Welcome to this site in celebration of a beautiful new public garden in historic Old New Castle, Delaware. It is located behind The Dutch House at 32 East Third St, Old New Castle, DE 19720. Directions

The garden is home to over 200 different species of trees, shrubs, perennials, ferns and grasses. They are all North American native plants and almost every one is native to the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Many are native to Delaware.

If you would like to schedule a guided tour, please contact The New Castle Historical Society at 302-322-2794.

Click on any of the photos for an enlarged view

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lonicera sempervirens 'Major Wheeler'

Honeysuckle still blooming on November 29 starts blooming in early spring and is sure to attract hummingbirds to the garden in the summer. The plant has red berries in the fall.

Viola walteri 'Silver Gem'

This charming little viola was purchased from the excellent Octoraro Farm and Gardens nursery. It is also available via mail order from Wayside Gardens.

Heuchera villosa 'Autumn Bride'

This coral bell cultivar is blooming heavily in late November in this zone 7 garden. This plant is one of a group of nine that is sited in the shade of a Magnolia virginiana (sweet bay magnolia). It tends to remain evergreen in this region.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Forest Pansy redbud

The heartwarming heartshaped leaves of Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy' often show a yellow fall color. The deep pink spring flowers appear before the leaves emerge, the newly emerging foliage is a gorgeous deep and glossy burgundy and the dark grey bark is attractive all year. The tree is best sited with protection from full afternoon sun.

Fothergilla gardenii

Dwarf fothergilla is an elegant small flowering shrub with ornamental value throughout the year. White flowers in spring before the leaves emerge, pretty foliage all summer, fiery fall color and lovely branching architecture all contribute to the beauty of this plant.

Sporobolis heterolepis (prairie dropseed)

The beautiful fall color of Prairie dropseed is one good reason to use this finely textured and relatively small (up to 2-3' high and wide) grass.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Aronia arbutifolia 'Brilliantissima'

You can count on Aronia(red chokeberry) for fantastic fall color along with red berries. The shrub is graced with small white flowers in late spring/early summer, has healthy glossy green foliage all summer then looks like this photograph in autumn. Aronia is easy to grow and tolerant of a wide range of conditions. Here is more information about this small flowering shrub.

There is a deep purple fruiting Aronia melanocarpa (black chokeberry) that is quite beautiful. The fruit of black chokeberry is rich in phytochemicals that contribute to its antioxidant properties. There are several named cultivars selected for plant size, fruit size and quality of foliage.

Aronia arbutifolia 'Brilliantissima'

Here is a closeup of this lovely plant.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Christmas fern

Polystichum acrostichoides or Christmas fern is a lovely evergreen ground cover for your shade garden. It is normally ignored by deer. I like it combined with white wood aster and the native Pachysandra procumbens.

Mt Cuba is offering an exciting new class online for the study of ferns.
It is a very high quality production that is easy to navigate, loaded with beautiful photos and videos of the ferns in the gardens at Mt Cuba and offers printable documents with cultural information about the ferns. There are also valuable suggestions for companion planting arrangements.

Here is a link to an article on the National Parks Conservation Association website regarding native plant gardening.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Juniperus virginiana 'Emerald Sentinel'

This profusion of beautiful blue berries is typical of the eastern red cedar cultivar named 'Emerald Sentinel'. Like most conifers, this plant looks great every day of the year. Cuttings are very long lasting in winter holiday arrangements or wreaths. The shape is a neat, narrow pyramid and current knowledge says that the mature size of this cultivar reaches 6-8 ft wide and 15-20 ft tall making it useful where space is limited. Full sun exposure is best but it is tolerant of sites receiving a little less than that. It is drought tolerant as well as tolerant of moist soils.
The following was copied from the very valuable native plant database created by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
The most widely distributed eastern conifer, native in 37 states, Eastern Red Cedar is resistant to extremes of drought, heat, and cold. Red Cedar can be injurious to apple orchards because it is an alternate host for cedar-apple rust, a fungal disease. First observed at Roanoke Island, Virginia, in 1564, it was prized by the colonists for building furniture, rail fences, and log cabins.