Wildlife Friendly Gardens
Rainwater Capture & Management
$2500 Rebate For Landscaping Projects
Silver Spring residents are eligible for rebates for planting canopy trees, replacing lawn with native plants, installing cisterns, and more through Montgomery County's Rainscapes Program. I have navigated the rebate process for several projects and can help you too. Note: Takoma Park residents are not eligible.
Services And Costs
Coaching/Consulting. I work on an hourly basis at $75/hr plus my travel time. I can provide you with ideas or instruction on topics such as: pruning, transplanting, dividing, identifying ornamentals in your yard, identifying native vs. non-native invasive plants, what plants to use where, or any other gardening questions you might have. I try to keep most of my work to within 3 miles of Takoma Middle School.
Landscape Designs. Designs generally range from $500 for a small section of your yard to around $1200 for your complete yard. A design is useful
to give you a vision and road map for transforming your yard. My designs are straightforward, hand-drawn sketches to keep within your
budget (scroll down a page to see sample plans)
Project Implementation. I’ll provide you estimates for projects based on
labor, plants, and other materials. For bigger jobs, such as stonework, I also do project management with contractors. I only work on landscape installations within 3 miles of Takoma Middle School.
Ten Ways To Green Your Yard
1. GROW YOUR OWN FOOD - By using vegetables and fruits in your landscape, you reduce the need for gas guzzling, long-distance transport to bring your food. Produce is fresher, tastier, and pays you back in reduced grocery bills. A little less farmland is needed allowing more habitat for wildlife. There is nothing like the satisfaction of eating food you grew yourself!
2. USE NATIVE PLANTS - These are plants that existed in America before European contact. They have evolved to take the extremes of our climate and sustain our native wildlife. When appropriately sited, native plants need little maintenance. They support many times more native butterflies and other pollinators than non-native plants. By landscaping with natives, you are helping to tip the scale back in favor of the biodiversity we keep losing when natural areas disappear to new construction such as housing developments, parking lots, and roads.
3. REMOVE INVASIVE NON-NATIVE PLANTS - The number two cause of habitat loss, after new construction, is caused by non-native, invasive plants. Invasive plants out-compete our native plants because their predators, parasites, and other natural controls were left back in their homelands of Asia or Europe. Non-natives support much less wildlife than native plants and when they overtake a park like Rock Creek Park or Sligo Creek, our local songbird and butterfly populations suffer. Remove these plants from your yard and replace them with natives!
4. REDUCE YOUR LAWN - Lawns encourage gas-guzzling, air-polluting practices such as mowing, leaf blowing, fertilizing, and irrigation -- and they take a lot of time to maintain. If every U.S. household replaced just one square yard of lawn with alternative plantings, we could create 10,000 acres of wildlife habitat and eliminate 1.2 million hours of lawnmowing.
|Swamp milkweed is a beautiful raingarden plant that supports monarch butterflies.
5. REDUCE WATERING - By using rainbarrels, soaker hoses, mulching, and drought-resistant native plants, you can drastically cut your water bill and conserve a precious resource.
6. CREATE A RAIN GARDEN - A significant portion of pollution in our waterways comes from water running down storm drains and crashing into rivers -- gouging the banks and dumping sediment, trash, and pollutants. By channelling water from your roof into raingardens, supporting a beautiful array of native plants, you help improve water quality, and slowly recharge groundwater.
7. USE RECYCLED YARD WASTE - Every year we set out on the curb mounds of leaves and other yard waste. The cities of Takoma Park and College Park recycle these into leaf mulch, compost, and wood chips. I mostly use these local and recycled quality amendments for landscaping your yard.
|Blueberries are tasty and attractive plants.
8. AVOID CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS AND PESTICIDES - Many
of these toxic chemicals wash into our local streams and can be
dangerous to your family and your pets. By following several of these
other actions, such as using native plants resistant to pests and
disease, creating diverse plantings, and enriching your soil with
compost, you can avoid the need for chemicals. I only use herbicides as
a last resort and only under the right conditions.
9. COMPOST YARD AND KITCHEN WASTE - Composting both reduces waste and creates excellent soil conditioner. Try composting your own leaves and yard waste in the backyard before hauling it out to the curb -- you'll eliminate the energy use of hauling it away and before long you'll have rich, organic fertilizer for your yard.
10. CREATE WILDLIFE HABITAT - As sprawl replaces native habitat with lawns, buildings, and pavement, our local wildlife suffers. You can attract a variety of songbirds, butterflies, and other animals to your yard by planting a diversity of native plants that provide seeds, fruit, insects, nectar, and shelter. Adding a birdbath or pond rounds out the habitat.
BONUS: GARDEN WITH KIDS - Better yet, give them their own plot to grow flowers or food. Grow plants that attract butterflies and birds. You'll connect the next generation to the earth and can enjoy their sense of wonder at the mystery of how things grow.
More Pictures of Projects and Plants I Use
milkweed for monarchs
spicebush for swallowtails