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.

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