Re-landscaping after soil disturbance
When your yard has been torn up by construction or underground repairs, you are faced with both a problem and an opportunity. The temptation is to immediately spread some grass seed to prevent soil erosion and restore greenery. Before you do that, consider some possible alternatives.
Why not include native plants in your landscaping plans?
Native plants are the basis of healthy ecosystems. Plants that are native to this area support the songbirds, butterflies, frogs and other wildlife while providing beauty to your yard. By contrast, many commonly-used landscaping plants—including turf grass—were imported from other continents and do little or nothing to support the wildlife of Virginia. Worse, some of them—such as English Ivy, Japanese Barberry and Burning Bush—escape into natural areas (including parks and nature preserves) where they are overrun and eventually destroy the native vegetation.
What would landscaping with native plants look like?
Native plants provide the same basic design choices as other plants, choices that range from formal to naturalistic. Several hundred Northern Virginia natives are commercially available. Native plants specialty nurseries can furnish the ones that might be missing from your neighborhood garden center.
Native plants require no fertilizers or pesticides. Once established, a properly sited native plant needs no supplemental watering.
Learning about native plants
The Plant NOVA Natives campaign has numerous resources on its website to help you choose the right plants and think about design possibilities.
Native Plants for Northern Virginia (a full-color guide to our local plants)
Butterfly gardens...and much more
Those interested in using their properties to create wildlife habitat may request a free site visit from an Audubon-at-Home volunteer ambassador.
Professional landscapers who specialize in native plants can be found by clicking here.