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Holiday Evergreens: Plant This or That

Seasonal ornamental plants at the grocery store make food shopping festive - pansies and bulbs during spring, mums in the fall and evergreens in winter.  While these can be so tempting, there are better opportunities to build out your garden!  Instead of buying ‘temporary’ plants, you can buy a small native evergreen at your nursery.

Take, for example, the mini cypress trees and rosemary topiaries above on the left spotted at the grocery store.  They would look great in a winter container. The native evergreen, above right, would do double duty though. First, a stint in a window box or container and then it can go right into your garden. If the ground is frozen, shelter it in a place where it will get some rain and sun and plant in spring.

Eastern arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) the tree above on the right. is a native evergreen that provides year round color, nesting habitat and food for birds, is easy to care for and comes in all sorts of sizes from dwarfs to large trees. The one above is about 16″ tall and will grow to 20′.


Cuttings of the greens from larger trees are also great for winter decor and have a pleasing light fragrance.  Thuja occidentals are also commonly called northern white cedar.

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We want you to be as excited about planting Chesapeake natives as we are. “Plant This or That” gives you a native alternative to popular plants. Other posts highlight really fabulous fauna native to the Chesapeake.

Nuts for Natives, avid gardener, Baltimore City admirer, Chesapeake Bay Watershed restoration enthusiast, and public service fan.

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