Notice the color, fragrance, and diversity of textures of the mulch layer in healthy woods or fields.

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Featured Plant: Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana)

Author: Lisa Trapp

Appearing as though it should be more at home in the mountains, Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana), also sometimes referred to as “Swamp Magnolia”, is actually historically native to the Capital Region, and can be found extending all the way East toward the coast. Often overshadowed by the larger and more showy introduced species of Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) the Sweetbay is definitely one you don’t want to miss. 

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A Bright Future For Tree Equity in Richmond

Capital Trees’ blog focuses on our developing practices of sustainable management of public landscapes.  Ongoing development and care of public landscapes is strengthened by policies supporting greenspace care/development along with consistent funding.  In advance of RVArborDay 2022, Capital Trees welcomes guest blogger Daniel Klein, co-founder of ReForest Richmond and vice-chair of the Richmond Green City Commission, to share his opinion on increasing Richmond’s tree canopy.  ReForest Richmond is a collaborative campaign to rebuild Richmond’s urban tree canopy. 

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The Birth of a Public Private Partnership…

The Birth of a Public Private Partnership to Transform Richmond’s Urban Landscape

Author: Meg Turner

In 2011, the City of Richmond and a consortium of four Richmond garden clubs formed a public/private partnership and transformed a city gateway paved in concrete into an inviting green passageway that cools the urban core, cleans the urban air, and reduces pollutants from the stormwater flowing into the James River. Capital Trees was born when these four Garden Club of Virginia-affiliated clubs assembled a team in 2009 to study the environmental benefits of urban landscapes and identify areas in which the clubs could enhance Richmond’s urban environment. 

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Friend or Foe? 

Author: Mary Petres

A weed is a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth, especially one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants. (Missouri Botanical Garden)

In our quest to maintain the gardens at Great Shiplock Park, the Low Line Gardens, and the Low Line Green without the use of herbicides, we use two main strategies. The first is to reduce the seed bank in the soil.

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