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Native Plants: Problem Solvers

I am not sure whether you have had this experience but in each of the places I have gardened, there is always one particularly challenging feature. This is about plants that solve three common situations.

Planting a heavily traversed corner beneath a large oak tree:

A good friend lives on a lively corner where the garden gets oodles of passersby, pets and kids playing. On top of that, a nearby oak tree shades the area and sends roots out along the ground surface. Despite the challenges, my friend planted a lovely corner bed featuring a native dogwood (Cornus Florida f. rubra) underplanted with a mix of natives and ornamentals.  Dogwoods are understory trees so planting a younger dogwood beneath the canopy of a mature oak tree seems like a great choice.  Two types of coral bells (Heuchera), blue fescue (Festuca glauca) and several ornamental hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) turn what could be a trodden corner into a neighborhood gem of a spot.  The mix of textures, layering of natives with ornamental hydrangeas and selection of plants that do well in dappled shade make this a problem solved!  It’s also a great example of how to blend favorite ornamentals with natives.


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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