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.
Amelanchier canadensis (Serviceberry)
Asimina triloba (Paw paw)
Cercis canadensis (Red bud)
Chionanthus virginicus (Fringetree)
Hamamelis virginiana (Witch hazel)
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)
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.
Beth Hellmer has been a landscape designer for three years. She owns Garden Gate Landscape and Design, based in Montpelier, Va. Her love of nature and the environment led her to native plants and she enjoys educating people about sustainable landscape practices. When she's not working, Beth's usually on the golf course.