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.
Sweet acacia bears golden, sweet-smelling flower during the winter months that are attractive to a variety of pollinators. Its ferny foliage and serpentine branch structure add interest to the garden. Acacia trees make almost impenetrable hedges due to their thorny branches, while the flowers are used…
This unique plant looks more suited to a desert climate, but it is found wild up and down the east coast. Its strappy leaves are crowned by huge spikes of creamy white flowers every other year.
This upright yellow-flowering plant, with its distinctive odor, is a classic of the summer border.
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.
Since bananas must reach a certain size to set fruit, today they are mostly used in the garden for their dramatic foliage.
These sweet-smelling golden flowers are ideal for the front of the border in spring when bulbs are blooming.
All parts of this bold shrub are fragrant. It particularly deserves its name for the profusion of amethyst purple berries borne on its long branches.
Bee Balm is a tall summer-blooming perennial with brilliant red flowers subtended by a whorl of showy, red-tinged, leafy bracts. The aromatic leaves can be used for tea, but are susceptible to mildew, so this plant needs good air circulation. A member of the mint family, bee balm spreads readily by rhizomes…
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.
A cottage garden favorite, black-eyed susan features masses of ferociously yellow flowers that attract butterflies. They are incredibly hardy and tolerate a wide variety of conditions, making them ideal for naturalizing.
Blackberry lilies are named for their glossy black seeds which look nearly identical to an actual blackberry. They have beautiful orange flowers with darker spots on long graceful stems above strappy green foliage.
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.
Blue sky vine is a large, twining vine that boasts beautiful pale blue flowers. It is a rapid grower and becomes quite large over the course of a season.
Boston Marrows are large, bright orange squashes that can weigh anywhere between 10 and 50 lbs., although 25 lbs. is more common. They are an excellent eating squash and can be turned into soups or pies.
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.
This large plant is used to make brooms. However, it is not a true corn.
Airy blue flowers form a stunning mass mid-border late in the season when many other flowers are fading. In southern climates, this plant self-sows with vigor.
Brown-eyed Susans form masses of bright gold flowers above dark green foliage. It will flop without a midseason trim to keep it from getting too tall. It is ideal for naturalizing because it reseeds readily.
The bullnose pepper is a type of sweet pepper which produces abundantly. Its fruits are somewhat smaller than modern bell peppers and they are susceptible to sunscald. However, they have an excellent flavor.
Bush beans are compact, low growing plants that produce large crops of beans. They can be used for fresh eating or as dry beans.
Bush lima beans are vigorous, productive plants. Their smaller size makes them easy to grow in the home garden and they still provide a bounteous harvest. They can be used dry or fresh.
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.
Butterfly peas are short lived tropical perennials with striking blue flowers. They have a twining habit and prefer rich, moist, well-drained soils. They make attractive container plants in Virginia.
This plant features brilliant orange flowers that light up the garden and are attractive to pollinators, including monarchs and honeybees.
This petite, graceful gladiolus features bright pink flowers on long, elegant stems. It is somewhat hardier than most modern gladioli.
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.
The vibrant red blooms of the cardinal flower makes it an ideal plant for the shady summer garden. It reseeds readily and is ideal for naturalizing and sharing with friends.
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.
Cayenne peppers are large prolific plants. They produce bountiful crops of slender, spicy red peppers that can be used fresh or dried.
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.
High Mallow is an upright, bushy plant with magenta flowers and darker purple stripes. It reseeds readily and naturalizes quickly in the garden.
This blue-flowered perennial is common as a roadside weed, but has a long history of being used as an edible or fodder.
The pink, purple, or white flowers of this cheerful daisy are an excellent midsummer accent in any flower garden.
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.
Spires of pink and white bracts crown this large-leafed salvia. It has been used as an herb since the Middle Ages and is currently used as flavoring for wines, vermouth, and liqueurs.
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.
A sturdy long-blooming annual, this impressive plant is ideal for the back of the border. Its bright flowers come in many colors, including hot pink, peach, deep rose, yellow, and red.
The name "cowpea" was probably coined for their use as a fodder crop for cows, and while grown for their edible bean, the leaves and pods can also be consumed. Black-eyed peas can be harvested as a snap bean, or dried, and are the main ingredient in Hoppin' John, a traditional Southern dish ritually…
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.
Cucumbers are a vining plant with yellow flowers and slightly prickly stems. There are many varieties which produce cucumbers of different sizes and shapes.
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.
Dipper gourds are sprawling plants that produce enormous quantities of fruit over the course of the season. The gourds they produce can be used to make drinking vessels, birdhouses, and other decorative items.
This unique late-blooming bulb sports maroon flower-heads, for which it earns its common of drumstick allium.
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…
This plant's large leaves add a unique texture to the back of the border, while its yellow flowers provide late season interest. Elecampane is used in France and Switzerland to make absinthe.
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.
Fragrant spires of dark purple flowers above silvery foliage light up the garden border in summer. If trimmed after blooming, they will flower again. Their flowers may be used in sachets or as flavoring in baking and drinks.
This crocus-like lemon yellow bulb is a surprising and unusual find in the fall garden. They perform best in sunny, protected locations.
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.
The fig tree dates back to ancient times and is an important source of food for many cultures. Flowers are borne inside the fig structure (syconium), and the fig is ripe and at its sweetest when it softens and turns dark late in the season. Coarse-textured leaves, which are large and deeply lobed, are…
Fish peppers are hot peppers with variegated white leaves. The peppers themselves are often streaked with white and start green before maturing to red.
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.
Named for the time of day the bloom opens, four o'clocks will attract hummingbirds and nocturnal pollinators to your garden. This bushy plant reseeds readily, producing hundreds of large black seeds that resemble hand grenades.
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.
French marigolds are iconic garden plants with distinctly fragrant leaves. The flowers are single, semi-double, double, or crested in shades of yellow, orange, or red, and can also be bi-colored. When planted in the vegetable garden, marigolds can repel certain pests, such as white flies on tomatoes…
This dazzling plant blooms in masses of yellow flowers with deep burgundy stripes and is the star of the fall garden.
Garden phlox has long been a staple of the perennial border, providing height and bright blooms at the back of the bed. The pink flowers are fragrant and attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds.
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.
This magenta gem is well suited to the front of the border. Its lush blooms are attractive to butterflies, and they hold their color well when cut for use in dried arrangements.
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.
An unusual flower for the summer garden, these blue thistle-like blooms add a unique texture. If cut back after blooming, they will send up new flowers. They make excellent dried and cut flowers.
This large-flowered, cheerful plant is perfect for dry, difficult spots. It self-sows readily in variations of orange, yellow, and gold.
Golden Standard is a brilliant red and yellow broken tulip. Its vibrant flowers bring light to the middle of the border.
This uncommon shrub produces tart green fruits in summer that are suitable for jams and desserts. They have many sharp thorns and some care should be used when working around them.
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.
This tall, late blooming perennial adds a pleasant blue to shady glades in the summer. Native to Virginia, it is often found along stream banks and in wetland areas. It self seeds enthusiastically.
One of the most cold tolerant hibiscuses, this plant has pale pink flowers with a red eye. It adds an interesting texture to the summer border.
A fragrant addition to your summer border, this sturdy plant prefers well-drained soil and afternoon shade in the southern garden.
Helmar is a yellow and red tulip. Its red flames mimic the pattern of some of the broken tulips of the tulip mania.
Hemp is originally from central Asia, and has been cultivated throughout history as a source of fiber, seed, oil, and medicine.
Hollyhocks are old-fashioned cottage garden favorites for their height and cheerful flowers in a wide range of colors. Most require staking to support their heavy stems.
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.
Horseradish is a large spreading vegetable, used primarily for its pungent roots. It should be given a confined space, as it spreads rapidly if left unchecked.
This versatile hydrangea tolerates a wide variety of conditions and is ideal for borders or natural areas. It benefits from an annual pruning in late winter to prevent the heavy blooms from flopping.
This large tropical plant is used for various medicinal and economic purposes. The oil from the nuts is currently being studied as a potential source for biodiesel.
Jerusalem artichoke is a perennial sunflower relative that produces a profusion of bright yellow flowers atop ten foot stalks. It is valued for its edible tubers, which resemble the flavor of water chestnuts.
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.
This voluptuous annual is grown for its showy multicolored foliage in shades of green, yellow, and red.
Kale is a popular leafy green that can be used cooked or in salads. It is also used as an ornamental plant in fall gardens. Historically, coarser types have been used as animal fodder.
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.
Key limes are small citrus trees with highly fragrant white blossoms. They produce many delightful fruits which are excellent for cooking. In this region, they are best grown in pots so that they can be moved in and out as the temperatures dictate.
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.
Lantana is a colorful, shrubby annual with masses of flowers in shades of orange, yellow, and pink. Its leaves give off a distinctive smell and it produces bluish-black seeds. Lantana is commonly used as a bedding plant because of its long bloom season.
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.
As with the other tropicals grown at Mount Vernon, the lemons are grown in pots so that they can be moved into a greenhouse for the winter.
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.
Large fragrant bouquets of purple flowers make this shrub the queen of spring in the northern garden.
This iconic evergreen tree of the south forms a wide spreading canopy and is often draped with Spanish moss. They are extremely resilient, which allows them to survive the severe weather patterns of the southern part of the country.
Lombardy poplar is best suited as a street tree or short-lived privacy screen. It is very fast-growing to approximately 40 feet.
The Long Island Cheese pumpkin is an excellent eating pumpkin and is well-suited for making pies. It is a beautiful tan pumpkin with deep lobes that grows on huge, sprawling vines.
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.
Love-lies-bleeding is an elegant cottage garden plant with cascading crimson flowers that are excellent for the summer border and as a cut flower.
Bright orange flowers offer a sharp contrast to the pinks and purples that proliferate in the early summer border. Maltese cross reseeds fairly easily, but can be choked out by more aggressive perennials.
Mangelwurzels are incredibly large beets, sometimes over a foot long. They have typical red and green foliage, but their roots can weigh as much as 10 lbs.
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.
This late blooming perennial adds height and colorful spires to the end of summer shade garden. It prefers afternoon shade in the southern garden, but will tolerate sun further north.
This southern grape must be harshly pruned to keep it in check and producing vigorously. They are best used as table grapes, or for jams and jellies. If left unattended, it will rapidly take over your garden.
Muskmelons are a trailing, vining plant with small yellow flowers which often performs better when grown on a trellis. They produce fruit in a wide variety of shapes and colors. Their fruits are frequently fragrant.
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.
The pink and purple flowers of asters add color and height to the late summer garden. Due to their spreading habit they will naturalize when planted in the garden. A mid-spring trim will delay bloom time and help keep them restrained.
This towering perennial is crowned with clusters of brilliant purple flowers. The size can be kept in check by a mid-spring pruning.
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.
This tall Virginia native has spires of bright pink flowers and can be seen growing along waterways and woodland trails. It makes an excellent addition the back of the border, but be prepared for some spreading. It does not earn its name by staying in one place, but due to the ability to manipulate…
Odorus Flore Pleno is a medium to small daffodil with double yellow flowers. It is strongly fragrant.
Okra is a tall plant with cheerful yellow flowers that are reminiscent of hibiscus blossoms. They produce green seedpods that are best harvested when they are 2 to 3 inches long.
Old Blush is lightly fragrant with semi-double pink flowers. It blooms throughout the season and can bloom at Mount Vernon well into December.
This large subtropical plant has brilliant pink flowers which bloom through summer in the Mount Vernon gardens.
Onions are commonly planted in the fall for a spring harvest. Red and yellow types are available to grow.
Seville oranges are a small to medium citrus tree which produce bitter, unpleasant tasting oranges.
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.
Palmettos are the most northern palm to grow in the United States. They were a common food source for southern Native American tribes.
Parsnips are a large root vegetable which somewhat resemble white carrots and can be used in similar ways. Just like the wild parsnip, cultivated plants attract a range of pollinators and are host plants for several moths and butterflies, including swallowtails. Handling the plants should be done with…
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.
Persimmons are an unusual American fruit that can colonize in abandoned fields and open woods. Female trees bear astringent orange fruits that become fully ripe after a frost.
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.
These airy, colorful flowers are mildly fragrant and a pleasant addition to the flower border.
Plums have a sprawling, suckering growth habit and therefore require judicious pruning.
Pole lima beans are vigorous plants that do best when grown on trellises. They are fast growing and produce beans which can be used fresh or dried.
This large shrub boasts vibrant orange flowers in the summer which ripen into large orange-red fruits.
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…
This citrus tree produces fragrant flowers followed by large fruits which are larger and sweeter than a grapefruit.
This native perennial has vibrant magenta flowers which add contrast to the overwhelming yellows and reds of the summer garden. The showy daisy-like flowers borne on stiff stems attract goldfinches if left to go to seed.
Raspberries are a sprawling thorny plant which benefit from a large growing area and the removal of older canes. They produce their first crop of fruit in May and June, and a later crop in August.
Red currants are a small tart fruit best harvested in June. They prefer well-drained soils as well as cool summer climates.
Red Hue is a unique tulip, featuring pointed red petals with green centers.
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.
Shining white flowers are attractive to pollinators and light up the garden. This type of hibiscus is fairly hardy in northern regions.
Rosemary is a fragrant evergreen shrub which is frequently used in cooking. Its pale blue flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies.
Rutabagas are a cool season root vegetable which can also be used as a fall cover crop. The large root is purple and white and the leaves are usually bluish-green. It can be boiled, baked, roasted, or mashed, as well as eaten raw in salads.
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.
This is one of the most ancient plants still alive today.
Sainfoin is a fodder crop that is highly nutritious for livestock and also provides nectar for bees.
This perennial herb is primarily grown for its flavorful leaves, which are used in salads, soups, and cold drinks. Its flavor is reminiscent of cucumbers, and it may be substituted for mint in many recipes.
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.
This plant is the largest hibiscus grown at Mount Vernon, as well as the longest flowering. Its brilliant red blooms are a bold statement in the summer border. It is native to the swamps and marshes of Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.
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.
Seminole squash are spherical to pear-shaped and lightly ribbed with a tan skin. With its sweet, deep orange flesh, this squash is excellent when baked or roasted, and keeps for months (over a year in one MV gardener's pantry!). Named for the native Americans growing it in Florida when the Spaniards…
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.
A tall, brash plant with chrome yellow flowers brightens the summer border. Easy to grow, it tolerates a wide variety of conditions, although a haircut in the spring will prevent flopping later.
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.
This stately tree is well-known for its fall color and production of maple syrup. It is a tree of northern forests and does not tolerate the heat or humidity of the south.
This dense suckering shrub tolerates wet soils and shade. In late summer it bursts into bloom, with long panicles of fragrant white flowers, followed by attractive yellow fall color.
These gorgeous native plants bloom in a variety of colors and sizes, including pale yellow, oranges, and golds. Some are grown merely for their beauty while others, such as the Mammoth sunflower, are grown for their seeds.
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.
Sweet potatoes are vigorous, running plants that will easily exceed their allotted space in the garden if not kept under control. They should be grown in mounds, much the way one would grow potatoes. They are extremely cold sensitive and should be planted after the soil has warmed in the spring and harvested…
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.
On a winter's day, the sight of the sycamore's bright white trunk against a blue sky is breathtaking. This tree can grow to massive proportions when well-sited and should be given plenty of space, especially since they can be messy.
Tansy is a tough plant that can grow in almost any sunny spot. While its ferny foliage and clusters of cheerful yellow button flowers are attractive, it can be invasive due to its underground runners and propensity to re-seed.
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.
Peanuts are small leguminous plants with many bright yellow flowers. They form their fruits underground and they should be harvested in the fall when the plant begins to yellow.
Featuring airy foliage and golden flowers, this native plant is an attractive addition to the front of the border. It spreads by runners and is easily divided to share with your friends and neighbors. It is native to Fairfax County, Virginia.
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.
This summer blooming perennial has strap-like leaves and large orange flowers. Because it naturalizes easily, this daylily can be commonly seen in roadside ditches and marking the sites of old outhouses.
This plant is used for the production of its leaves, which provide the tobacco which goes into cigarettes, cigars and other forms. It can also be used as an ornamental, with its dramatic height and delicate pink flowers
Tournesol Red and Yellow is a short double tulip that does well at the front of the flower border.
One of the largest native trees in North America, the tulip poplar can reach heights of 150 feet in nature. It is actually a member of the magnolia family, and named for its distinct tulip-shaped leaves and flowers. These showy, goblet-shaped, orange-yellow-green flowers appear in late spring after the…
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.
This umbelliferous perennial is attractive to bees and other pollinators. It is mildly fragrant. Valerian is an excellent addition to the back of the garden and it reseeds readily.
Van Sion is a bright yellow daffodil streaked with green. It is double, with many softly pointed petals.
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.
Virginia White Gourdseed corn is an exceptionally tall variety that produces very firm kernels which are best suited to milling or use as a feed corn.
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.
Watermelon plants are vigorous, vining plants which need to be given quite a bit of space to ramble in. They produce large melons of varying sizes and colors, depending on the variety.
Classically planted in moist areas such as lakes and ponds, this elegant tree should be given plenty of room and planted well away from structures.
Mulberry trees can be found throughout North America in fencerows, abandoned fields, and urban areas, due to the propensity for their seeds to be spread by birds who ravenously feed on the fruit. The glossy, serrated leaves take different forms on the same tree, generally undivided or distinctly lobed…
White oaks are well known for their distinctive silhouette. They are massive trees which provide excellent shade as well as habitat for birds and other wildlife. Their acorns are especially attractive to deer and squirrels.
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.
A more delicate species than its red-flowered cousin, bergamot has lovely lavender flowers and a more graceful look. It is attractive to bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
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.
Bird peppers are large plants, easily growing to 6 feet over the course of a season. They thrive in the heat of the year and produce masses of tiny red peppers with a lot of heat and excellent flavor.
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.
Winterberry is a relatively insignificant woodland plant until its brilliant red berries light up the winter landscape. It is a native shrub of eastern wetlands and provides excellent habitat for songbirds.
The yellow buckeye is a large deciduous shade tree. Susceptible to leaf scorch in full sun, it is best planted in an area with afternoon shade. Despite their showy flowers produced in upright clusters measuring up to 6 inches tall, they are most commonly known for their large mahogany-colored nuts, which…
Crookneck squash grow in a dense, leafy clump and produce many yellow squashes which need to be harvested nearly every day. They are susceptible to most squash pests, including squash bugs, powdery mildew, and squash vine borers.
Yellow willows are often used as hedges and screens. They can be repeatedly cut down to encourage a bushy habit which shows off their flashy golden stems.