Planting for the Environment

Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 12:18pm

Here are some local and desirable ground cover, shrub and trees to consider:

  • Shady Perennials:  Aster divaricatus, Eastern purple coneflower, joe pye weed, cardinal flower and monarda spp for butterflies, Sedum "autumn joy", Ginger, moss phlox, Christmas fern and bluebells for shady ground cover;
  • Sunny Perennials:  green and gold, golden coneflower and creeping phlox (get the rabbit proof version), foam flower, and sedum 'autumn joy' for sun.
  • Vines -   Trumpet honeysuckle for climbing floral.  
  • Shrubs - Witchhazel, spice bush, blueberry and cherry bush.
  • Trees -   Paw Paw, red bud, arborvitae (evergreen)


These plants are beautiful, and local to the area, so they are more durable than non-native plants.  They are diverse in texture and character, and low maintenance. The added benefit of these plants is that they don't attract rodents and rabbits for housing (like ivy and liriope will), they don't change the soil constitution (like bush honeysuckle), by buying local, you are contributing to our native habitat and if birds deliver the seeds from your plants to our local parks, it fosters native growth.  For a wallet sized guide of recommended landscape plants, contact us at and we'll put one in the mail to you or click HERE and we have lists online.  

Other Plant News:

Montgomery Parks Weed Warrior Training

Have you ever wished you could tell the native plants and trees from the invasive ones in the Park?  Join us, and get to know the difference!   If you attend only one certification training this year, let it be this one

Click HERE  for complete information and registration instructions.

Little Falls Park Restoration

The Park's third deer exclosure was installed in March 2014 by volunteers.  The plan is to restore all three exclosure areas to native habitat.  Many remember when the Park was full of Virginia Bluebells, song birds and butterflies.  If you want to help Park restoration efforts:

  • plant native plants in your yard that birds, bees and butterflies love, and remove plants that invade the Park (most via birds) and crowd out natives, such as ivy, winter creeper, bush honeysuckle, bamboo, privet, multiflora rose, mile a minute, and wineberry;
  • reduce the noise of lawn care in order to create a desirable habitat for native mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, butterflies;
  • trap rainwater in your yard (and get paid by the County to do it) to allow native aquatic life to survive in Little Falls Valley Stream;
  • Sign-up at to participate in weed pulls, or contact us at to lead Park tours, give native plant talks, lead weed pulls, remove trash from Little Falls Stream;
  • subscribe to the monthly e-letter at, the Park and stormwater management stewards of Little Falls Park, in orVolunteers watering SHA plantingsder to stay informed. has information on everything mentioned above.

45 New Trees and Shrubs. . .

. . grace the Massachusetts Avenue entrance to Little Falls Park as of March 15, thanks to the State Highway Administration (SHA).  SHA removed bamboo, bush honeysuckle, privet and vines that were making their way into the Park, and installed fir, holly, red bud, service berry, and viburnum.  Thank you SHA for being Park Stewards.

Park history documentation

Do you have photos of what the park looked like 25 or more years ago? Make copies and send them to us at LFWA, 4920 Dorset Ave, Chevy Chase, MD 20815 or better yet, scan them and send a digital copy to 

Spice bush is getting ready to bloom, so come enjoy the Park's beauty!

Happy Spring,

Little Falls Watershed Alliance