Sustainable Garden Tour


The 2015 Watershed Friendly Garden Tour will be held Sunday, June 14 from 1-5 p.m., featuring rain gardens, pervious parking areas, native plant landscaping, rain barrels, backyard wildlife habitat, composting and more. Local residents open their gardens and share their experiences landscaping with natural resources in mind. This year's tour will feature homes and schools in the greater Tysons area: Falls Church, Vienna and McLean. Hidden treasures and verdant landscapes await you!

Please enjoy each garden at your own pace. Visit as many or as few as you like. Gardens are grouped for ease of viewing. No RSVP is required.

2015 Garden Tour Sites

Furlong-Kahn ResidenceFurlong-Kahn Residence (NEW): 9412 Cello Ct., Vienna, VA 22182

This half acre yard near Wolf Trap contains environments of all types, from a wooded area to full sun. The gardening philosophy is "as colorful as possible and wildlife friendly." Native plants are used to attract a wide variety of birds and pollinators. The sloped wooded area has been terraced with blocks of NY granite to reduce runoff. It contains large groupings of hellebores, hostas, ferns, and other shade loving plants. The sunnier areas are a mix of perennials, groundcovers, and small shrubs, plus a vegetable garden. Several of the smaller gardens have been terraced with wooden timbers; downspouts direct water into garden areas; and two rain barrels collect water. Various fairly effective strategies are being used to limit deer damage.

Lattimore-Brown ResidenceLattimore-Brown Residence (NEW): 8396 Idylwood Rd., Vienna, VA 22182

Originally constructed in 2007 with a Windmill Hill built addition in 2014, the house is designed to be as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible without compromising on architecture or functionality. The concrete slab with SIP construction and the triple pane windows enable effective passive and active solar heating of the home. The narrow footprint of the home is designed for air movement, and the owners have used wood milled from the property, salvaged architectural pieces, recycled components and other environmentally friendly finishes. Outside the environmentally friendly features include a living roof, a native species yard, Audubon at home certification, a rain garden, and a hybrid car. The result is a beautiful home with advanced technologies that keep the environmental footprint low.

ChristmusChristmus Residence: 1303 Cottage Street, SW, Vienna, VA 22180

This horticulturalist's garden showcases how homeowners can achieve harmony between their built and natural environment. They removed the non-native turf lawn, replaced impervious concrete with permeable pavers, use rain barrels to collect rainwater, and have a gorgeous palette of native plants that provide interest throughout the seasons. The garden has myriad certifications, including Audubon at Home, Monarch Waystation, Virginia Habitat at Home, and National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Backyard Wildlife Habitat.

Photo credit: Nancy Christmus, NativeScapes Horticultural Consulting

Marshall HSMarshall High School (NEW): 7731 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22043

Marshall High School has recently completed a three-year renovation. Its features include an outdoor classroom with a native plant garden, rooftop garden and energy reduction efforts. It was also the site of a groundbreaking urban tillage radish study in partnership with NVSWCD. Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bulova describes the school's new features as "cutting edge."

Stark Rain GardenStark Residence: 825 Ridge Drive, McLean, VA 22101

This residence is an example of a successful homeowner rain garden project. It also shows how native plants and rain gardens can be beautifully incorporated into a traditional landscaped look. The homeowner, Gretchen Stark, designed and had the rain garden built with the help of a small team armed with wheelbarrows, picks and shovels. A rain garden blends into the surroundings and helped solve an ongoing drainage issue, profiled in a Conservation Currents article. The garden is also an Audubon at Home certified wildlife sanctuary.

Braccio-Ford ResidenceBraccio-Ford Residence (NEW): 1723 East Ave., McLean, VA 22101

Visitors to this garden are greeted with an array of sustainable practices. A porous paver driveway and rain barrels capture and absorb rainwater. A native wildflower meadow extends across the front yard, providing a pollinator haven, rainwater uptake and an important food source for seed-eating songbirds. A woodland shade garden has been created in the backyard along with a bog garden and a beautiful DIY water feature that provides a cool drink for wildlife. Learn how these homeowners successfully challenged a complaint made to local officials about their meadow planting. Audubon at Home certified with chipmunks, catbirds, cardinals, drop mockingbirds, goldfinches, native ground-nesting bees and much more!

schaeferSchaefer Residence: 7028 Santa Maria Court, McLean, VA

A lovely rain garden filled with 100% native plants captures and absorbs runoff. Throughout the side and rear gardens, native ferns and other plants have replaced existing exotic plants to build a better foundation for the food chain that sustains wildlife. A customized rain barrel setup also helps to conserve water.

2014 (Last Year's) Garden Tour

View site descriptions and photos from the 2014 Garden Tour.


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