Absalon is one of the rarest tulips grown at Mount Vernon. It features yellow flames on maroon petals and is one of the few remaining truly broken tulips.
Absalon is one of the rarest tulips grown at Mount Vernon. It features yellow flames on maroon petals and is one of the few remaining truly broken tulips.
This plant is used as a perennial fodder crop for livestock.
These tiny blue flowers are some of the most shade tolerant of the spring flower bulbs.
This native plum has a sprawling habit, which showcases the beautiful white flowers in spring and the unique pink plums in midsummer. The plants become scaly with age and are somewhat disease prone.
Apples are ideally planted in multiples of different varieties for optimal fruit production, and many also benefit from pollinators to increase the effectiveness of cross-pollination. Most apple trees are grown from scionwood grafted to rootstock, and the kind of rootstock will determine the ultimate…
This underappreciated stone fruit has lovely blossoms early in the spring. Because of their early bloom time, the flowers are susceptible to freezing.
Asparagus is an unusual plant that is primarily cultivated for its edible tender young shoots in the spring. When mature, it has large ferny foliage that is pale green.
These sweet-smelling golden flowers are ideal for the front of the border in spring when bulbs are blooming.
Beets are a popular root crop used for pickling, roasting, and salads. They come in an array of colors, including red, yellow, and red and white striped.
Black locust trees are fast-growing with an open habit, prominent thorns when young, and deeply furrowed bark when mature. Their fragrant white pea-like flowers attract honey bees, who make an aromatic honey from the pollen.
These large spring blooming shrubs with edible berries do best in natural areas where they can achieve their full size.
This unique plant features bright blue-purple flowers on tall green stalks followed by interesting black seedpods. It forms a deep taproot and does not transplant well, so be certain of its location before planting.
Blue Flag is a petite double tulip with flouncy purple petals. Its short stature makes it ideally suited for the front of the border.
Boxwood are the quintessential southern garden hedge plant. They are popular for use in knot gardens, parterres, edging, and as topiaries. While the historic English boxwood (Buxus suffruiticosa) are especially susceptible to a devastating and widespread blight caused by the fungus Cylindrocladium buxicola…
This elegant annual forms an attractive seedhead after blooming and is ideal for the middle of the border in the spring garden. It self-sows reliably, but does not transplant well.
Broccoli is a cool season vegetable which has been cultivated since the Roman Empire. It is grown for its tender florets which can be eaten raw or cooked.
Butter and Eggs is pale yellow double daffodil with many frilly petals. Its height makes it well suited to the middle of the flower border.
Cabbage is a cool season annual that was a staple crop in the colonial period and continues to be so today.
Calendulas are an old fashioned herb with bright yellow or orange flowers. They are profuse bloomers in the spring and fall, but will stop blooming during the hot part of the summer. Their flowers can be used in salads and soaps.
This compact plant is covered in drifts of tiny white flowers in the spring. It blooms at the same time as many of the spring bulbs and provides a nice accent among them.
Canterbury bells are a common sight in cottage gardens. Their bright purple flowers add a richness of color to the pastels of late spring and early summer. They are a short-lived perennial and often need to be replanted.
Give this shrub ample room to sprawl, as it tends to sucker when it's happy. The unusual chocolatey maroon flowers give off a spicy sweet fragrance which is echoed in cut twigs and leaves.
This rambling evergreen vine sports masses of fragrant tubular yellow flowers in late winter and early spring. It is well-suited for use on arbors and fences.
Carrots are a root crop which comes in a wide variety of colors. They can be yellow, orange, or purple. While the purple colored varieties are some of the oldest types, orange varieties of carrots were popular by the mid-1700s. They can be served fresh in salads, or cooked.
Cauliflower is a cabbage relative with broad blue-green leaves and a large white head. It is slow to harvest and benefits from a long cool season.
Celery is a familiar component of Bloody Marys, salads, and soups. It is grown primarily for its crisp stalks which add a mild flavor to food. Celery is a cool season vegetable and does not like the hot summers of the southern part of the country.
This Gallica class rose is full-flowered with luscious petals of a deep crimson. It has fragrant flowers in the spring.
This blue-flowered perennial is common as a roadside weed, but has a long history of being used as an edible or fodder.
Chinaberry is a fast-growing deciduous tree often made of several smaller trunks, as it is able to readily sprout from the roots. The widely spreading crown, pale purple tube-like fragrant blooms, and attractive yellow drupes that persist all winter made it a popular ornamental shade tree in southern…
Chives are a small clump-forming onion relative. The stems are frequently used as a culinary herb, and the flowers are attractive to pollinators.
This elegant climbing rose sports large pink flowers from spring until nearly Christmas. It is lightly fragrant and easily trained to a graceful climbing habit against walls or over trellises.
This cute perennial forms small masses of green foliage with bright yellow or red flowers in the early spring. It is particularly sweet when planted with bulbs or other spring ephemerals in the front of the border.
Cranberrybush has stunning white flowers reminiscent of a hydrangea, which makes up for its somewhat coarse texture and stiffly upright growth.
This clover is used primarily as a cover crop and fodder, but it is also a good nectar source for bees.
Crocuses cheerfully herald the coming spring with bright yellow flowers. They naturalize easily in gardens, offering clumps which grow larger year by year.
This large bulb has striking orange flowers borne on long lily-like flowers in spring. It is best placed on its side when planted to prevent rotting and then left undisturbed.
The highly fragrant damask rose offers a profusion of pink flowers in the spring. Flowers from this large and mostly upright shrub have been used for centuries in perfume making, as well as for rose oil, rose water, and for cooking.
A fragrant spring bloomer, this perennial naturalizes readily. Its white flowers are refreshing among all the pink and blue spring blooms. This flower cuts nicely for pleasant smelling bouquets.
Duc van Tol Red and Yellow is a petite tulip that does best when planted near the front of the border.
Duc van Tol Rose is a petite tulip with pointed pink and white petals.
Early Louisiana is a petite yellow daffodil that is well suited to naturalizing. It does well towards the front of the flower border.
This small, spreading native tree offers a profusion of purplish-pink flowers lining the dark branches in April, followed by large heart-shaped leaves. The redbud evolved in the understory and wood edges of forests, where it is sheltered from intense sunlight, and is prettiest planted among dogwoods…
Eglantine roses are large and sprawling, with single pale pink flowers in late spring and early summer. They are strongly apple-scented and their hips are popular for use in tea. This rose may be restrained by growing on posts or trellises to control its long, thorny canes.
Egyptian walking onions are a unique plant which produces the next generation in a crown of bulblets atop their stalks in lieu of flowers. As the bulblets grow, their weight pulls them to the ground, where they take root to grow new plants. While the young bulbs are mild and can be used as scallions…
Endive has broad, bright green leaves and looks somewhat like a rougher-textured lettuce. It has a sharp, bitter flavor.
Cascading blue flowers on arching stems slowly naturalize in the garden.
With its cute white flower, this petite daisy makes a charming addition to the garden. It is usually grown as a short-lived perennial, but it will reseed if permitted.
Fava beans, a cool season plant, performs best in either the spring or the fall. They are quite robust and can grow to three feet high, producing many large pods which are best eaten shelled.
Flaming Parrot is a favorite here at Mount Vernon, with its bold red stripes on fringed yellow petals. It is a tall, late-blooming tulip that does well in the middle of the border.
This crop has bright blue flowers. It is primarily used to make linen from its fibers and its seeds used as supplements and for linseed oil.
The Florentine tulip is a charming yellow species tulip, with its bright flowers held on long, elegant stems.
The aromatic flowers on this dwarf shrub are redolent of honey. It is a plant of multi-season interest with its brilliant fall foliage and unique branching.
Wands of bell-shaped flowers ascend from a broad, woolly basal rosette. This common cottage garden flower has an important role in the manufacture of heart medicine.
Garlic is a popular ingredient in many types of cooking. This bulbous plant is an onion relative with fleshy green leaves and umbels of pinkish white flowers.
Irises add interesting texture to the spring garden with strappy leaves and unique flowers, nicely accenting the later blooming flower bulbs. They grow to form large clumps which are easily divided and spread around the garden.
Germander is a small, shrubby herb with bright flowers and a distinctive fragrance. It works well as a short, clipped hedge.
Artichokes have large silvery green leaves that make them a striking addition to the garden. Their flower buds are traditionally used for culinary purposes, but if allowed to open offer large, brilliant purple flowers.
A mid-border plant, this pink or lavender flower can flop, but is an attractive addition to the spring garden.
Golden Standard is a brilliant red and yellow broken tulip. Its vibrant flowers bring light to the middle of the border.
Soft silvery foliage, which somewhat resembles French lavender, gives this plant its common name of lavender cotton. It is a good edging plant in sunny, well-drained spots. Santolina was commonly used medicinally and can be used to ward off insects.
Helmar is a yellow and red tulip. Its red flames mimic the pattern of some of the broken tulips of the tulip mania.
Honesty is an old fashioned plant with briliant pink flowers that give way to paper-thin silvery seedpods, hence its many common names.
A woody, twining vine, honeysuckle needs some structure to support itself. It blooms nearly all summer and is attractive to hummingbirds and other pollinators. It is well-suited for arbors, pergolas, and fences.
The Hoop Petticoat is one of the smallest daffodils grown at Mount Vernon and is often crowded towards the front of the border for ease of viewing. It has unique flowers with large bells and slender, petite petals.
This delightful little flower is a harbinger of spring in many gardens, but also adds charm to a fall or winter garden depending on your region. The flowers are edible and can be used to wonderful effect on cakes and in salads.
Keizerskroon is a bold yellow and red tulip that has a strong presence in the spring garden at Mount Vernon. Its colorful flowers are well suited for the middle of the border.
This large, suckering tree produces fragrant showy flowers, followed by a bean-like seedpod and was used in times of scarcity to make a coffee-like beverage. The seeds are very toxic before roasting and should never be eaten raw.
Lac van Rijn has striking white and deep pink flowers that add dramatic appeal to the spring garden.
This sweet white and pink tulip is an elegant mid-border charmer. The white and pink petals open to reveal a nearly pure white interior.
This silver-leafed groundcover does best in well-drained soil, but tolerates adverse conditions. Its purple flowers are attractive to honeybees and bumblebees.
A favorite in the Mount Vernon gardens, this annual reseeds readily. Its pink, blue, and white flowers add height to the spring border.
Leeks are an onion relative with strappy green leaves which an edible stalk which is usually blanched.
Lemon balm is a spreading herb with a strong citrusy fragrance. It can be used for teas and cooking and is frequently used for essential oil. Gardeners should be aware that it can be aggressive and should be carefully contained.
Lettuce is a cool season leafy vegetable that is most frequently used in salads. Its leaves come in a variety of colors, from green to red to splotchy.
This glossy-leafed shade loving shrub has a graceful arching habit and panicles of white flowers in the late spring.
Large fragrant bouquets of purple flowers make this shrub the queen of spring in the northern garden.
This feathery flower blooms in shades of blue, white, and pink, and reseeds easily, but does not transplant well. It is noted for its interesting seedpods.
Maximus is a standard among daffodils for its height and large yellow blooms. It does well in the middle of the border where it can be easily seen.
Mock oranges are common in older gardens, although they are regaining popularity with the introduction of dwarf and double-flowering cultivars. Richly fragrant, they offer a profusion of star-shaped flowers with yellow centers.
Mustard produces a leafy green that can be used for fresh eating, or as a cooked vegetable. It produces pretty yellow flowers that are attractive to pollinators.
A sprawling annual herb, nasturtiums have long been a charming kitchen garden plant. Their flowers, leaves, and seeds are all edible, and add a peppery bite to salads.
A fluffier flower sets this columbine apart from the simpler native type. It has cheerful magenta and white flowers on tall stems and reseeds readily.
Odorus Flore Pleno is a medium to small daffodil with double yellow flowers. It is strongly fragrant.
Old Blush is lightly fragrant with semi-double pink flowers. It blooms throughout the season and can bloom at Mount Vernon well into December.
Onions are commonly planted in the fall for a spring harvest. Red and yellow types are available to grow.
Oregano is a compact slow-spreading herb that is popularly used in cooking. It is very fragrant and attractive to bees and butterflies.
Cheerful red flowers make this late spring to early summer perennial a showstopper. It can be difficult to get started, but once established,poppies are a reliable old-fashioned favorite.
Parsnips are a large root vegetable which somewhat resemble white carrots. They can be used in similar ways. Handling the plants should be done with care, as they can cause severe skin irritation. Gloves and long sleeves are recommended while harvesting.
This small, colonizing tree produces the largest edible fruit indigenous to the United States. It has dark maroon flowers in the early spring which are pollinated by flies.
Peaches are wide fast growing trees that require careful pruning and maintenance in order to produce good quality fruit. Their vibrant pink flowers in spring are charming and attractive to pollinators.
Like other fruit trees, pears require a good deal of maintenance in order to perform well. Many require a chilling period to fully ripen and are good for use in baking and cidermaking.
Peas are tender spring vegetable on short vines. They often have large showy flowers in colors like pink and white. The pods can range in color from purple to green. Peas are best direct sown outdoors in the early months of spring, and if you have a long, cool fall, a second crop can be grown.
Herbaceous, shrub-like plants bear single or double flowers in shades of pink and cream. They are an old-fashioned favorite in East Coast gardens.
This tall spring bulb is crowned by a spike of maroon flowers above gray-green foliage and makes a striking addition to the spring garden. The bulb itself is strongly odoriferous which prevents the depredations of rodents.
The Persian lilac is much more delicate and heat resistant than the common lilac, with a lighter fragrance and smaller flowers.
The Pheasant's Eye daffodil is a clear white daffodil featuring a yellow cup with a red ring. It is one of the later blooming daffodils and it does best towards the middle of the border.
Plums have a sprawling, suckering growth habit and therefore require judicious pruning.
Potatoes are a tomato relative and are often mistaken for them, as their foliage is somewhat similar in appearance. They are an agricultural staple that ranks with wheat and rice as among the most important in the world. Their South American origin is often obscured by their fame as a mainstay crop…
Radishes are a root vegetable that add a pleasant bite (if you like that kind of thing) to salads. They come in a variety of colors including black, purple, red, and white. They are useful as a winter cover or forage crop. Radishes are incredibly easy to grow, with high germination rates and a fast…
Red Hue is a unique tulip, featuring pointed red petals with green centers.
The rhododendron is an evergreen plant with large, lush pinkish purple blossoms in the spring.
Rhubarb is an old-fashioned vegetable, grown for its brilliant red stems which are often used in pies and desserts. While its stems are noted for their culinary qualities, its leaves are poisonous and must be removed before cooking.
This old-fashioned hyacinth has a sparser, more delicate flower than the modern types, but it is much more likely to stick around in the garden. It resists flopping under its own weight and is known to naturalize.
Rosa Mundi is a compact rose which features a profusion of bright striped flowers in the spring. The flowers are fragrant, and this old hardy rose shrugs off most pest problems, making them an easy favorite in the garden.
Rose campion features soft silvery mounds of foliage graced with stalks of stunning pink or white flowers in the late spring and early summer. This short-lived perennial or biennial self-seeds readily, forming large colonies if left unchecked.
Rosemary is a fragrant evergreen shrub which is frequently used in cooking. Its pale blue flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies.
Sage is a woody subshrub with silvery green leaves and pale purple flowers that are attractive to butterflies and other pollinators. It does best in well-drained, sunny locations. For centuries, sage has been a popular herb for cooking, and is also used as an essential oil.
Salsify is a unique biennial root vegetable with grass-like leaves. In the spring it produces masses of daisy-like purple flowers followed by large seedheads that resemble those of dandelions. The root is said to taste somewhat like oysters and looks like a white carrot.
Scotch rose is aggressively thorny but makes up for it with a profusion of white blooms. We recommend a thorn-proof hat when working in the vicinity of this rose! It offers a second show in the fall with showy maroon hips.
Seventeen Sisters is a multi-flowered daffodil which features many small white flowers with yellow cups held on stiffly upright stems. It is very fragrant.
Thick clumps of spiky foliage and bright purple or blue flowers are perfect for mid-border planting. Like their German cousins, these benefit from division so they don't grow hollow in the middle.
Silver standard is a beautiful tulip, with white petals boldly splashed with pink streaks.
These dainty bell-shaped flowers in shades of maroon and white with faint checkered patterns perch atop slender arching stems. They prefer to be grown in cool moist sites.
This colorful cool season annual is a charmer in the middle of the flower border during the spring and fall.
Sweet white flowers naturalize easily in lawns or garden beds. This early bloomer is known for poking through the snow as early as February.
This native plant is a medium deciduous tree with large white flowers in the spring and striking cigar-like seedpods in the fall. It features large heart-shaped leaves.
An iconic tree of the south, magnolias are beautiful in both form, leaf, and flower. Widely for their fragrant blooms, they also provide winter interest with both their seedpods and shiny evergreen leaves which are often used in wreaths.
Spinach is a low-growing leafy green which is ideal in salads, but can also be prepared in soups, stews, or as a cooked green. It is a cool season crop, prone to bolting when summer temperatures get too high.
This clove-scented flower flourishes in cool weather and makes an excellent cut flower.
These easy to grow and delicious fruits are hardy and vigorous producers.
The Swan's Neck daffodil is a white daffodil that keeps its flowers bent toward the earth. It is fairly small and should be planted close to the front for the best viewing opportunities.
Dense mounds of tiny fragrant white flowers form a spreading carpet under large perennials and annuals in the spring border.
This old-fashioned biennial with its cheerful pink and white blossoms in the late spring is a mainstay of cottage gardens.
Swiss chard is a leafy green that can be harvested continually to be used in salads or cooked. Its leaves may be plain green or have red midribs.
Cherry tree species grown primarily for fruit production bloom later than the ornamental varieties. Tart cherries perform best in the humid climate of Virginia's coastal region.
A small, woody sub-shrub, thyme has aromatic leaves and whorls of pink flowers in early summer. It is popularly used as an edging and between stones in walkways. It is also an excellent culinary herb.
Tournesol Red and Yellow is a short double tulip that does well at the front of the flower border.
Turnips are a cool season root vegetable. They produce a large purple and white bulbous taproot which have historically been a winter staple. They can be roasted, mashed, or eaten raw.
Twin Sisters lives up to its name, with each stem bearing two small white and yellow flowers.
Van Sion is a bright yellow daffodil streaked with green. It is double, with many softly pointed petals.
A harbinger of spring, emerging foliage is deep purple but quickly turns green, and is followed by terminal clusters of pendulous, trumpet-shaped blue flowers. Virginia bluebells will rapidly colonize in moist shady areas. They are herbaceous perennials, which means that foliage dies to the ground as…
Virginia pines add a distinctive profile to the landscape, particularly in winter, when they are a bright spot among all the grays and browns. This medium sized pine tree provides habitat for birds, and were used for pine tar, as well as lumber.
This semi-evergreen shrub is native to wetland areas and has an arching habit. Fragrant white flowers appear in summer followed by beautiful maroon foliage in autumn.
Wallflowers are a charming spring bloomer of exceptional hardiness. With yellow and red flowers, this cheerful annual adds vibrancy to the front and middle of the flower border.
Wapen van Leiden is a lovely white tulip brushed with pink. It is well suited to the middle of the border.
The White Rose of York is a large rose with elegant white flowers in the late spring and early summer. It is prone to sprawling and can be tied to posts or trellises to help keep it in check. This rose's beautiful white flowers are followed by rose hips which take on a gorgeous color in the fall.
Wild columbines have dainty red and yellow flowers on long stems above clumps of bright green foliage. They self-seed reliably to form vigorous naturalized colonies.
This unusual early bulb offers small sunny yellow flowers in March when little else is blooming. In southern zones they benefit from light shade.
This common cereal grain is used in distilling, as animal fodder, for cooking, and is also used as a cover crop.
A native of the eastern U.S., this spreading woodland plant has sweet blue flowers, which look wonderful at the front of the spring border. They bloom at the same time as tulips, violas, and other early spring ephemerals.