What to Plant in Greensboro Natural Areas

01 Apr

Many homeowners in Greensboro, NC have large open spaces on their properties compared to my hometown of Buffalo, NY. Natural areas are highly desired because they cut down on the amount of grass to maintain and also provide other useful functions. Here are some suggestions and ideas for natural area plantings:

I bet you never thought of how many functions a natural offers within your landscapes.

Native or indigenous plant material is a great place to start when analyzing your natural areas and deciding what to install. This is the number one solution for homeowners wanting a low maintenance, drought tolerate and pest free garden. Trees, shrubs, and perennials native to North Carolina are already acclimated to our rainfall, soil conditions and temperatures ensuring their survival with minimal maintenance. I would strongly suggest installing both evergreen and deciduous native plants in your natural gardens for year round interest. By planting indigenous you are providing an open invitation for birds, bees and butterflies to visit a favored landscape.

When you are analyzing your natural areas, take note of:

  • Sun or shade
  • Wet or dry
  • Front or rear natural plant beds
  • Accessibility to a water source
  • Purpose for natural area (curb appeal, bird sanctuary, etc.)
  • Yearly or monthly maintenance

Once these issues have been addressed, you will have a better understanding of how the area is to function and what types of trees, shrubs, groundcovers or perennials should be purchased from your local plant nurseries.

I am a fan of year round interest even if the natural area is located in the rear of the house. I like to see green in the dreary winter months, plus some evergreens provide berries highly ornamental for indoor flower arrangements.

The homeowner below has used variegated Vinca which is evergreen providing year round interest and will be full of beautiful violet flowers in the spring.


Below is a natural area filled with Vinca bearing violet flowers for spring.


This natural area is interesting throughout the year because of the evergreen shrubs installed. The more evergreen areas, the less money is spent on yearly pine needles. After another year the homeowner who has planted Vinca will not have to buy one bale of pine needles and will have a gorgeous bed of dark green leaves contrasting nicely with the lighter colored grass. 


Happy Planting!

Diana Gardner-Williams

Landscape Design and Installation


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