Natural Gardening
"When we tug at a
single thing in
nature, we find it
attached to the rest
of the world."
- John Muir
(
more quotes)
To see photos of native plants and native plant gardens
in  Falls Church:

Falls Church Natural Gardens page


There are many terms for natural gardening: "bayscaping", "naturescaping",
"wildlife gardening", "eco-friendly gardening", "watershed-friendly gardening"...
the list could go on. I've chosen the simplest term for gardening that allows
people and nature to coexist as much as possible and that lowers the impact of
people and development on the natural landscape and the environment.

Natural gardening involves the following basic components:

Including as many native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers as possible (and
eliminating exotic, invasive plants)
. For some ideas, see the City of Falls Church
list of
recommended plants for rain gardens and recommended trees to plant in
Falls Church
. In addition, Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia, has some
excellent
native plant lists.

Reducing or eliminating lawn areas (converting them to mulched beds or rain
gardens instead) and reducing or eliminating impervious surfaces such as
driveways and other paving.

Composting as much yard waste as possible to enrich the soil with organic
matter and keep more waste out of the landfills.

Using rain barrels or a cistern to catch rooftop runoff and conserver water
usage.

Providing for wildlife by incorporating the four basic elements that wildlife need
to survive.

Remember that your natural garden does not need to happen all at once -- you
can make the transformation gradually over several years.

These types of practices, if implemented by enough homeowners, as well as by
new development projects in the City, would go along way to help manage
stormwater and avoid situations such as the Tripps Run flood plain enlargement!

To learn more, sign up for the Introduction to Natural Gardening course offered
by Falls Church Recreation and Parks several times per year. In this course,
several citizen volunteers teach fellow residents the basics of natural gardening
through a three-hour session at the Scout House on Spring St. To find out
about the next class offering, or to receive information about native plants and
natural gardening in Falls Church,
contact us.

Books to motivate and inspire you:
Noah's Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Back Yards
The Forgotten Pollinators
Anything written by or about Aldo Leopold

And read this funny-but-true "Parable About Lawns"