How to Have a Traditional Southern Garden

pink flowers on shrub
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How to Have a Traditional Southern Garden

Use These Classic Plants to Create Your Elegant Southern Garden

There is something special about the subtle elegance of a southern garden. The fragrant blooms and colorful shrubs create an enviable magical quality. Imagine sitting among your blooms in the balmy summer evening, the scent of gardenias in air as you sip a cold glass of iced tea. Absolute summer perfection. We’ve brought together some of our favorite plants you can often find in a traditional southern garden so that you can achieve the elegant southern garden of your dreams!

Rudbeckia Denver DaisyRudbeckia Denver Daisy
Hydrangea Endless Summer

A mainstay of foundation gardens for generations and a long-time favorite in the South, hydrangeas are now available in many exciting cultivars more than capable of handling colder climates. So, everyone who wants a little bit of this southern classic in their landscape can grow it easily! Few blooms provide more showy appeal than Hydrangeas: long-blooming, with showers of magnificent clusters of colorful flowers, and still just as easy to grow. All it asks for is plenty of moisture and a sunny to partly shaded spot where it can spread out and make itself comfortable, just like we all enjoy doing in summertime! 

If the South had a beauty pageant for shrubs, azaleas would take the crown without question! The huge clusters of bright, colorful flowers bloom heavily for weeks with virtually no effort from you. They bloom in so many colors including reds, pinks, purples, whites, oranges, and yellows. Many azaleas are even fragrant so they will fill your landscape with color and an incredible scent. Long known as a staple of the Southern garden Azaleas are some of the easiest flowering shrubs. Check out all the varieties we have on our website--reblooming varieties, too-- which are hand selected by our horticultural experts.

yellow magnolia floweryellow magnolia flower

Nothing conjures up a vision of the traditional south like a magnolia tree! Valued for their showy, fragrant cut flower-perfect blooms, Magnolias are easy to grow and relatively pest-free. Their white, pink, or purple flowers range in size from about 3-12 inches, making a bold statement in the landscape. Magnolia trees may be deciduous, semi-evergreen, or evergreen, their large green leaves with fuzzy, reddish-brown or silver undersides proving almost as attractive as their blooms. Adaptable and vigorous, Magnolias come in a variety of sizes and provide interesting fruits and reddish-brown seeds in fall that attract songbirds. They will make an elegant statement in your landscape all year long.

Climbing Red RoseClimbing Red Rose

If your landscape needs a little lift why not add a beautiful, easy-care climbing rose? There are not many plants that can change the look and mood of a garden like a climber. Adding height, dimension, and color, climbing roses fill voids more gracefully than many other plants. One well-placed rose can transform a porch, perfume a doorway, or add charm to a picket fence. All great southern gardens use a climbing rose. They add elegance and have thrived in southern gardens for years with minimal work! We have several varieties that are praised for their long history of superior root strength on our website.

Now that you have some inspiration go to the Wayside Gardens website to find these plants. Then pour yourself a glass of sweet tea, you deserve it!