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Do native plants sound foreign?

Updated: Apr 24, 2018

Do you want to help the local wildlife but are afraid that would mean planting a hippie garden full of strange-looking plants? Have no fear! You can create habitat using familiar plants in traditional landscaping settings.

· Ornamental trees

What could be more traditional than Virginia’s state tree? The flowering dogwood (Cornus floridus) has berries that feed the birds.

· Shade trees

Planting a shade tree provides an enormous amount of habitat for butterflies and birds in one easy step. The white oak (Quercus alba) is the hands-down winner in providing food for the caterpillars that songbirds need to feed their babies.

· Shrubs

Covered with clusters of white and pink flowers in May, mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) will satisfy your need for old-fashioned foundation plantings.

· Perennials

Anyone who has gardened – and anyone who has not – looks forward to the profusion of yellow flowers in late summer provided by Black-eyed Susan (Rudbecki fulgida). Add garden phlox (Phlox paniculata) for that English cottage garden look.

· Ground cover

A carpet of blue in the spring gives way to a carpet of green the rest of the year with creeping phlox (Phlox subulata).

All these gorgeous Northern Virginia native plants attract wildlife and add sound and lively movement to the beauty of your yard.


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