Gardeners interested in landscaping with native North American plants would do well to search out venues close to them that feature local plants. It's important to get the full gist of what residential gardeners can expect from landscaping with native plants. So, besides trusting to book pictures and explanations, it is important to visit selected venues over several seasons of the year.
The Monticello Visitor Center (Charlottesville, Va) opened on April 15, 2009 amid plantings of modern cultivars of North American native plant species. Landscaping, designed by Michael Vergason Associates (Alexandria, Va), was densely planted for immediately blending of the visitors' center into its woodlands setting. However, at four years, it is finely coming into its own...some plants have thrived, while others have not done as well.
Landscaping here at the visitors' center is loosely arranged in five sections. This article focuses on only a few plants in the Greenway defined area during July of 2013:
- The Greenway provides connections with African-American Burial Ground and the camouflaged parking areas by providing and interesting and natural buffer.
- The Courtyard supports four thorn-less honey locust trees for shade over two rectangular beds - the Joanne B. Robinson Garden and the Walther Garden.
- The Halsey Water garden provides the sound of slowly running water planted with native aquatic plants which incidentally are not particularly showy. The water garden also has a sub-surface floor to prevent visitors from falling too far into the pool.
- The Green Roof on top of the Museum Shop is planted with North American Native Grasses.
The Courtyard with its paving and specially prepared gardens retains the function of a green roof over the mostly invisible basement which contains the infrastructure for the visitors' center.