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

Monday, April 30, 2012

Sassafras albidum (sassafras) deciduous tree, 30-50'h, showy yellow/green flowers in spring, orange/red/yellow fall color, full sun to part shade, female plants can bear dark blue fruit, native to DE and much of the eastern half of the US

Missouri Botanical Gardens webpage for more information about and photographs of this wonderful native tree.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Oxydendrum arboreum (sourwood) deciduous tree, 20-30'h, white flowers mid summer, brilliant red fall color, moist acidic soil, part to full sun, native to mid-Atlantic and SE US
Missouri Botanical Gardens webpage has cultural information and photos of the flowers and fall color of this fine small tree.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Silene caroliniana var wherryi 'Short and Sweet ( sticky catchfly or Carolina campion or wild pinks) 8"h, pink flower in spring, well drained soil, part to full sun, species native to mid Atlantic and southeast regions of US

NorthCreek Nurseries webpage

Friday, April 27, 2012

Rhododendron 'My Mary' (decid azalea) 4-6'h, fragrant yellow flower w/orange tube Apr/May, part shade, well drained acidic soil, hybrid whose parents are atlanticum and periclymenoides and austrinum

Missouri Botanical Garden

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Rhododendron vaseyi (decid azalea or pinkshell azalea) up to 15'h, pinkish/white flowers Apr, red fall color, tolerant of shade and poor drainage, native to NC, very rare in the wild due to habitat destruction


Here is a link to DonaldHyatt.com which is a website rich with links to more information about native azaleas and wildflowers. Donald Hyatt is dedicated to education about and the preservation of these wonderful and garden worthy native plants.

East Coast Native Azaleas

Monday, April 23, 2012

Nyssa sylvatica 'Wildfire' (black gum or black tupelo) deciduous tree, 30-50'h 20'w, part to full sun, moist acidic soil, new foliage emerges red is green in the summer then displays fiery yellow/orange/red fall color, species native to DE and much of the eastern half of the US

Pleasant Run Nursery
Waldsteinia fragarioides (barren strawberry) low spreading ground cover, semi-evergreen, yellow flower in spring, part to full sun, native to eastern US


NorthCreek Nurseries
Cornus sericea 'Bud's Yellow' (yellow twig dogwood) (names confused in the trade sericea or alba, Bud's or Budd's) 5-8'h and wde, small white flowers in early summer, white fruit, yellow fall color, yellow twig color in winter, part to full sun, moist to wet soil, species sericea is native to much of North America except southcentral and southeast US


Missouri Botanical Garden
Phlox divaricata 'London Grove Blue' (blue woodland phlox)part to full shade, moist soil, spring bloom, 8-10"h, species native to eastern half of the US


American Beauties Native Plant website states that woodland phlox is an important early source of nectar for butterflies.
Rhus aromatica 'Gro-Low' (fragrant sumac) deciduous shrub, 2-3'h x 6-8'w, red/orange fall color, part to full sun, well drained soil, tolerant of poor dry soil, good plant for erosion control on a bank, species native to much of eastern half of North America


Missouri Botanical Garden
Trillium luteum (yellow flowering trillium) 6-12"h, part to full shade, fragrant flowers in spring, native to SE and mid Atlantic regions of US


This yellow flowering Trillium was labeled cuneatum but according to the US Forest Service Celebrating Wildflowers webpage the yellow flowering forms have been designated as Trillium luteum.
Polemonium reptans (Jacob's ladder) 1'h, blue flower in spring, part shade, moist soil, native to DE and much of the eastern half of North America


Illinoiswildflowers.info includes the faunal relationships in their plant profiles.
Heuchera villosa 'Autumn Bride' (coral bells or hairy alum root)1-2'h, white flowers late summer into autumn, part sun, avg-dry soil, species native to mid Atlantic region of US

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



Missouri Botanical Garden

NorthCreek Nurseries
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
Viola pedata (birdfoot violet) 6"h, violet flowers in spring, full sun, very well drained soil, native to much of eastern half of US


Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
Iris cristata 'Tennessee White' (dwarf crested iris) 8"h, white flower in spring, moist part shade, native to mid-Atlantic region


Missouri Botanical Garden webpage has a photo of the blue flower of the straight species. This plant will spread to form a very nice ground cover in favorable conditions of moist part shade.
Zizea aurea (golden alexander)up to 3'h, yellow flower in spring, part shade to full sun(if soil is moist), native to eastern US


This is a nice long lasting cut flower which blooms for about one month in the spring. I like to plant it with Virginia bluebells as their bloom times overlap.

Illinoiswildflowers.info
with more information about this plant.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Physocarpus opulifolius 'Coppertina' (common ninebark) deciduous shrub, 8-10'hx5-6'w, pink flowers in summer, copper colored new foliage changes to dark red in summer, full sun, tolerant of soils, species is native to DE and much of the eastern half of North America


Cut stems from this common ninebark cultivar are a wonderful component in fresh floral arrangements. The small pink flowers are nice but the dark red foliage is the star. This shrub can grow up to 6-8'h but Missouri Botanical Garden suggests that it can be cut to the ground in late winter if desired.

Here is a photo of this shrub last year in late November complimented beautifully by the fall colors of Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem).


Uvularia perfoliata (bellwort or merry bells) moist shade, yellow flowers May/June, 10-15"h, native to east coast and some south central regions of US


These are delightful in the garden planted with Virginia bluebells and rue anemone as they are all blooming at the same time. Here is a link to more interesting information about this lovely spring blooming wildflower.
Rhododendron 'My Mary' (decid azalea) 4-6'h, fragrant yellow flower w/orange tube Apr/May, part shade, well drained acidic soil, hybrid whose parents are atlanticum and periclymenoides and austrinum


This is such a beautiful and fragrant flower to perfume the garden in early May. Here is a photo of the plant in bloom early May 2011.


Fairweather Gardens has a large selection of these fine small flowering shrubs.
Porteranthus trifoliatus 'Pink Profusion (syn Gillenia trifoliata) (Bowman's root)1-2'h, pink flower early summer, part to full shade, moist well drained soil, species native to mid-Atlantic region of US


The newly emerging foliage of Bowman's root is a lovely burgundy in spring, turns green for the summer then red again in the fall. The dainty pink flowers are pictured on NorthCreek Nurseries' webpage. Here is a link to Native American Ethnobotany site that lists the many historical medicinal uses of this lovely plant.
Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet' (Virginia sweetspire) deciduous shrub, 3-4'h, white flower in early summer, brilliant dark red fall color, part to full sun, tolerant of wide range of soil - dry to wet, native to mid-Atlantic and southeast US


Click on the image to enlarge and see the flowers developing. Missouri Botanical Garden webpage has a good picture of the flowers. This is a very useful small flowering shrub that is tolerant of a wide range of garden conditions. Its habit of suckering to form larger colonies makes it useful for erosion control. It would also be a nice woody component in a rain garden. There is a dwarf form called Little Henry that is said to grow 2-3'h.
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

Here is a good ground cover plant to consider for the difficult dry shade gardens. American Beauties website.
Rhododendron atlanticum c w Sandtown (decid azalea or coast azalea) 3-6'h, white/pink flowers Apr, part to full sun, moist well drained acidic soil, native to DE and several mid-Atlantic and southeast coastal regions


This is one of the many beautiful, fragrant and garden worthy native deciduous azaleas that are represented in this garden. At the bottom of this webpage are links to photos of and information on East Coast Native Azaleas.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Salvia lyrata 'Purple Knockout' (lyre leaf sage) 15"h, dark red/purple foliage semi evergreen, pale blue flower in summer, part to full sun, moist to dry soil, species native to mid Atlantic/south central/southeast regions of US, will readily self sow


This plant will self sow and NorthCreek Nurseries suggests using it as a native replacement for Ajuga. Also read the "Interesting Notes" where they describe some culinary uses of this plant.
Amsonia 'Blue Ice' full sun, blue flowers late spring, beautiful yellow fall color, avg-moist soil, 12-15"h, its suspected parent - Amsonia tabernaemontana - is native to DE


The dark blue flower buds of Blue Ice Amsonia appearing in late April 2012 will open into star shaped flowers of a cool blue sometimes violet/blue color. The preference seems to be for full sun but will tolerate some shade although the habit might be a little floppy in shade. The foliage is attractive all summer and turns a beautiful bright yellow in the fall.

NorthCreek Nurseries website has a nice picture of this plant in flower.
Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy' (redbud) deciduous tree, 20-30'h, deep pink flowers in spring before leaves emerge, leaves are dark burgundy in early summer sometimes fading by the end of the summer, tolerant of soil types, part to full sun, may benefit from protection from strong afternoon sun, fall color variable yellow/pale red, tolerant of black walnut, species native to DE and much of the eastern half of the US


The Missouri Botanical Garden webpage says that hummingbirds are attracted to this plant.
Aronia arbutifolia 'Brilliantissima' (chokeberry) deciduous shrub, 6-10'h, white flowers in spring, red berries fall into winter, brilliant red fall color, part to full sun, tolerant of dry to wet soil, native to DE


American Beauties webpage with more information on this plant.
Anemonella thalictroides (rue anemone) dry shade, dainty white flower April/May, 8-10"h, native to much of the eastern half of the US


The Missouri Botanical Garden webpage states that rue anemone is a long blooming spring wildflower that is tolerant of dry soil and deep shade.

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center webpage warns that parts of this plant are poisonous if ingested and that the sap can cause blistering or inflammation - so use caution if cutting for floral arrangements.
Stylophorum diphyllum (Celandine poppy or wood poppy)12-15"h, yellow flowers in spring, part to full shade, moist to wet soil, native to mid Atlantic region of US


This page of the Missouri Botanical Garden states that the stems of the wood poppy contain a bright yellow sap that was formerly used by Native Americans as a dye.
The wood poppy will self sow in favorable conditions.
I made a new friend while weeding today in the native plant garden.


Here is a page that outlines the difference between frogs and toads.
This page says that toads in the garden should be valued for their role in pest control since they eat insects.
Cornus floridus 'Karen's Appalachian Blush' (dogwood) deciduous tree, 15-20'h and w, part shade, white flowers with pink edge in spring, species is native to much of the eastern US, this cultivar is a product of efforts by the University of Tennessee Knoxville to breed dogwoods resistant to anthracnose and powdery mildew, dark red fall color


This dogwood is located next to the gate closest to the tool shed on the Dutch House property and is in bloom now on April 20 2012.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Fothergilla gardenii

Fothergilla gardenii (dwarf fothergilla) deciduous shrub, 3-5'h, white flowers in spring before the leaves emerge, showy orange/yellow/red fall color, full to part sun, moist well drained acidic soil, native to southeast US

"The genus name honours Dr John Fothergill (1712-1780), an English Quaker physician whose 18th-century Essex garden included one of the earliest, most extensive collections of North American indigenous plants. Fothergill was the patron of William Bartram's botanical explorations of southeastern North America and he corresponded with other early botanists exploring the New World flora, including Dr Alexander Garden (1730-1791). Garden, a Scottish physician and zoologist, settled in Charleston, South Carolina in 1752 and for more than twenty years devoted his spare time to collecting regional flora and fauna, corresponding with and sending specimens to John Ellis in London and Linnaeus in Sweden. Garden is responsible for first discovering Fothergilla, collecting and describing the species we now know as F. gardenii, and introducing it to England by 1765."

The above paragraph is from a document by Rick Darke titled Fothergilla in cultivation rich in details about this lovely and garden worthy plant.