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Mathews gardening group promotes native plants

Mathews and Gloucester counties have a rich history when it comes to native Virginia plants.

Many drive by the mile marker plaque on John Clayton Highway/Route 14 at Windsor Road without thinking about the significant contributions of the famous botanist honored on it.

John Clayton left a legendary treasure trove of native plant discoveries here on the Middle Peninsula. Clayton (1694-1773) was an avid botanist who discovered and classified more than 800 native plants in Virginia. Known for the accurate detail of his plant descriptions, Clayton began compiling his own native specimens during the mid-1750s and in 1758 his work formed the basis of the widely published book, “Flora Virginica.”

In light of that history and the growing interest in using Virginia native plants in gardens, a group met last Wednesday. Those members of the Mathews Community Gardening Group, “Planters with a Purpose, welcomed as host Dr. Chris Catanzaro, an accomplished horticultural scientist and educa...

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