These tiny blue flowers are some of the most shade tolerant of the spring flower bulbs.
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.
This plant is ideally used in the front of the flower border and is prone to reseeding. It was a common garden plant in the 18th century.
Since bananas must reach a certain size to set fruit, today they are mostly used in the garden for their dramatic foliage.
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.
These large spring blooming shrubs with edible berries do best in natural areas where they can achieve their full size.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
High Mallow is an upright, bushy plant with magenta flowers and darker purple stripes. It reseeds readily and naturalizes quickly in the garden.
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.
Coffee forms a large shrub with glossy green leaves. It has small white flowers. This plant produces the coffee beans so many of us rely on every day, but in this part of the world is primarily used as an ornamental.
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.
Crocuses cheerfully herald the coming spring with bright yellow flowers. They naturalize easily in gardens, offering clumps which grow larger year by year.
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.
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…
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.
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.
This crocus-like lemon yellow bulb is a surprising and unusual find in the fall garden. They perform best in sunny, protected locations.
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.
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.
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.
Small pinkish-white flowers emerge from corms in September, followed by mottled green and silver ivy-shaped leaves, adding an unexpected touch of color to the fall woodland garden.
A fragrant addition to your summer border, this sturdy plant prefers well-drained soil and afternoon shade in the southern garden.
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 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.
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.
A favorite in the Mount Vernon gardens, this annual reseeds readily. Its pink, blue, and white flowers add height to the spring border.
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.
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.
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.
Odorus Flore Pleno is a medium to small daffodil with double yellow flowers. It is strongly fragrant.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Spiderwort has grassy foliage and interesting purple blossoms, but tends to flop after flowering. It does best in shady locations and benefits from a good haircut after blooming.
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.
Don’t let the name fool you, as stinking hellebore’s evergreen foliage and clusters of drooping, bell-shaped, greenish-white flowers emerging from pale green bracts are a much-needed spot of color in the winter woodland garden. Established plants will readily self-seed to form colonies if flowers…
This airy woodland shrub looks unassuming until it sets its brilliant red fruit in the fall, when it earns its many common names.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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…
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.
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…
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.
This unusual early bulb offers small sunny yellow flowers in March when little else is blooming. In southern zones they benefit from light shade.
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.
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.
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.