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Native Garden Tour

Mount Rainier, Brentwood and Hyattsville, MD
Sunday, May 12, 10 am - 1 pm
Free of charge; Rain or shine; All are welcome!

Bridge and pond in Jeff Moulton's garden in Hyattsville

You are invited to join us for a tour of native gardens in Mount Rainier, Brentwood and Hyattsville, Maryland. Learn about the native flora of our region and see how some of our neighbors are using native plants to add beauty, biodiversity and wildlife habitat to their yards.

Go to any gardens in any order! Hosts will be at each garden during the three-hour window to show you around, talk about the evolution, challenges and successes of their gardens, and answer questions.

CLICK HERE for a map showing all tour locations.

List of gardens, with addresses and descriptions:

Jeff Moulton, 6122 42nd Ave, Hyattsville

My garden is an ongoing project which has changed a lot over the past twenty plus years. What began as nothing more than a backyard of mostly weeds and little else is now a sanctuary of many varieties of trees and understory plantings with an emphasis on native varieties (about 80%). The main feature of the garden is a small naturally draining pond which I dug out by hand and have expanded over the years. All the rainwater from the house, garage and my art studio drains into it so it rises and falls given the amount of water it receives. From this catalyst I gradually expanded out adding different varieties of plantings according to their individual needs with an eye toward incorporating native plants.

When visiting please enter through the studio building entrance immediately to the left as you face the house. I will be on hand to talk about the garden.

Luke Chesek, 3106 Taylor St, Mount Rainier 

When this house was purchased in 2014, it was mostly grass and non-native ornamentals, along with several overgrown and unwieldy areas filled with invasive ivies. Its current state demonstrates how, even with limited time and money, you can avoid being overwhelmed and make slow and steady progress at turning your property into more of a native forest and wildflower habitat. So while many non-native grasses and ornamentals remain, much of the non-native ivies have been uprooted, replaced with native bushes, trees, and flowers. It’s a good example of a yard in the early stages of transformation.

Liz Marshall, 3500 Taylor St, Brentwood

We began replacing the lawn around our house with native plants after we moved in 3+ years ago. We've introduced a mix of trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, and spring ephemerals, and we've tried to create a diverse, naturalistic landscape that can be a haven for bees, butterflies and birds. Currently, 90% of the species on the property are native to this region, and we are still learning which of those species behave nicely in the garden community.

Jodi Beder, 4213 34th St, Mount Rainier 

The yard started out as a combination of mud, crabgrass, Home Depot shrubs, poison ivy, ailanthus, and other mostly undesirable plants. Now it is a rather crowded free-for-all mix of small trees and shrubs (flowering dogwood, ironwood, white fringetree, native viburnum, and many others) and lots of herbaceous native perennials, with a very long bloom season and excellent ground cover. Mixed in are some relaxed-looking non-natives, including edibles (like figs and berries), non-native bulbs and rhizomes (daffodils, irises, etc.), and hellebores. 

MaryLee Haughwout, 4002 31st St, Mount Rainier 

Since 2010, the residents at this property have been replacing lawn with primarily native species. This property features native and non native species with a focus on edible landscaping. At this yard you will see a mix of child friendly spaces and fruits (strawberries, raspberries, plums) along with native standbys like bee balm and echinacea and goldfinch favorites like oxeye sunflowers, cupplant, and bushes such as winter berries, Virginia sweetspire and black chokeberry. This yard is terraced and features a lot of south facing sun, a rain garden, along with several raised beds for vegetables.

The Stahl/Shollenberger
70% Aspirational Native Garden
4100 30th St, Mount Rainier

Twenty-five years of thoughtful cultivation have yielded an evolving belief in the importance of ecologically-minded gardening. And so, the garden has a few well-intended undesirables still be yanked out, quite a few well-loved non-threatening aliens, too much lawn area for the dogs, vegetable beds, stubborn pockets of never-planted invasive vines and ground covers, many small habitats being encouraged, and a challenging goal to be 70% native (ask about the significance of the #) by 2025.

Steve McKindley-Ward, 
4112 30th Street, Mount Rainier

Steve’s native garden is about 12 years in the making. Mostly young trees, shrubs, and shade-tolerant perennials, he’s pursuing bird habitat with a growing interest in edible plants.

Upshur Street Blue Playground Park, 34th St and Upshur St, Mount Rainier

Through neighborhood involvement, in 2011 we got MNCPPC to plant almost entirely native plants, and our group of volunteers has been maintaining the plantings ever since, replacing plants that have not thrived, protecting plants at risk, replanting after damage from weather, traffic, and WSSC work. Highlight include serviceberries, masses of blue mistflower, and large beds of golden groundsel. The park is in need of more volunteers and also of advocacy with the city and the county.