Replacing Lawns with Groundcovers is GardenWise
A thoughtful understanding that an outside space can have a positive impact the environment is the best first step to a green garden. Another important step to take is to reduce your lawn area by at least half. To the left is a GardenWIse garden using only groundcovers, no grass!
Substitute lawn areas with ground covers that will provide beautiful colors and textures to your spaces. Groundcovers also help retain moisture in the soil and help prevent erosion. Creeping thymes and Creeping Jenny (my favorite) are good choices for sunny spots, and for shadier areas, tiny creeping mints such as Mentha requienii will do well. Black Eyed Susan grown en masse make for an eye-catching and bright display. Some nice low-water choices include Trailing Yellow Dalea and Trailing lantana. Adding stone elements and pourous pavers can help create wonderful garden paths.
Another substitute? Vegetables. A small area dedicated growing your favorite vegetables that you can inexpensively install yourself will transform the most unproductive area of your landscape.
Leaves, Leaves, Everywhere!
It’s really important to remove the leaves from your lawn — if they’re left there they’ll deprive your lawn of important sunlight and rain that’s going to help it through the winter months. Also, if leaves are left on the ground, they could lead to mold problems and even pest problems (yes! mice, etc.) because the water will get trapped in the lawn.
Don’t be a procrastinator! It’s important to get the leaves off the ground quickly and to to mow your lawn until the first frost. This will keep the grass strong and healthy. Be sure to remove leaves from your deck — leaves that accumulate on decks can lead to algae, mildew and mold, plus cause the wood to rot.
And remember, leaves do not just fall on your lawn and deck — they fall in your gutters! Clean your gutters every month. Clean gutters will save you from experiencing serious problems with water around your house whether it be landscaping erosion, water in your basement or damage to wood around your roof. But be careful on that ladder, and work in pairs to be sure you don’t have any ladder accidents.
Getting Ready for 2011 in 2010, DC Style!
A new GardenWise project in DC, pictured left, includes a new front entrance that is under construction. Improvements include new stone entry walk, and a front porch with surrounding seat wall. An array of new plantings will include evergreens for year round interest, and a variety of perennials and ground covers that will provide texture and variety for seasonal interest.