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Creating An Authentic Colonial Garden



 
 
 

Franklinia alatamaha--franklin tree
sketch by William Bartram, son of John Bartram

Determining what plant material was used in colonial gardens is an ever changing process since old records are continually discovered. Because of the writings of early American plantsmen, such as John Bartram's nursery cataloges and Thomas Jefferson's Garden Book along with accounts from colonial surveyors, botanists, colonizers, historians, and horticultural enthusiasts, a fairly comprehensive list has been compiled.

 
Ornamental plants commonly used during the colonial garden period

This is a brief list of easily found plant material commonly used in colonial gardens. 


 
Trees

Acer pensylvanicum--striped maple
Acer rubrum--red maple
Aesculus hippocastanum--horsechestnut
Aesculus pavia--red buckeye
Cercis canadensis--eastern redbud
Chionanthus virginicus--white fringe tree
Cladrastis kentukea--yellowwood
Cornus florida--flowering dogwood
Cornus mas--cornelian cherry dogwood
Crataegus phaenopyrum--Washington hawthorn
Franklinia alatamaha--franklin tree
Gymnocladus dioicus--Kentucky coffee tree
Halesia carolina--Carolina silverbell
Ilex opaca--American holly
Juniperus virginiana--eastern red cedar
Liriodendron tulipifera--tulip poplar
Magnolia grandiflora--southern magnolia
Nyssa sylvatica--black tupelo
Platanus occidentalis--sycamore
Stewartia malacodendron--silky stewartia

Perennials

Crocus vernus--Dutch crocus
Hyacinthus orientalis--hyacinth
Iris pallida--sweet iris
Monarda didyma--bee balm
Narcissus pseudo-narcissus--common daffodil
Primula vulgaris--common primrose
Rudbeckia hirta--black-eyed Susan
Tulipa spp.--tulips
Viola tricolor--Johnny-jump-up
Yucca filamentosa--yucca
 

 

Shrubs

Buxus sempervirens--common boxwood
Buxus sempervirens 'Suffruticosa'-edging boxwood
Callicarpa americana--beautyberry
Calycanthus floridus--Carolina allspice
Fothergilla gardenii--dwarf fothergilla
Hibiscus syriacus--rose of Sharon
Hydrangea arborescens--smooth hydrangea
Itea virginica--Virginia sweetspire
Kalmia latifolia--mountain laurel
Syringa vulgaris--lilac

Vines & Groundcovers

Campsis radicans--trumpetcreeper
Clematis virginiana--Virginsbower
Hypericum calycinum--St. Johnswort
Lonicera sempervirens--trumpet honeysuckle
Parthenocissus quinquefolia--Virginia creeper
Vinca minor--common periwinkle
Wisteria frutescens--American wisteria

Annuals

Celosia cristata--cockscomb
Centaurea cyanus--bachelor's button
Coreopsis grandiflora--tickseed
Delphinium consolida--larkspur
Dianthus caryophyllus--annual carnation
Digitalis purpurea--foxglove (biennial)
Mirabilis jalapa--four-o'clock
Tagetes erecta--African marigold
Tagetes patula--French marigold
Tropaeolum majus--nasturtium
 


 
The Ohio State University Plant Dictionary
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