Arborvitae is an evergreen tree, which offers winter interest to yards and landscapes. It tolerates a wide range of soils, but prefers moist, slightly alkaline loam. Use Arborvitae for a specimen, accent plant, or foundation tree, or group in hedges, shelter-belts, and privacy borders. It is susceptible to diseases and insects (including bagworm, heart rot, leaf miner, and spider mites) and to deer browse.

English Yew is an evergreen tree, which can be grown as a shrub or hedge. The berries are attractive to birds, but poisonous to humans. It is dioecious; both male and female plants are needed to produce fruit. English Yew prefers shady areas and needs protection from cold winter winds. Use English Yew for foundation plantings, screens, and topiaries.

Sapphire-berry has white flowers, which bloom late-May to early-June. The ornamental fruit appears in shades of blue, and ripens September-October. The fruit is a food source for birds. Plant more than one for cross-pollination and to ensure fruiting. Sapphire-berry can be trained as a shrub or small tree. Use it for screening at the back of a shrub border, or as a specimen tree in your yard.

Mountain Camellia is a small, flowering, deciduous tree. Its white flowers with orange anthers bloom July-August. This tree offers orange to scarlet fall foliage. Mountain Camellia is sensitive to drought and prefers moist, organically rich soil. Use it as a small specimen tree or tall shrub in shady areas of your yard.

Flower stalks of Frost Grass rise above the bamboo-like foliage, blooming July-February. The flowers give a shimmering appearance when backlit by sunlight. The leaves turn a purplish-red in the fall. This plant needs moist, well-drained soil and enough sunlight to encourage erect growth. Frost Grass does not tolerate hot, dry areas; plant it in a protected site in your yard. Use it as an accent plant or plant in groups in borders.

Shrubby Fivefingers is a low-growing, mat-forming perennial, which features small, white flowers blooming June-August. Patience is necessary with new plants, as seedlings take two years to flower. The green leaves turn red in the fall if planted in full sun. Shrubby Fivefingers prefers sandy, nutrient-poor soil. It is drought-tolerant, but dislikes excessive summer heat. Use Shrubby Fivefingers in rock gardens, around borders, or as a groundcover. This plant may be difficult to find commercially. Tell your local garden center or nursery about your interest in this species.

Purple Pitcherplant is native to New Jersey bogs. It features a distinctive, red flower, which blooms on a single scape (stalk) May-June; the flower may persist through the summer. This carnivorous plant receives nutrients from captured insects and other invertebrates; however, it also photosynthesizes. It requires a consistently moist, acidic, humus-rich bog environment, and may be considered high-maintenance for the typical gardener. Purple Pitcherplant can be grown at home in containers that offer the conditions that meet its specific needs.

Sweetbox offers showy, fragrant, white flowers, which bloom March-April. This broadleaf evergreen shrub tolerates heavy shade, and provides winter interest. Established plants have some drought tolerance. Plant Sweetbox around your yard as a low hedge or groundcover, or in your shade garden for a delightful early spring fragrance.

Swamp Azalea’s fragrant clusters of white to pale-pink flowers with extended stamens bloom mid-May-July. The flowers have a clove-like scent, and the nectar is attractive to bumblebees. Swamp Azalea leafs-out before blooming. Its native New Jersey habitat includes swamps and bogs, so it prefers a moist substrate in a partly shady area in your yard. Swamp Azalea is flood-tolerant, but is intolerant of juglones (chemical in the roots of Black Walnut). Use Swamp Azalea in rain gardens, woodland gardens, shade gardens, and massed in shrub borders. As with many Azaleas and Rhododendrons, all parts of this plant are poisonous.

Korean Rhododendron is a deciduous shrub, which is unusual for Rhododendrons. It features rosy-purple flowers which bloom in early spring, from mid- to late-March to early April. Situate this plant in a northern exposure in the yard or garden to avoid blooming too early, as buds are susceptible to frost. Use Korean Rhododendron in shrub borders, foundation plantings, or natural areas. As with many Azaleas and Rhododendrons, all parts of this plant are poisonous.