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, July 24, 2012

Heliopsis helianthoides (early sunflower)3-6'h, yellow bloom in summer, part to full sun, dry to wet soil tolerant, native to mid -Atlantic and northeast region of US
IllinoisWildflowers.info webpage has more information on this plant and its faunal associations.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Rhododendron arborescens var georgiana (decid azalea) fragrant white/pink flower Aug/Sept, 5-10'h, average to dry well drained acidic soil, part to full sun, orange/yellow/red fall color, this variety found in GA and AL

The Allure of Native Azaleas of the Eastern US by Mt Cuba.
Aster novae-angliae 'Purple Dome' (new name is Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) (New England aster) up to 2'h, full sun, dark purple blooms late summer into autumn, attractive to butterflies, species native to mid-Atlantic region and much of the US, 'Purple Dome' selected and introduced by Mt Cuba

Missouri Botanical Gardens webpage
Rhododendron Westons 'Lemon Drop' (decid azalea) 6-12'h, yellow flowers July, red/yellow fall color, part to full sun, selected hybrid of viscosum

Here is a fine post from GrowingWithPlants.com regarding this wonderful fragrant summer blooming deciduous azalea.
Cuteness in the native plant garden

Here is a link to a fact sheet produced by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife with more information on eastern cottontails whose life expectancy is typically up to one year.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Phlox paniculata 'Blue Paradise' (garden or summer phlox)full sun, 3-4'h, deep blue/purple blooms Jul-Sept, moist well drained soil, attracts butterflies/hummingbirds, species native to much of eastern half of North America
NorthCreek Nurseries webpage

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Asclepias incarnata(swamp or pink milkweed)2-4'h, pink flowers mid to late summer, part to full sun, moist to wet soil, attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, native to DE and much of the eastern half of US

This is a very pretty flower and long blooming perennial that is really popular with many insects including what appears to be a monarch butterfly.
Video of butterfly
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Red admiral maybe? Native Delaware
Delaware skipper maybe?
Here are links to more videos taken in the garden on July 13
Bees on Asclepias incarnata
Blue wings
These blue wing wasps are a great example of a beneficial insect that you should welcome in your garden for the beetle grub control that it provides.
Bees, wasps and more
White moths
Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) deciduous shrub, 4-6'h/w, moist soil, part to full sun, pink flowers in summer, glossy purple fruit in late summer/fall, flowers and fruit valuable to birds and butterflies, native to south east US

Floridata.com webpage has a photo of the glossy purple fruit that this small shrub yields.
Panicum virgatum 'Heavy Metal' (switch grass) 3-4'h, upright blue summer foliage, yellow fall color with red seedheads, full sun, dry to moist soil tolerant, species native to much of central and eastern North America

NorthCreek Nurseries webpage

The cool blue summer foliage color is really pretty in the garden. This cultivar is typically strongly erect and drought tolerant when established. It is flopping a little bit on the adjacent brick sidewalk probably due to the extreme heat and drought we have been experiencing.

Below is a photo of the lovely soft seed heads.


This switchgrass provides food and shelter for a large variety of birds and insects including the Delaware skipper according to the Illinois Wildflowers webpage.
Eupatorium dubium 'Little Joe' (Joe Pye weed)full-part sun, moist soil, 4'h, pink flower summer, attracts butterflies, species native to mid-Atlantic and northeast US

This plant was labeled as the cultivar 'Little Joe' which should only grow to 3-4' high. This plant is flowering at about 6' high so it may have been mislabeled.
Here is the American Beauties website describing 'Little Joe' and noting the benefit of the shorter plant is a better view of the butterflies on the flowers.
Coreopsis verticillata 'Route 66' (tickseed) yellow flowers with red center summer, full sun, 2'h, species is native to parts of mid-Atlantic and southeast US, this cultivar was discovered in a garden in northwestern PA

PerennialResource.com has a perennial encyclopedia, glossary of terms, photos, garden quotations and much more of interest to the gardener. They have a photo of this plant showing how the flowers become more predominately red late in the season.
Lobelia cardinalis 'Fried Green Tomatoes' (cardinal flower)3'h, red flower in mid to late summer, part to full sun, moist soil, species native to most of North America excepting the northwest region

NorthCreek Nurseries webpage

The plant in the foreground is a winterberry holly cultivar called 'Winter Gold'.
Ruellia humilis (wild petunia)1'h sprawling, pale purple flower in summer, part sun, moist soil, native to mid Atlantic/central/southeast regions of US

Illinois wildflowers
webpage lists faunal associations for plants and states that leaf cutting bees sometimes use the leaves of this wild petunia for their nests.
Delaware Department of Agriculture has produced a brochure called Farming for Native Pollinators that is filled with information on different bees, how they function as pollinators, how to provide nesting sites as well as plants to attract the bees.
Eryngium yuccifolium (rattlesnake master)4-5'h, green/white flower mid to late summer, well drained to dry soil, full sun, native to central and eastern US excepting northeast

Illinois wildflowers webpage has more information and photos of this interesting plant.
Euonymus americanus (hearts-a-burstin) 6-12'h, deciduous shrub, green stems in winter, small pale green flowers late spring, very showy red/orange fruit in fall, part to full shade, DE native

Izel Native Plants for Your Garden
has a nice photo of this fruit in its very
showy red/orange stage.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Allium cernuum (nodding onion)full sun, 12"h, pink flower early summer, dead head if self sowing undesirable, native to mid-Atlantic region of US

Illinois Wildflowers
webpage says that nodding flowers are an evolutionary adaptation that tends to restrict insect visitors to bees and also might protect the nectar from rain.
Eupatorium coelestinum (hardy ageratum or blue mistflower) 2-3'h, blue flower late summer, part to full sun, moist to dry soil tolerant, native to eastern US, attractive to butterflies/bees/other insects

American Beauties Native Plants webpage
Stokesia laevis 'Peachie's Pick' (Stokes aster) 12-18"h, lavender/blue flower summer, average to dry soil, well drained, native range southeastern US

NorthCreek Nurseries webpage
This is a before picture of the brick sidewalk that runs in front of the tool shed towards the gate leading into the native plant garden. Water and silt have been collecting in this area due to sunken sections of the paving. This has been contributing to damage to the bottom of the tool shed door.


Here is a picture of the finished brick work that includes the addition of a new brick landing on the native plant garden side of the gate.


And here is a picture of the new landing as viewed from inside the native plant garden.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Echinacea 'Harvest Moon' (coneflower) full sun, avg -dry soil, gold flowers summer, 2-3'h, this plant is a result of cross between purpurea and paradox - purpurea native to much of the eastern half of the US and paradox is native to a few south central states in the US, attractive to bees/birds/butterflies

Visit coneflowers.net to view photos of the large selection of different cultivars.
Echinacea 'Sundown' (coneflower) part to full sun, avg-dry soil, red/orange flowers summer, 2-3'h, same parent plants as 'Harvest Moon'

Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan' (coneflower)2-3'h, white flower summer into fall, part to full sun, moist well drained to dry soil, species is native to central and eastern US

NorthCreek Nurseries webpage

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Aster umbellatus (Doellingeria umbellata) (flat topped aster) white flower mid to late summer, full sun, moist soil, up to 5'h, native to De and much of the eastern US


Connecticut Botanical Center Wildflowers webpage
Monarda fistulosa 'Claire Grace' (bee balm, wild bergamot)3-4'h, dark pink/purple flower in summer, part to full sun, moist soil, attractive to bees/butterflies/hummingbirds, species is native to much of the US


NorthCreek Nurseries webpage
Phlox paniculata 'Blue Paradise' (garden or summer phlox)full sun, 3-4'h, deep blue/purple blooms Jul-Sept, moist well drained soil, attracts butterflies/hummingbirds, species native to much of eastern half of North America


NorthCreek Nurseries webpage
Spiraea alba (white meadowsweet) deciduous shrub, 3-6'h, dry to wet soil, part to full sun, white/pink flowers in summer, attractive to birds and butterflies, native to DE


Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
webpage states that this plant has special value to native bees and that it is the larval food and nectar source for the spring azure butterfly.
Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush) deciduous shrub, 4' h/w, moist to wet soil, full sun, pink flowers mid to late summer, attracts butterflies,


Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center webpage states that this plant has special value to native bees.
Pycnanthemum incanum(mountain mint) 2-4'h, white flowers July-Sept, favored by butterflies/moths/beneficial wasps, part to full sun, native to mid Atlantic and southeast regions of US


Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center webpage states that this plant has special value to native bees, bumblebees and honeybees. It is also favored by beneficial wasps. Some suggest using the leaves as a mosquito repellent by rubbing them on skin or clothing.
Verbena hastata (blue vervain)4-6'h, purple flowers late summer, moist to wet soil, full sun, native to mid Atlantic region and most of the US


Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center webpage states that in ancient times this plant was thought to be a cure all among medicinal plants and that the Latin name means sacred plant.


Here is a closeup view of the lovely flowers of Verbena hasata.
Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly weed) 1-2'h, orange flowers in summer, full sun, average to dry soil, attractive to butterflies, native to DE and much of central and eastern US


The United States Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources Conservation Service provide information on the many historic uses of this plant as medicine, food and fiber.
Agastache foeniculum (anise hyssop) 2-4'h, blue/violet flowers mid to late summer, full sun, dry soil, flowers are attractive to bees/butterflies/hummingbirds, native to several states in northeast US


Fine Gardening
webpage states the the flowers of this plant are edible and charming crumbled into salads. I have yet to try that but know that this plant is beloved by all manor of bees, moths and butterflies - probably hummingbirds too. It is an attractive and long blooming plant for a dry/well drained sunny spot in the garden.
Asclepias incarnata(swamp or pink milkweed)2-4'h, pink flowers mid to late summer, part to full sun, moist to wet soil, attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, native to DE and much of the eastern half of US


NorthCreek Nurseries website states that the leaves of this milkweed plant are the preferred food source of Monarch caterpillars.
Veronicastrum virginicum 'Fascination' (culver's root) full sun-part shade, avg-moist soil, pink/lilac flower May-Aug, 4-6'h


Michael Weishan - host of The Victory Garden - has a post about this plant on his very interesting garden blog titled Old House Old Garden.
Heliopsis helianthoides var scabra 'Summer Nights' (oxeye daisy) 3-4'h, yellow flower mid to late summer, full sun, moist well drained soil, provides nectar in summer for butterflies and other insects and seed for songbirds in winter, native range includes parts of mid Atlantic region of US


American Beauties webpage states the oxeye daisy seeds are a prime source of food for songbirds in the winter and that the old stems provide winter cover for beneficial insects.
Scutellaria incana (downy skullcap) 2-3'h, blue/violet flowers mid summer, part to full sun, med to dry soil, native the much of eastern half of US


Illinois Wildflowers.org has more information about this plant as well as nice photos of the pretty flowers.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Viburnum nudum 'Winterthur' (smooth witherod) deciduous shrub, 8-12'h, white flower spring, dark blue fruit in fall, dark red/purple fall color, part to full sun, tolerant of wide variety of soil- dry to wet, species native to DE and much of eastern half of US


American Beauties webpage has a photo of the very ornamental fruit of this viburnum.
Hypericum frondosum (golden St John's wort) deciduous shrub, 3-4' h/w, part to full sun, dry to moist soil, yellow flower in summer, native to southeast US and parts of the northeast US


The Georgia Wildlife Federation lists the numerous benefits to wildlife provided by this plant.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Meehania cordata (Meehan's mint) full-part shade, 3-6"h spreading ground cover, moist soil, native to several states in the mid Atlantic region of US, blue/violet flower in early summer


This is a great groundcover for the moist shade garden. It is tolerant of deep shade and will spread to form colonies. It is flowering now in early June.

American Beauties webpage


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Rosa setigera (climbing prairie rose) 6-15 long branches, pink flowers late spring/ summer, red hips late summer attractive to birds, part to full sun, native to much of central and eastern US


Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center webpage states that this plant has special value to native bees and that many birds relish the showy red fruit.
Rhododendron viscosum (decid azalea or swamp azalea) 6-8'h, fragrant white flower June, red fall color, full-part sun, moist-wet acidic soil, native to DE and much of the eastern US




Rhododendron viscosum is blooming now and perfuming the whole garden. This is a fantastic plant with intensely fragrant flowers and fiery red/orange fall color.
Scutellaria ovata (heart leaf skullcap)up to 18", violet flowers in mid summer, part to full shade, well drained to dry soil, native to central, mid Atlantic and southeast regions of US


This is a beautiful plant that deserves more use in our challenging dry shade gardens. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center webpage.