Garden Design

Today we’re off to New York City with Virginia Sherry, a plant lover and founder of the nonprofit Native Plant Society of Staten Island.

Good morning! The native and nonnative plants in my garden are starting to bloom, and the bees are visiting. Here are some highlights.

small yellow flowersOeothera is a large genus. Some species, like this native (sundrops, Oenothera fruticosa, Zones 4–8), have flowers that open during the day and go by the common name of sundrops, while others open up in the evening and are called evening primroses.

Bachelor's button flowerNative to Europe, Bachelor’s button (Centaurea cyanus, annual) also goes by the common name of cornflower because it used to be a common weed in grain fields. Now it is grown on purpose for its beautiful flowers.

Mediterranean bellsMediterranean bells (Nectaroscordum siculum, Zones 4–8) has clusters of nodding flowers in early summer. A close relative of ornamental onions (and classified in the genus Allium by taxonomists), it has an oniony smell if you bruise the foliage, which makes it unappealing to deer, rabbits, and other pests.

Pink wood sorrelPink wood sorrel (Oxalis crassipes ‘Rosea’, Zones 6–10) is a little bulb that makes a nice clump of bright green leaves topped with bright pink flowers that can be produced all summer in the right conditions. In hot, dry summers it will go dormant and return in the fall or spring.

purple clematisA clematis vine (Clematis hybrid, large-flowered group, Zones 4–11) with a huge purple flower.

columbine flowersAn elegant columbine (Aquilegia hybrid, Zones 3–9) flower. These perennials tend to be short-lived in the garden but self-seed to perpetuate themselves.

purple bugleweedBugleweed (Ajuga reptans, Zones 3–10) is often grown primarily for its attractive, ground-covering foliage, but the flowers are pretty nice as well.

bright right rose bloomThe particularly intense glowing orange color of this rose (Rosa hybrid, Zones 5–10) suggests that it’s the classic variety ‘Tropicana’.

Catmint bloomThese are actually the flower buds of catmint (Nepeta racemosa, Zones 4–8), which are attractive on their own right even before the purple flowers emerge.

Daisy fleabane flowerDaisy fleabane (Erigeron annuus, annual) is a durable native annual that grows and flowers happily in all sorts of difficult sites.

Have a garden you’d like to share?

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