my mother is retiring and wants to garden more. being in an apartment on the other side of the country thinking about all the possibility she has with a full yard on her own property is driving me absolutely bonkers and i want to offer her some suggestions that i think would make her happy.

plus, that's going to be my house too one day, and i may even move back near her in the next few years, so i want to be involved for those reasons as well.

this page seems like a good way to keep all of this information in one place to reference easily and organize plants by type, areas they're best suited for etc.


this is what my mother's yard consists of at the moment:

it's her decision whether or not anything is to be taken out or not, honestly the only things i think should go completely are the astroturf and the yew bushes. maybe the cypress too. i do think the yew bushes have served her well as a privacy/noise barrier, and the ideal would be to replace them with something a bit more compact that can accomplish the same things while still leaving plenty of space for planting other things.


i'd like to offer my mom planting options that are well suited to the shade and sun conditions she has and grow easily in the region for lowest maintenance possible, especially since, for now at least, i'm not around to give her hands-on assistance. she's in USDA zone 7 with soil that should be friendly to trees and bushes. i also think she'd like native plants, because they're easy to grow and would likely attract plenty of native birds and pollinators, which has always been a big part of the appeal of gardening for her. i think it'd also be nice for her to have plants that bear fruit.



RASPBERRY BUSHES to perk up the yield of the existing one (or replace it if it comes to that)

BLUEBERRY BUSHES to plant as a pair or group, she's tried to grow these a few times and not had it go well so i'd really like to make it happen for her

CRANBERRY BUSHES can provide privacy AND fruit AND attract birds/mammals in the wintertime... they seem surprisingly perfect


MOUNTAIN LAUREL BUSH, native and shade tolerant for the less sunny areas



CHERRY TREE(s) because my mother loves cherries

PEACH TREE(s) because my older brother who lives with her loves peaches

NECTARINE TREE(s) for the same reason as above


SUGAR MAPLE, native with fall color that can attract birds

REDBUD for blossoms and to attract hummingbirds, butterflies, bees

DOGWOOD for same as above PLUS birds

note that we do have space but not enough for more than a pair of fruiting trees and maybe one more non-fruiting



TEA PLANTS Camellia Sinensis because my mother drinks a lot of tea and i think it'd be fun for her to be able to make her own


TRUMPET/CORAL HONEYSUCKLE lonicera sempervirens climbs for wall/fence/arch, native, attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and birds

DUTCHMAN's BREECHES native, looks like tiny pants. looking at it makes me absolutely lose it

MAIDENHAIR FERN Adiantum pedatum

lantanas attract butterflies and hummingbirds

WOOD ANEMONE Anemone nemorosa



BLEEDING HEARTS attract hummingbirds, she grew these once when we were little

weigela, four o clocks, coral bells for hummingbirds

zinnias, attract bees and hummingbirds


hosta plantaginea, shade tolerant and attracts hummingbirds

GOLDENSTAR/GREEN-and-GOLD Chrysogonum virginianum native ground cover

THREE-TOOTHED CINQUEFOIL Sibbaldiopsis tridentata native ground cover that changes color seasonally

ALLEGHENY SPURGE Pachysandra procumbens native shade loving ground cover

CREEPING PHLOX Phlox stolonifera native shade loving ground cover

FOAM FLOWER Tiarella cordifolia native, companion to creeping phlox with taller flowers