Do you love plants? Does seeing a variety of plant life, including annuals, perennials, trees, and shrubs, bring your entire Alexandria, VA property together?
Then, you need to know all your plant options to liven up your outdoor living in Alexandria.
Alternately, you may want to spruce up your planting design to include more trees and shrubs or more Virginia natives to provide a sustainable greenscape.
5 Different Varieties of Plants to Add to Your Landscaping in Alexandria, VA
While five different varieties don’t sound like much to add to your outdoor living, you’d be surprised how layers of green, including hostas, turfgrass, trees, and other shade-loving plants, can evoke calm and serenity to a front flowerbed or a layered look by a sunken patio.
Conversely, you may want a punch of color to break up the green in a landscaped area with different evergreen trees and shrubs. For example, scarlet crape myrtles provide a striking contrast when paired with an island bed surrounded by turf.
Read more: How to Create Multiple Outdoor Living Spaces
The following plants are best for growing in zone 7, the growing zone in Northern VA. Here are five plant varieties to add to your landscaping in Alexandria, VA:
1. Trees: Ornamental trees give you season-long interest and beauty. Some of these woody specimens bloom in the spring, while others have colored bark that brings joy in the middle of winter.
The following trees will bring interest, shade, pops of color, and pollinators to your Alexandria property. Plus, they can stand alone or be added to any landscaped area:
- Crabapple: Gorgeous flowers in the spring, good-looking fruit in the summer, and bold leaf colors in the fall. Crabapple trees can stand alone or be grouped with other landscaping plants in a bed.
- Crape Myrtle: A Southern stand-by, crape myrtle adds pops of color to a monochromatic bed. You can buy crape myrtles in daring reds, pretty pinks, simple whites, or lovely lavenders. You often see crape myrtles grouped together or in a landscaped bed with other plants.
- Fringe Tree: Another southeastern U.S. tree that blooms in spring and develops hanging berries during the summer. You can plant fringe trees together in shrub borders, or they can stand alone.
- Saucer magnolia: Another spring-blooming tree that produces bright berries in the summer. Add a saucer magnolia to a landscaped bed or plant it alone.
2. Shrubs: Many shrubs grace flowerbeds and landscaped areas. They work well paired with other plants and trees. Here are some hardy zone 7 shrubs to consider: junipers, holly, American highbush cranberry, mountain laurel, or French mulberry.American highbush cranberry and French mulberry shrubs provide edible fruit during the summer. And juniper and holly are evergreens that add depth and varying green tones to any bed.
3. Perennials: Many perennials will make your Virginia landscape look beautiful. Some add green hues only, while others flower brilliantly. Most perennials look best when grouped rather than having a solo plant here and there.
Perennials can be part of a shade garden or grouped in a cottage garden. Some have circular flowers, while others have spiky blooms that draw the eye upward.
Look and plan: Our Gardens and Greenscapes Portfolio
Many perennials listed below attract pollinators and are native to Virginia. Perennials come back every year, giving you more bang for your buck and more permanency to your garden design. Here are some eye-catching perennials to consider:
- Black-eyed Susans (native)
- Butterfly weed (native)
- Canna lilies
- Coneflowers (native)
- Elephant ears
- Japanese painted fern
- Joe Pye weed (native)
- Maiden grass
- Meadow sage.
4. Annuals: Petunias, geraniums, and marigolds add season-long color. Wave petunias cascading down a hanging basket or a colorful pot or spreading out in a landscaped bed add grace and depth. Petunias add contrast with deep dark colors or a light touch with gentle yellows and pinks.
Annuals also add vibrant color to borders and walkway gardens. Most annuals are versatile, providing lovely scents or adding drama to your containers and flowerbeds.
For example, marigolds and ageratum make wonderful border plants, container plants, and supporting roles in a flowerbed.
Read more: Creating a Biodiverse Private Garden—Tips to Get Started
Other popular annuals to consider for a border, a flowerbed, a rock garden, or a container garden:
- Batchelor’s button
- Geraniums (a hummingbird favorite)
- Impatiens, especially guinea impatiens
5. Virginia natives: Native plants are sustainable, bring pollinators into your garden, and have a natural loveliness that belongs only in a Virginia landscape. Most native perennials do well in shade gardens or full sun.
Some natives will do well in a wetland, while others can border a walkway. Native shrubs that produce summertime berries will attract birds to your Alexandria property.
Here is a brief list of native plants to grace your Alexandria property:
- Blue wild indigo
- Butterfly weed
- Common Jack-in-the-pulpit
- Eastern red columbine
- Eastern rose mallow
- Jerusalem artichoke
- Turk’s-cap lily
- White wood aster.
- Buttonbush or buttonwillow
- False indigo bush
- Mountain laurel
- Northern spicebush
- Red chokeberry
- Virginia-willow or Virginia sweetspire.
- American holly
- American hornbeam or Ironwood
- Black tupelo
- Canada Serviceberry
- Common Pawpaw
- Common persimmon
- Eastern redcedar
- Shortleaf pine
- Sweetbay magnolia
- White oak.
Your Alexandria landscaping services can help you with a garden design using the natives, annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees into a pleasing palette that you’ll enjoy throughout the summer.
Contact the Best Landscaping Company in Alexandria, VA
When you do a web search for “landscape designers near me,” be sure to click on Campbell and Ferrara. We’ve been providing outdoor living services since 1945.
Our plant designers carefully put together a garden design that complements your home’s architecture and existing landscape. For example, if you live in a brick home with shade, we’ll include different shades of green to bring variety and beauty to your property.
If you’re ready to add to your greenscape, then you need us at Campbell and Ferrara to design and install the best summer plants into your landscape design. Call us today at 703-705-7892 or fill out our contact form.
Campbell and Ferrara provides landscape design/build services and a retail garden center for homeowners living in Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Fairfax, Falls Church, Mount Vernon, and Springfield, Virginia.
GardeningKnowHow.com, Hardy Flowering Trees: Tips on Growing Ornamental Trees in Zone 7.
Ibid, Zone 7 Bushes and Shrubs—Choosing Shrubs for Zone 7 Climates.
Ibid, Types of Zone 7 Flowers—Learn About Zone 7 Annuals and Perennials.
NovaRegion.org, Native Plants for Northern Virginia (pdf).
TheSpruce.com, 15 Best Types of Plants for Zone 7.