Tackle small spaces and change our perceptions of the landscaped yard!

Vincent is an urban forester and has spent the last two years creating a flourishing native garden in this yard. He was exposed to the benefits of native ecological restoration through his work.

(See a bit about the work of Rod Simmons, a wildlife manager and advocate. (https://vnps.org/pocahontas/events/native-biodiversity-conservation-and-restoration-challenges-in-urbanized-areas-with-rod-simmons-via-zoom/  ) During this video presentation, Mr. Simmons expounds on issues of restoring and replanting native areas plus issues of ecological concern like climate change, air pollution and overdevelopment. He was excited and heartened to discover that when invasives were removed from a plot of land and native fauna restored, wildlife started coming back too. He liked that the salamanders and small reptiles returned.

Vincent’s yard was full of our typical Takoma Park invasives. And that’s where he started, pulling things out! So, start by removing things. You can have some non-native non- invasive plants because they bring you joy, but do not plant non-native invasive plants and pull out the ones you have. His advice to us: Do your yard in chunks. Pick out a small manageable project to do. Every year convert another small patch to native plants.

His favs are:

TreeNyssa sylvatica blackgum

ShrubCephalanthus occidentalis – buttonbush

Herb: Packera aurea – golden ragwort

GrassEragrostis spectabilis – Purple Lovegrass

FernOnoclea sensibilis –  Sensitive fern

VineLonicera sempervirens – trumpet honeysuckle

Aquatic plantHibiscus moscheutos – rose mallow

Spring ephemeralDicentra cuccularia – Dutchman’s breeches

And as a special sidenote, Golden Ragwort will grow as a groundcover in moist shady areas and help control the invasives!

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