November 2023 Newsletter

Incorporating native shrubs, perennials & grasses into your containers not only provides fall and winter seasonal interest but they then can be easily transplanted into your garden come spring. A fall/winter seasonal container is a perfect gift for your friends and family who are gardening enthusiasts. 

Let us start with the basic elements of a mixed planter: 

  1. Thriller: Tall, centerpiece plant such as ornamental grasses, evergreen shrubs, or just about any plant that has an upright growth habit  
  2. Filler:  Plant that has dense foliage & flowers to fill in empty spaces. Select a plant with a mounding growth habit 
  3. Spiller: A plant that cascades over the side of a pot  
  4. Additional Décor: Adding decorative elements such as pinecones, red twig dogwood branches, or birch bark branches can not only add more texture and color to your container but also fill in spaces and add dimension to your container when flowering plants are not in season 

Below are three examples of fall/winter container plants we created at the nursery.

Container of native plants: Andropogon virginicus, Dryopteris marginalis, Tiarella 'Brandywine', Ilex verticillata 'Winter Red'

Large Container

          • Andropogon virginicus (Broom sedge grass - Thriller) 
          • Dryopteris marginalis (Wood fern – Filler) 
          • Tiarella ‘Brandywine’ (Foamflower – Spiller) 
          • Sedum sexangulare (Stonecrop – Filler) 
          • Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Red’ (Winterberry Holly – Thriller) 
          • Viola – Orange (Viola/Pansy – Filler) 



Medium container filled with shrubs and perennials.Medium Container
          • Penstemon digitalis ‘Dark Tower’s (Foxglove- Beardtongue – Filler) 
          • Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Gold Mop’(Gold mop – non-native – Thriller) 
          • Myrica cerifera (Southern Wax Myrtle – Thriller) 
          • Tiarella cordifolia ‘Brandywine’ (Foamflower – Spiller) 
          • Viola – Orange (Viola – Pansy – Filler) 
          • Penstemon digitalis ‘Dark Towers’ (Foxglove – Beardtongue – Filler) 
          • Cornus sericea (Red Twig dogwood – décor) 

Small container filled with herbs

Small Container: 

          • Rosemary (Rosemary herb – Filler) 
          • Creepy Thyme (Thyme herb – Spiller) 
          • Lavender (Lavender herb – Thriller) 
          • German Winter Thyme (Thyme herb – Filler) 
          • Viola – Orange (Viola/Pansy – Filler)  


Stop by the nursery today for inspiration and ideas.

Fall is For Planting, 
Joan Stirling, CPH, Account Manager

Photo of Joan Stirling

Meet Joan Stirling who joined the Church Hill Unity Nursery/Landscape team in October. Joan will be working in our wholesale division as an Account Manager and in Nursery Sales. Her sales career started in consumer product sales and evolved into a variety of business development roles in landscape maintenance, plant nursery, and soil/aggregate sales positions with over 20 years of sales experience and 8 years of horticulture experience. 

Joan is a Certified Professional Horticulturist and holds a degree in Ornamental Horticulture from SUNY Farmingdale where she transitioned her career into Horticulture while residing in Long Island, NY. A native Marylander born and raised in the DC-Baltimore Metro area, Joan has recently relocated to the Eastern Shore. 

Joan has a passion for the Horticultural/Landscape industry not only for having the opportunity to work with plants but also for the relationships that she builds with others in the industry. 

 Photo of Lucas and Cliff holding certificate and dressed in golf clothesUnity Landscape Design and Build

Fall is in full swing here at Unity! Unity Landscape Design/Build recently sponsored a hole at Easton VFW Post 5118 “Pars for Patriots” golf tournament at Hog Neck Golf Course in Easton. The team didn’t win the tournament but had a great time supporting a local organization. Pictured are Lucas Lees, Coastal and Environmental Designer and Cliff Westman, Landscape Production Manager, and former Marine.

Last month, Lucas Lees, Unity Landscape’s Coastal and Environmental Designer was a presenter at the State of Maryland DNR conference. His presentation provided insight (from a contractor’s point of view) on lessons learned while designing and implementing living shoreline projects. The State of Maryland hosted this conference for local regulators, contractors, and policy makers to collaborate on living shorelines in the state. Lucas spoke from his experience having designed and installed dozens of shorelines with Unity Landscape. He reviewed challenges as well as solutions to planting, erosion control, access, and permitting guidelines in his presentation.

Sandy Appel, Chief Operations Officer
Lucas Lees, Coastal and Environmental Designer

Lucas holding up a map during a presentation at the DNR conference