Many gardeners have started to discover the benefits of gardening with native plants. When established in landscape sites similar to their natural habit, native plants require little maintenance, attract beneficial wildlife to the garden and are well adapted to local soils and climate. There is an abundance of beautiful native plants in Connecticut. Here are a few examples available at Winterberry Gardens:
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, known as Bearberry, is a native evergreen groundcover naturally found in sandy or rocky soil in full to part sun. This low, spreading plant has year round interest. Glossy, dark green foliage with small white to pink, urn shaped flowers in April and May, bright red berries in late summer and bronze colored leaves in the fall and winter.
Clethra alnifolia, known as Sweet Pepperbush, is a native deciduous shrub found along moist woodlands and along the shoreline in full to part sun. It has an upright habit reaching 8′ tall and 6′ wide. The beautiful and fragrant 3″ to 5″ long white or pink flowers are a butterfly attractant and a show stopper.
Ilex verticillata, known as Winterberry, is a native deciduous shrub found at the edge of the woods or in wetland areas in full to part sun. Growing 6-10′ tall and wide, this berried beauty will brighten up any wet area all winter long. A male and a female plant are needed to get berries.
Kalmia latifolia, known as Mountain Laurel, is a native evergreen shrub and also Connecticut’s state flower. Ranging from 5-10′ tall its glossy green leaves become hidden with 4″ to 6″ diameter clusters of pink to white flowers. For best results, plant Mountain Laurel in a cool, moist, acidic and organic soil in part sun.
Vaccinium corymbosum, known as High Bush Blueberry, is a native deciduous shrub. Known widely for its delicious summer bearing fruit, the High Bush Blueberry is a great addition to the landscape with year-round interest. Fine-textured foliage and a rounded shape bring interest during the spring. In early summer, urn-shaped pink or white flowers will turn into deliciousberries attracting wildlife of all kinds. In the fall, its foliage ranges from yellow to red. Finally during the winter, the bark turns a rusty-red or yellow-green color.
Native shrubs can be used in any designed landscape whether it is formal, informal or something in between. When using native plants, please remember to purchase local nursery propagated and grown plants and never remove native plants from the wild. Incorporating native plants into your design also helps to maintain and preserve the natural beauty of your local landscape.