Look to nature as a guide for what will grow well in your area, and under what conditions of light, soil and moisture. Shrubs originate in many diverse native habitats, so success depends on matching the plant to the site. — MBG article: Native Shrubs by C. Colston Burrell
Award winning author, landscape designer and MBG board member C. Colston Burrell has spent a lifetime studying and promoting native plants in lectures, articles and books.
His book, A Gardener’s Encyclopedia of Wildflowers, won the 1997 American Horticulture Society Book Award. He is also author of the bestseller, Perennial Combinations, 2007. Cole gardens on 10 wild acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Free Union, Virginia.
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
In addition to ecological and land management benefits, the native flora of Virginia offers a surprising variety of color, form, and texture to gardeners and landscape designers. In fact, many familiar and popular landscaping plants such as black-eyed Susan, columbine, and bee balm are native to Virginia.
Designing with natives allows the creation of distinctive natural landscapes including woodlands, meadows, and wetlands with unique regional character. In addition, native plants attract a greater variety of butterflies, hummingbirds, songbirds and other wildlife than traditional lawns. –Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation/Natural Heritage/Piedmont