Send me a FREE trial issue Plus a FREE gift
Old-House Online » Old-House Tips, Restoration Stories, & More » Gardens & Exteriors » Plants for the Arts & Crafts Garden

Plants for the Arts & Crafts Garden

Arts & Crafts gardeners and environmental activists have something in common: a love of native plants. Use them to create a period-perfect (and eco-friendly) garden.
By Clare Martin

     photo by Judith Tankard

    Photo by Judith Tankard

    When luminaries of Arts & Crafts garden design such as William Morris, Gertrude Jekyll, and William Robinson promoted the use of native plants, their purpose for doing so was primarily aesthetic. Plants that belonged with the landscape embodied the values of “honesty and simplicity” that were the hallmarks of the movement, and contributed to a uniqueness of character that Morris and others feared was being eroded by the showy, exotic blooms popular in gardens the Victorian era.

    Fast-forward more than a century, and you’ll find that today, the same idea has been embraced anew by environmental enthusiasts, but for a very different reason. Because native plants have adapted to grow in a particular region, they require very little watering or other maintenance, requiring less of a strain on natural resources.

    All of this adds up to good news for those looking to create an ideal Arts & Crafts garden—not only will you adhere to the principles of the movement by using native plants, but you’ll also do something good for the Earth, and (perhaps most important) save yourself a bit of time and money on maintenance, too. Check out our charts of some common native plants in each region of the country, and start planning a garden that complements your home and its setting. (Note: For a more complete list by state, go to

    Trees ShrubsPerennials
    Ash (White, Green)
    Beech (American, Blue)
    Birch (River, Yellow, Sweet)
    Cedar (Eastern Red)
    Cherry (Black, Pin)
    Cypress (Pond, Bald)
    Dogwood (Flowering, Pagoda, Swamp, Silky)
    Elm (Winged, Cedar)
    Hemlock (Canadian, Carolina)
    Hickory (Bitternut, Pignut)
    Holly (American, Cassine, Deciduous, Possumhaw, Bigleaf Gallberry, Winterberry)
    Magnolia (Southern, Sweet Bay)
    Maple (Florida, Red, Sugar, Chalk)
    Oak (White, Red, Post, Cherrybark, Swamp Chestnut, Nuttall, Willow, Live, Laurel, Willow)
    Pine (Spruce, Longleaf, Shortleaf, Loblolly)
    Serviceberry (Downy)
    Silverbell (Carolina, Two-Winged)
    Tulip Tree
    Viburnum (Blackhaw, Rusty Black)
    Azalea (Sweet, Flame, Pinxter, Pinkshell, Piedmont, Yellow Native, Honeysuckle, Summer, Swamp)
    Beautyberry (American)
    Blueberry (Lowbush, Highbush, Elliot’s)
    Chokeberry (Red, Black)
    Honeysuckle (Bush)
    Huckleberry (Dwarf)
    Hydrangea (Snowhill, Wild, Oak Leaf)
    Leucothoe (Drooping)
    Mountain Laurel
    New Jersey Tea
    Rhododendron (Carolina, Rosebay)
    Rose (Carolina, Swamp)
    Shrubby St. John’s Wort
    Strawberry Bush
    Sumac (Smooth, Fragrant, Staghorn, Shining)
    Viburnum (Maple Leaf, Witherod, Arrowwood)
    Allegheny Spurge
    American Wisteria
    Aster (White Wood, Late Purple, Golden, Frost)
    Blazing Star
    Blue Star
    Butterfly Weed
    Cardinal Flower
    Coreopsis (Mouse-eared, Tall)
    Dwarf Crested Iris
    False Indigo
    Goat’s Beard
    Goldenrod (Wrinkle-leaf, Wreath, Sweet)
    Lady Slipper (Pink, Yellow)
    Lily (Bead, Spider, Yellow Bell, Turks Cap, Trout)
    Lily of the Valley
    Oconee Bells
    Phlox (Woodland, Summer, Chalice, Carolina, Wild Blue, Garden, Creeping)
    Shooting Star
    Violet (Blue, Birdsfoot)
    Wild Ginger
    Wild Strawberry
    << Back to top
    Trees ShrubsPerennials
    Ash (White, Green)
    Basswood (American)
    Beech (American)
    Birch (Yellow, Black, River, Gray)
    Blackgum Cedar (Atlantic White, Eastern Red)
    Cherry (Black)
    Dogwood (Silky, Flowering, Redosier, Gray)
    Hickory (Pignut, Shagbark, Bitternut)
    Magnolia (Sweetbay)
    Maple (Red, Sugar, Silver)
    Oak (White, Swamp White, Scarlet, Southern Red, Pin, Willow, Northern Red, Post, Black, Chestnut)
    Pine (Shortleaf, Loblolly, Virginia)
    Redbud (Eastern)
    Tulip Tree
    Willow (Black, Silky, Virginia)
    Alder (Speckled, Smooth, Common)
    Bayberry (Northern, Southern)
    Blueberry (Highbush, Lowbush)
    Chokeberry (Red, Black)
    Marsh Elder
    Mountain Laurel
    Plum (Beach, American)
    Rose (Swamp, Pasture)
    Sumac (Fragrant, Dwarf-winged, Smooth, Staghorn)
    Sweet Pepperbush
    Viburnum (Arrowwood, Possumhaw, Blackhaw, Maple-Leaf)
    Virginia Sweetspire
    Wax Myrtle
    Witch Hazel
    Anemone (Canada, Virginia)
    Aster (White Wood, New England, Heart-Leaved, New York, Maryland Golden)
    Beardtongue Blueflag Iris Boneset (Common, Blue)
    Cohosh (Black, Blue)
    Coneflower (Cutleaf, Pale, Purple)
    Dutchman’s Breeches
    Goldenrod (White, Bluestem, Sweet, Roughstem, Seaside, Grassleaf)
    New York Ironweed
    Solomon’s Seal
    Tickseed Turtlehead (White, Pink)
    Virginia Bluebells
    << Back to top
    New England
    Trees ShrubsPerennials
    American Mountain-ash
    Ash (White, Green, Black)
    Aspen (Bigtooth, Quaking)
    Birch (Yellow, Black, Paper, Gray, Cherry)
    Cedar (Northern White, Atlantic White, Eastern Red)
    Cherry (Pin, Black, Choke)
    Eastern Hemlock
    Elm (American, Red, Slippery)
    Hawthorne (Champlain, Round-Leaved, Frosted, Dotted, Fleshy)
    Hophornbeam (American, Eastern)
    Maple (Black, Red, Mountain, Sugar, Silver, Striped)
    Oak (White, Red, Swamp White, Scarlet)
    Pine (Red, Eastern White, Jack, Pitch)
    Spruce (White, Black, Red)
    Tamarack Willow (Black)
    American Elder
    American Filbert
    Azalea (Swamp)
    Black Chokeberry
    Blueberry (Highbush)
    Bush Cinquefoil
    Canada Yew
    Carolina Rose
    Dogwood (Gray, Redosier, Pagoda, Swamp, Silky)
    Juniper (Common)
    Mountain Laurel
    New Jersey Tea
    Serviceberry (Downy, Shadblow, Allegheny)
    Sumac (Staghorn, Shining, Smooth, Dwarf)
    Viburnum (Maple-Leaf, Arrowwood)
    Wild Honeysuckle
    Witch Hazel
    Aster (New England, New York, White Wood, Bushy, Heath, Smooth, Frost, Red-Stem)
    Blue Cohosh
    Blue Flag
    Cinquefoil (Silvery, Common, White)
    Jack-in-the-Pulpit Lily (Blue-Bead, Trout)
    Marsh Marigold
    Milkweed (Swamp, Whorled, Common)
    Solomon’s Seal
    Turtlehead Violet (Downy Yellow, Common Blue, Birdfoot, American Dog)
    << Back to top
    Trees ShrubsPerennials
    American Hornbeam
    Ash (White, Green)
    Birch (River)
    Cherry (Black)
    Hickory (Shagbark, Pignut)
    Maple (Red, Sugar, Silver)
    Oak (Pin, White, Bur, Red, Swamp)
    Ohio Buckeye
    Pawpaw Pine (Short-Leaf, Eastern White)
    Sycamore (American)
    American Beautyberry
    Buckeye (American, Red)
    Elderberry Holly (Winterberry)
    Hydrangea (Wild, Oak-Leaf)
    Viburnum (Maple-Leaf, Arrowwood)
    Witch Hazel
    Aster (New England, Arrow-Leaved, Heath, Smooth)
    Butterfly Weed
    Flowering Spurge
    Iris (Crested, Copper, Yellow Water)
    Jacob’s Ladder
    Marsh Marigold
    Milkweed (Common, Swamp)
    Sweet William
    Wild Ginger
    << Back to top
    Great Plains
    Trees ShrubsPerennials
    Ash (White, Green)
    Black Walnut
    Downy Hawthorn
    Eastern Cottonwood
    Hackberry Ironwood
    Maple (Silver, Sugar)
    Oak (White, Bur, Red)
    Wild Plum
    American Hazelnut
    Dogwood (Gray, Redosier, Swamp)
    Rose (Early Wild, Illinois)
    Smooth Sumac
    Aster (Heath, New England, Sky Blue, Smooth, Silky)
    Blazing Star (Rough, Prairie)
    Blue Verbena
    Canada Anemone
    Cup Plant Goldenrod (Gray, Stiff)
    Milkweed (Swamp, Whorled)
    Mountain Mint
    Prairie Clover (White, Purple)
    Prairie Coneflower
    Prairie Larkspur
    Prairie Phlox
    Red Baneberry
    Sunflower (Ox-Eye, Stiff )
    Wild Bergamot
    Wild Garlic
    << Back to top
    Trees ShrubsPerennials
    Ash (Green, Western Mountain, Rocky Mountain)
    Big Tooth Maple
    Birch (Paper, Water)
    Cottonwood (Narrowleaf, Black, Plains)
    Douglas Fir
    Hackberry (Common, Netleaf)
    Pine (Limber, Western White, Ponderosa)
    Quaking Aspen
    Spruce (Blue, Colorado)
    Buffaloberry (Silver, Canada, Russet)
    Curl-leaf Mountain Mahogany
    Four-wing Saltbush
    Golden Currant
    Redosier Dogwood
    Rubber Rabbitbrush
    Sagebrush (Big, Silver, Fringed)
    Shrubby Cinquefoil
    Sumac (Skunkbush, Staghorn, Smooth, Oakleaf)
    Woods’ Rose
    Blanket Flower
    Buckwheat (Sulphur, Snow, Wyeth)
    Flax (Blue, Lewis)
    Geranium (Sticky, Wild)
    Globemallow (Scarlet, Desert, Orange)
    Lupine (Silver)
    Pearly Everlasting
    Penstemon (Wasatch, Firecracker, Palmer, Rocky Mountain)
    Prairie Clover
    Pussytoes (Little, Rosy)
    Sunflower (Wooly, Western, Maximilian)
    Yarrow (Common, Western)
    Yucca (Soapweed, Texas Red)
    << Back to top
    Southwest (West Texas, Arizona, NM, Nevada)
    Trees ShrubsPerennials
    Ash (Arizona, Flowering)
    Box Elder
    Fir (Western White, Subalpine, Douglas)
    Juniper (Alligator, Utah, Rocky Mountain)
    Maple (Rocky Mountain, Bigtooth)
    Mountain Birch Netleaf Hackberry
    Oak (Gambel’s, Gray, Canyon Live, Arizona White)
    Pine (Pinyon, Bristlecone, Limber, Ponderosa)
    Quaking Aspen Spruce (Engelmann, Blue)
    Sweet Acacia Sycamore (Arizona)
    Tornillo Walnut (Arizona, Texas)
    Western Cottonwood
    Arizona Wild Rose
    Black Twinberry
    Broom Dalea
    Desert Olive
    Elderberry (Blue, Mexican)
    False Indigo
    Mountain Snowberry
    Saltbush (Four-Wing, Spiny)
    Silver Buffaloberry
    Western Pussy Willow
    Western Thimbleberry
    Yellow Bells
    Agave (Palmer, Perry)
    Aster (Pacific, Smooth)
    Buttercup Coyote Mint
    Desert Onion
    Desert Paintbrush
    Larkspur (Desert, Barestem)
    Lupine (Silvery, Palmer’s)
    Red Root Buckwheat
    Sego Lily
    Showy Fleabane
    Spring Beauty
    Sweet Sand Verbena
    Western Monkshood
    Yellow Gaillardia
    Yucca (Blue, Soaptree)
    << Back to top
    West Coast
    Trees ShrubsPerennials
    Alder (Red, Box, White)
    Aspen (Quaking)
    Birch (Paper, Mountain)
    Fir (Grand, Noble, Douglas)
    Giant Sequoia
    Maple (Vine, Bigleaf)
    Oregon Ash
    Pacific Dogwood
    Ponderosa Pine
    Sitka Spruce
    Western Hemlock
    Elderberry (Red, Black)
    Evergreen Huckleberry
    Hairy Manzanita
    Indian Plum
    Ocean Spray
    Oregon Grape
    Red Flowering Currant
    Rose (Woods, Nootka)
    Western Spiraea
    Alpine Daisy
    Bigpod Mariposa
    Fairy Bells
    Globe Mallow
    Iris (Douglas, Rocky Mountain)
    Oregon Stonecrop
    Pacific Aster
    Pearly Everlasting
    Scarlet Columbine
    Shooting Star
    Swamp Onion
    Tiger Lily
    Tower Larkspur
    Vanilla Leaf
    Western Bleeding Heart
    Western Monkshood
    Published in: Old-House Journal July/August 2008

    { 1 comment }

    Charles J May 19, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I was advised not to plant any Ash trees (central NY state) as they are being devastated by some disease or pest that is expected to reach the east coast in another year or two. Similar to the loss of so many black pines about 20 years ago. Can anyone provide more info about this sad situation? Also, readers of this great article might also want to check out the following related site:

    Get your FREE Trial Issue of Old House Journal and 2 FREE gifts.
    Yes! Please send me a FREE trial issue of Old House Journal and 2 FREE gifts.
    If I like it and decide to continue, I'll get 7 more issues (8 in all) for just $24.95, a savings of 48%. If for any reason I decide not to continue,
    I'll write cancel on the invoice and owe nothing. The Free Trial Issue is mine to keep, no matter what.
     Full Name:
     Address 1:
     Address 2:
     Zip Code:
     Email (req):
    Offer valid in US only.
    Click here for Canada or here for international subscriptions

    Products & ServicesHouse ToursHistoric PlacesHouse StylesOldHouseOnline.comMagazine
    Architectual ElementsKitchen & BathsHistoric HotelsArchitectural TermsRepairs & How ToSubscribe to Old-House Journal
    BathsInterior & DécorHistoric NeighborhoodsAmerican FoursquareFree NewslettersBack Issues
    Ceilings & WallsGardens & ExteriorsHouse MuseumsBungalowSubscribe to Arts & Crafts HomesDigital Editions
    Doors & WindowsColonial RevivalOld House CommunityAdvertise
    Exterior Products & LandscapeGothicAbout Us 
    FlooringQueen AnneContact Us 
    FurnitureVictorianPrivacy Policy
    HardwareLand for Sale
    Heating & CoolingSite Map
    Home Décor
    Period Lighting
    Real Estate
    Repair & Restoration
    Roofing & Siding
    Tools & Equipment

    Designer Sourcw e bookHistoric Home Show Logo

    Copyright © 2011-2017 Old House Online