We are all about the Natives around here! Drought tolerant, water-wise plants that can deal with our little bit of Maine and little bit of Florida that we call Northern Virginia.
What do I mean by that? A little bit of Maine: We get the bitter cold and snow, don’t we? Yes. A little bit of Florida: We get the hot, humid days that feel like we could cut through them with a machete, don’t we? Yes. See? A little bit of Maine, and a little bit of Florida. That is zone 7 on the US Department of Agriculture’s climate map for planting. We are currently in prime planting time, so I figured it was the prime time for telling you about my favorite Virginia native plants.
Here they are in no particular order:
The State Tree, Dogwood. Elegant four sided flowers in either white, soft yellow or even a Cherokee Brave Rubia, the State tree is an understory tree that can get up to 35 ft. They have delicate branches and make lovely statements in the yard.
Fast growing, Bald Cypress. They love the water, and can grow quite quickly, the peeling bark is stately and beautiful. If you grew up around them, you remember the fun little cones that they create that are perfect for throwing at siblings and pretending like they just fell…
A great shrub, Viburnum. There are like 150 species of Viburnum and they flower and make berries and change color in fall or have evergreen leaves which are super-green and slightly itchy if you rub against them (don’t recommend doing that). This is a strong shrub, great to border, add in for greenery and generally keep in the garden.
A wonderful perennial, Echinacea. They come back year after year, blooming late summer to early fall bringing with them droves of butterflies and bumble bees! Purple cone flower is a wonderful addition to a native Virginia garden and is one of those fabulous “cut and come again” flowers, so you can enjoy them inside in a vase and outside in the garden. When the petals fall off and they go to seed… watch the cardinals flock to you!
A short-lasting Spring arrival,Virginia Bluebell. If you want to know where you can sneak off to see droves and droves of these gorgeous phlox cousins, head out towards Manasas Battle Field to the Old Stone Bridge. If you time it right and get there in mid April, you can see these electric bluebells doing their magical thing… it is like gnomes live there and well… it is just beautiful. Add some of these bad boys to your mix and you will not be disappointed.
I found this great chart from Merrifield Garden Center of all sorts of Virginia Native Plants showing their favorite spots in the garden, light levels, etc. Happy Gardening!
Tags: bald cypress, bluebells, cold tolerant plants, dogwood, drought tolerant plants, echineachea, Gardening in northern virginia, Native Virginia Plants, planting in zone 7, purple cone flower, Viburnum