Tag Archives: native plant

5 Virginia Native Plants with Gorgeous Fall Colors

When we think of fall foliage, there are two plants that always come to mind: The burning bush (Eyonymous alatus compactus) and Bradford pear. Unfortunately, these once-venerated plants, although beautiful, are now becoming a problem in our native woodlands. They both have a bad tendency to naturalize, taking over large territories and choking out native species. There are a few native plants, however, that can put on just as good of a show and support a sustainable landscape at the same time. 

Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) typically grows as a shrub or small tree - multi-stemmed, forming a cluster. It has a very coarse stem, and it is best used toward the back of a perennial border - ideally with a number of shorter plants in front of it.

But no matter how you plant it, Staghorn sumac is always sure to please in the fall with its deep reds and burnt oranges. And when the bright foliage is gone, it produces striking fruit stalks that can be enjoyed through the winter. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Native Plants and tagged in  | 1 Comment.

Plants We Love: Heuchera

I admit it: I’ve got a hankering for heuchera. There’s something about this member of the Saxifrage family that gives me joy. Maybe it’s the dainty flowers, the earth-toned foliage or the adorable cultivar names like ‘Purple Petticoat,’ ‘Southern Comfort,’ ‘Tiramisu’ and ‘Cinnabar Silver,’ to name a few. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Native Plants and tagged in  | 1 Comment.

Plight of the Pollinator

I cannot live without coffee and chocolate. Therefore, I cannot live without pollinators.
This week is National Pollinato Continue reading

This entry was posted in GardensNative PlantsWildlife and tagged in  | Leave a comment.

Native Plants for Every Environment

Natives are great for many reasons. But to give them a great start, they need to be planted in the proper environment. Whether you have shade, part shade to sun, moisture or a dry landscape, there is a group of plants that would be perfect for that site.

If you have a shady area, consider planting in layers. Woodland plants are suited for shade or part sun for the edges of the woods.

Here are some examples.

Understory layer
Amelanchier canadensis (Serviceberry)
Asimina triloba (Paw paw)
Cercis canadensis (Red bud)
Chionanthus virginicus (Fringetree)
Hamamelis virginiana (Witch hazel)

Shrub layer
Cephalanthus occidentalis (Buttonbush)
Cornus stolonifera (Red osier dogwood)
Hydrangea arborescens (Wild hydrangea)
Lindera benzoin (Spicebush)
Rhus aromatica (Fragrant sumac)
Sambucus canadensis (Elderberry)
Virbunum dentatum (Southern Arrowwood)

Perennial layer
Anemone virginiana (Tall thimbleweed)
Aruncus dioicus (Goatsbeard)
Asarum canadense (Wild ginger)
Cimicifuga racemosa (Black cohosh)
Dicentra eximia (Wild bleeding heart)
Podophyllum peltatum (Mayapple)
Polygonatum biflorum (Solomon?s seal)
Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot)
Sedum ternatum (Wild stonecrop)
Stylophorum diphyllum (Woodland poppy)
Tiarella cordifolia (Foamflower)
Trillium grandiflorum (White trillium)

If you have sun to part shade, low medium or very moist areas, the prairie native perennials can give you a full season of color. You can add some exciting perennial beds, make large sweeping meadows or, if space is limited, you can do an urban meadow.

Low to medium moisture
Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly weed)
Aster novae-angliae (New England aster)
Baptisia australis (Blue wild indigo)
Baptisia tinctoria (Yellow wild indigo)
Coreopsis verticillata (Threadleaf coreopsis)
Helenium autumnale (Sneezeweed)
Liatris spicata (Dense blazing star)
Phlox paniculata (Summer tall phlox)
Rudbeckia fulgida (Black-eyed Susan)
Monarda didyma (Beebalm)

Medium to moist areas
Chelone glabra (turtle head)
Geranium maculatum (Wild geranium)
Iris virginica (Virginia blue flag)
Hibiscus moscheutos (Eastern rosemallow)
Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal flower)
Lobelia siphilitia (Great blue lobelia)
Physostegia virginiana (Obedient plant)

Come visit Garden Gate Landscape and Design, where all of these are available. There will be more in late summer and fall! I?d love for you to visit.
  Continue reading

This entry was posted in Native PlantsTips and tagged in  | 4 Comments.

Plants We Love: Bloodroot

Warning: Bloodroot can be extremely toxic, even fatal.

I'm not going to discuss the medical uses for bloodroot. There is plenty of information on the web (and from professional herbalists, which I certainly am not) explaining its benefits and dangers. Just let me say do your research very well. Also, consider pets and children before planting it in your landscape. As beautiful as this plant is, it is not worth risking loved ones? health or possibly even lives. Continue reading

This entry was posted in GardensNative PlantsTips and tagged in  | 2 Comments.

Plants We Love: Buttonbush

A few years ago my husband and I moved to a lakefront property that had lawn growing down to the water's edge. I immediately started researching putting in a riparian buffer (I always think of Hyacinth from the britcom "Keeping Up Appearances" touting her "riparian buffet" when I hear that phrase). Continue reading

This entry was posted in BayscapingNative PlantsWildlife and tagged in  | 1 Comment.

We Need Plants, Plants Need Pollinators

June 20-26 was Virginia Pollinator Week, a time when we focus with others across the United States on the irreplaceable value of bees, butterflies, moths and nature's other pollinators.

There is an alarming and discernible decline in the population of these fascinating creatures that make seeds and fruits magically appear on plants, shrubs and trees. While this decline is not news for those of us interested in gardening and farming, the week reminds us how much we need to ramp up our efforts to reverse this trend and educate everyone about the far-reaching effects a loss of our pollinators will have on everyday life. Continue reading

This entry was posted in BayscapingGardensNative PlantsPlant More PlantsTipsWildlife and tagged in  | 1 Comment.

Our Backyards - They're For The Birds!

Who doesn't enjoy hearing a songbird or catching a glimpse of their bright colors in the backyard? Some people garden specifically for wildlife, including birds, by choosing all of their plantings based on how they function for wildlife in the landscape. While you don't have to replace everything you have, certain additions can help attract our feathered friends. Continue reading

This entry was posted in GardensNative PlantsPlant More PlantsTipsWildlife and tagged in  | Leave a comment.

Plants We Love: Goldenrod

Along with the growing awareness of the many benefits of planting more native plants around our homes, a natural question arises: which native plants should we plant? Continue reading

This entry was posted in BayscapingGardensNative PlantsPlant More PlantsWildlife and tagged in  | 3 Comments.

Plants We Love: Black-Eyed Susan

The black-eyed Susan is a locally native plant that will look great in your garden. It's the state flower of Maryland, and was given this distinction by the Maryland General Assembly in 1918 when it was designated "the Floral Emblem". Continue reading

This entry was posted in BayscapingChesapeake BayGardensNative PlantsPlant More Plants and tagged in  | 1 Comment.