How about some planting designs where all of the planning has been done for you?
Mailbox Garden Plan by Elisa Meara, President, Native Plant Landscape Design
Of course, the very best place to start your native garden is the official Native Plants for Northern Virginia guide. These plants are naturally beautiful, enhancing your property and requiring less care while benefiting birds, butterflies and pollinators. The guide also includes a quick reference section on best planting conditions. You can also order a print copy from our store.
Design your garden online
This tool walks you through the process of choosing the right plants. Not all are native to Northern Virginia, but all are native to the greater region.
The Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources has published a Green Book of the (Chesapeake Bay Watershed) Buffer, aka the GBB. Follow the link for a variety of garden plans.
Large outbreaks of pests can be episodic if conditions are right. Good cultural practices, however, and planting the right plant in the right place will minimize pests (which often proliferate on stressed plants). Here are a few pointers on managing pests sustainably. Keep in mind that insects in general are an essential part of your garden as well as of the ecosystem and are to be encouraged, not discouraged! Without a natural balance of invertebrates, your garden cannot flourish.
Looking to add natural habitat in a hurry? We've got the solution! Fill in your Sunny / Shady areas with these beautiful additions to your yard!
Plant native plants! There are many NOVA natives that are relatively unpalatable to deer and that make a good choice in deer-ridden environments. But the ones that are vulnerable to deer need our protection. Give them a place to grow!