Upcoming Outdoor Fairy Garden Class

Imagine walking down a misty forest path, searching for mushrooms and peeking into hollows under trees.

Now imagine you are only 3” tall: the forest floor would be a very different place. Shadows would loom larger, dew drops would shimmer like pools and the fallen top of an acorn might make a spiffy hat. Soon, you find the stepping stones that lead to a fairy-size door.

On October 1st from noon to 2 pm, Master Gardeners invite fairy garden hobbyists of all ages to an afternoon of sharing ideas about creating outdoor fairy gardens. This free education session will be held at the Southern Virginia Botanical Gardens, located in Edmund’s Park, South Boston.

The Forest Trail at SVBG, a certified woodland habitat, is a perfect spot to showcase examples of outdoor miniature gardens. In addition to tours of the Forest Trail, participants can make their own fairy doors using polymer clay and natural materials.

According to Celtic myths, fairies live in trees. Planning an outdoor fairy garden often starts at the base of a single big tree, such as a mature white oak, red maple or loblolly pine. The weathered trunk provides the backdrop for doors and windows.

The roots of most trees spread out close to the surface, so it’s important to take care when digging around the trunk.   Small plants can be introduced to add interest or color. Always check each plant for hardiness and requirements for light and water. Ground covers can minimize bare spots and help retain moisture.

For yards without large trees, other objects such as rocks, fence lines or the sides of buildings can create a background for the fairy garden. Tall stalks of rosemary, a dwarf spruce, small arborvitae, cypress tree or other woody perennial do nicely to fill in as a tiny “forest.”

Plant growth in a fairy garden is usually intentionally restricted. Fertilizer is diluted and added sparingly so that vegetation stays small and within scale. Perennial plants should be pruned and ground covers trimmed at the appropriate time. It’s also important to remove the conifer dieback that happens naturally in hardy miniature evergreens. A loose mulch of dried leaves should be added in the fall to help winterize the garden.

A forest scene wouldn’t be complete without a carpet of velvety green moss. To harvest natural moss, gently dig around the edges and insert the spade under the clump, removing as much of the substrate (a layer of soil and decomposing bark) as possible. Observe whether the moss was growing in full shade or dappled light – and match this exposure when replanting. Keep moss clumps uniformly moist as they establish themselves. Never harvest mosses from another property without asking permission.

As with container fairy gardens, outdoor scenes should tell a story or follow a theme. Outdoor accessories should always match the scale of the fairy door. Any accessories left outside all year should be protected with several coats of polyurethane and UV protection. Remove small items before periods of heavy rain or snow. In all seasons, protect the garden from excessive traffic, pets and wildlife.

Fairy doors can be portals to a magic realm – leave a note and maybe your wish will be granted. Master Gardeners Carol Nelson and Andrea Burke look forward to sharing the fun of creating outdoor fairy gardens. Come make a tiny door to take home. Call the Virginia Cooperative Extension Office, (434) 476-2147 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information or to sign up.

Date: October 1, 12 noon to 2 pm  Light refreshments - bring a lawn chair.

Location: The Southern Virginia Botanical Gardens at Edmunds Park, 3170 Dan River Church Road (Route 716), South Boston 24592. Take the first right, and follow the signs past the Halifax County Serenity Cancer Garden.




Wild Blue River Festival - September 17th

Local Volunteers Set for River Clean Up on Flotsam Flotilla 09.10.16

Local residents will work together to tackle litter in and around a portion of the Banister River this Saturday. The Flotsam Flotilla river cleanup will begin Saturday, September 10 at 9 a.m. at King’s Bridge Landing in Halifax.

“We are fortunate to have many people who enjoy our local rivers and are dedicated to protecting the Banister and our other waterways because a healthy community starts with a healthy river. We want to help maintain the beauty of our community and the outdoor recreation areas that so many enjoy,” said Town of Halifax Town Manager Carl Espy, himself an avid paddler.

The Flotsam Flotilla, done in coordination with the Wild Blue River Festival set for September 17, has taken place for the past two years. Not only does the cleanup help rid the river of manmade debris and trash, but it is also an opportunity to access the river for a clear path for paddlers during the Festival.

“The town has experienced success with our cleanup for the past two years and I’m sure this year will be no different. We’ve had several volunteers come out to float the river, and we hope to see some of those same people and small groups back with us again this year,” said Halifax Mayor Kristy Johnson.

The Virginia Department of Transportation – Halifax residency has generously donated orange trash bags for collecting trash. Volunteers should dress accordingly, including the use of bug spray and bringing gloves if available. Areas of cleanup will include land and water, so those wishing to be part of the river cleanup team should bring their canoe. Concentration of cleanup will be King’s Bridge Landing in Halifax, then down the river to Terrys Bridge Landing and the green areas immediately around both landings. The Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) continues to support the seasonal clean up efforts by providing safety vests, gloves and trash grabbers.

                        DRBA Executive Director Tiffany Haworth commented on the community’s continued involvement, “Rivers connect us to each other, to nature, and to future generations. It is wonderful to see so many people in and around Halifax taking action to protect and restore their rivers and clean water.”

For more information on the Flotsam Flotilla river cleanup and the Wild Blue River Festival on September 17, visit

Change of Pick-up for Town of Halifax Solid Waste & Recycling Effective Week of Labor Day



 Change of Pick-up for Town of Halifax Solid Waste & Recycling Customers


August 29, 2016

To All Town of Halifax Customers:

Halifax Town Hall will be closed on Monday September 5th in observance of Labor Day.Please be aware that the Town of Halifax will be picking up recyclables on Friday September 9th due to the modified Holiday schedule. The regular town curbside recycling pick up will resume Wednesday September 14th as customary. During the modified holiday schedule, town residents may take their properly prepared recyclable materials (see guidelines for curbside pick-up below), to the large bins provided at the Blue Ridge Regional Jail lower parking lot which now accepts co-mingled newspaper (including mixed paper), plastic (#1 & #2), cardboard, cans (aluminum & metal) and mixed consumer glass (clear, green & brown). When recycling glass at the Convenience Center site, PLEASE PLACE THE GLASS DIRECTLY INTO THE BIN WITH NO BAGS-this will keep the glass free of contaminants so that sorting will not be necessary.

The Town of Halifax Solid Waste Department will conduct its solid waste pick-up the week of Labor Day on a modified schedule:

  1. Tuesday September 6 – Residents normally served on this day will have solid waste picked up. This area includes properties along US Hwy 501 south from the RR Tracks to the corporate limits, Spencer Lane Golf Course Road, Brook Run, Cowford Road, Meadow Drive, Banister Road, Gatha’s Trail and Ballou Trail.
  2. Wednesday September 7 – Residents normally served on Monday will have solid waste picked up. This area includes Mountain Road, Canterbury Drive, Woodview Road, Mimosa Drive, Oak Lane, Pine Road, Ash Street, Cedar Lane, Poplar Lane, Crawford Road, Academy Street, Ballpark Loop (within corporate limits), Craddock Street, Houston Street and Main Street (from Mountain Road south to the RR Tracks).
  3. Thursday September 8 – Residents normally served on this day will have solid waste picked up. This area includes Maple Avenue, Buena Vista Drive, Park Lane, Lakeside Drive, Harding Street, Snead Lane, Cary Street, Elam Street, Hedderly Street, Jackson Street, Back Street, Main Street (from Mountain Road north on US Hwy 501 and east on VA Hwy 360 to the corporate limits).
  4. Friday September 9 – The Town of Halifax Solid Waste Department will conduct curbside recycling on this day and will resume regular weekly curbside recycling on Wednesday September 14th.

Guidelines for Preparing Curbside Recyclables

(follow thoroughly & do not co-mingle trash items or service may be suspended)

Metals -- Aluminum Cans (rinsed if possible)            Plastics -- Milk, soda, water bottles, detergent    

Metal Cans (rinsed - labels may be left on)                jugs (look for #1 & #2 on bottom) rinse, remove caps            

Newspaper -- Clean and dry                                                 Cardboard -- Flatten boxes, no waxed cardboard, (anything in the newspaper when you                             remove plastic bags, styrofoam or packing “peanuts”

receive it can be recycled)

Mixed Paper -- Junk mail, cereal boxes,                  Glass -- clear, green & brown; EMPTIED, RINSED, LIDS magazines, phone books, etc.                                       REMOVED, NO BROKEN GLASS-in plastic bag on top

Town of Halifax Property Taxes (Real Estate Mailing)


 l Public Service Announcement:

The Town of Halifax would like to notify residents, businesses and property owners that 2016 tax bills for real estate are being mailed on August 29th, and, personal property and machine & tool tax notices will be mailed separately with an accompanying announcement which will outline the December 5, 2015 due date both on personal property and machine & tool taxes along with a reminder to taxpayers of the real estate payment for the same deadline.

Halifax is pleased to continue offering the payment option for Real Estate and Personal Property tax bills using Paymentus Corporation, a third party automated payment service that accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover and Electronic Check. This payment plan can only be accessed online or by Phone using Paymentus. This system will not be set up for payments in person at the Halifax Town Hall, although cash and check payments will continue to be accepted in person. You may make your payment anytime, any day, 24/7. Paymentus Corporation will charge a convenience fee for each transaction (the fee covers payment handling and processing charges). Customers should be ready with the following information:

For Real Estate, the 5-digit Parcel ID number (located on your billing statement),

For Personal Property, the 4-digit Tax ID number (located on your billing statement),

•Your Credit Card number or your Checking Account and Routing Number

To pay your bill by phone dial: 1-877-489-1674 to call a secure automated telephone payment system, powered by Paymentus Corporation.

To pay your bill online go to the Town of Halifax website, click on the “Pay Online Taxes” bar at the top and go to a secure third party website at Paymentus Corporation.

Please be reminded that the deadline for payment of total real estate tax due is Monday December 5, 2016. If a receipt is desired, please enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope. Payments made after the due date are subject to 10% Penalty and 10% Interest Per Annum. In addition to applicable penalties and interest, after the second notice has been mailed, late payments on personal property will be for 100 percent of tax due without regard to any former entitlement to state PPTRA relief. Also any real estate or personal property taxes not paid after the 2nd notice will have a $15.00 administration fee added to the bill due. If ownership of property has been transferred during the current tax year, the bill should be forwarded to the responsible party. For information about the tax assessment of property, please contact the County Commissioner of Revenue’s Office at 434-476-3314.

If you have any questions about phone or online payments, please call Halifax Town Hall at 434-476-2343.