Widget’s Garden & Western Fence

Amelanchier x grandiflora


  • Serviceberry is a small tree, native to Virginia. The ones planted in the Widget’s garden area are a cross between species, A. laevis and A. arborea.
  • Its white flowers are some of the first blooms in spring and red-purple fruits appear in the summer.
  • Fall leaf color is brilliant orange-red.
  • At least 40 species of birds eat Serviceberry fruit, including Cardinals and Cedar Waxwings.


“Spring Bouquet”
Viburnum tinus


  • This evergreen Virburnum has leathery dark-green foliage.
  • Densely packed clusters of white flowers attract butterflies in the early spring. This Painted Lady butterfly was seeking nectar in early March!
  • Small dark-blue berries attract birds in the summer months.


Sweet Pepperbush
Clethra alnifolia


  • In mid-late summer, Sweet Pepperbush has pinkish white, sweet- smelling flowers that attract a variety of butterflies and other pollinators.
  • The leaves turn yellow to golden brown in the fall.
  • Sweet Pepperbush is native to Virginia and is a deciduous plant, dropping its leaves in the winter.

Low Scape Mound Chokeberry
Aronia melanocarpa


  • Chokeberry is a native shrub. The leaves are glossy and deep green in summer and brilliant red in autumn.
  • The dainty white flowers with red anthers provide nectar for pollinators and glossy red berries provide food for birds through the winter.
  • The common name, chokeberry, comes from the tart taste of the fruit that can cause choking for those daring to taste it.

Chinese Beautyberry
Callicarpa dichotoma


  • This shrub is native to China, Japan and Korea. Its long branching stems are covered with violet berry clusters in the fall.
  • The berries stay on the plants after the leaves have fallen, providing food for birds.
  • We also have native American Beautyberries planted along the western fence (see below). The berries on the Chinese Beautyberry are on little stems, whereas on American Beautyberries, the berries surround the branches.

American Beautyberry
Callicarpa americana


  • This native shrub, American Beautyberry, is famous for the magenta berry clusters that form along its branches in the fall.
  • The berries stay on the plants long after the leaves have fallen, providing food for birds.
  • The Beautyberries at Westminster Canterbury are planted along the western fence.

Sweetbay Magnolia
Magnolia virginiana


  • Sweetbay Magnolias are semi-evergreen, with softer leaves than their cousins the Southern Magnolias.
  • In the spring, Sweetbay Magnolias bear fragrant, creamy white flowers. The leaves provide food for the Sweetbay Silkmoth caterpillar. The adult moth, pictured here, is about 3” across.
  • In the fall, red seed heads appear providing food for birds.
  • Native to Virginia.
  • There are several Sweetbay Magnolias among the hollies along the western fence.

Lilac Chaste Tree
Vitex agnus-castus


  • The pale lavender flowers of the Chaste Tree bloom in early summer and attract butterflies.
  • The compound leaves are palmate (shaped like hands) with lacy leaflets; grey-green above and lighter below.
  • Chaste Tree is native to Asia and the Mediterranean. It spreads so easily that it is classified as “showing invasive tendencies” in Texas.

Rugosa Rose
Rosa Rugosa


  • Rugosa Rose is native to northern China, Korea and Japan where it often grows on coastal sand dunes.
  • Because it grows well on sandy beaches and dunes, it is also known a Beach or Salt Spray Rose.
  • As the flowers fade the fruits develop into bright red rose hips, which can be used to make jams and jellies.
  • Due to its spreading nature, it has been used to control erosion on beaches. However, In some places, particularly in the New England States, it has grown so well that it is classified as an invasive plant.