The 2018 Sustainable Garden Tour will be held Sunday, June 10 from 1-5 PM, featuring rain gardens, native plant landscaping, rain barrels, backyard wildlife habitat, edible gardens, composting and more. Local residents open their gardens and share their experiences landscaping with natural resources in mind. This year's tour will feature gardens from homes, schools, and churches in the Fairfax-Falls Church area. Hidden treasures and verdant landscapes await you!
Please enjoy each garden at your own pace. Visit as many or as few as you like. No RSVP is required. Free and open to all!
The Sustainable Garden Tour is coordinated by the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District. Special thanks to Garden Tour partners: Fairfax Master Naturalists and Fairfax County Public Schools Get2Green. Thank you!
For more information or to nominate a site, please email us or call 703-324-2696, TTY 711.
2018 Garden Tour Sites
Carosella Residence at 2903 Rosemary Lane, Falls Church, VA 22042
This beautiful garden site is heavily shaded by an old stand of tulip poplar trees. The undergrowth is bursting with the color and vibrancy of hostas and azaleas, along with native ferns and spring ephemerals. The homeowners have developed several water features that utilize roof runoff to create landscape features.
Booker Residence at 3442 Surrey Lane, Falls Church, VA 22042
Come enjoy this beautifully-landscaped property full of native plant species, pollinators, and birds. This hillside lot's stormwater challenges are mitigated by a rain garden, rain barrels, water-diversion logs and channels, a permeable walkway, and extensive plantings. The original concrete sidewalk has been repurposed into a low wall and a beautiful patio. The tree canopy has been supplemented with understory trees. Taking advantage of their sunny street-side location, these homeowners have created a small meadow and multiple shady bird-viewing areas. This site has received funds from the NVSWCD Conservation Assistance Program.
Sawhney Residence at 4212 Saint Jerome Drive, Annandale, VA 22003
These homeowners have spent many years establishing and carefully tending to their garden sanctuary. The property has extensive landscaping and other water remediation efforts to successfully mitigate the water runoff from the road, including the swale in the back yard. The back yard also features shade tolerant plants, including many purchased from the annual NVSWCD Native Seedling Sales of past years. This site uses no chemicals or pesticides and is a Certified Wildlife Habitat.
Daniels Run Peace Church at 3729 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22030
There are many gardens at Daniels Run Peace Church. The largest garden is completely organic, covering an 800 square foot fenced area with 4' by 8' beds filled with many different kinds of vegetables. Cucumbers, beans, peas, tomatoes, and many other grow vertically on trellises. Outside the fenced are plants that deer do not eat or are less inclined to eat such as mint, herbs, alliums, marigolds, and raspberries. A new rain garden has plants such as milkweed, Joe Pye weed, and summersweet that attract pollinators. There are also several other edible landscaping beds at trees on other areas of the church property.
King Residence at 4023 Roberts Road, Fairfax, VA 22032
This sunny, small city home features two sustainable gardens. The rain garden installed in the front yard receives water runoff from the street, yard, and adjacent yards and is heavily populated with native plants. Other water conservation features include runners on the driveway and a French drain in the middle that collects runoff and empties it into the rain garden. The backyard native plant garden, as well as the rain garden is home to numerous beautiful foundation and garden plants suitable for smaller spaces such as Virginia sweetspire, summersweet, and Amsonia (bluestar) species. This site has received funds from the NVSWCD Conservation Assistance Program.
Belvedere Elementary School at 6530 Columbia Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041
Belvedere Elementary School lies on the watershed divide between Lake Barcroft and Holmes Run to the north and Turkeycock Run to the south. Belvedere has several gardens and other watershed-friendly features. The outdoor classroom and courtyard, once covered in turf, has been replaced with native plants and shrubs as well as a permeable paver patio/ path and rain garden. Native plants now help to filter the runoff that would enter the two storm drains in the outdoor classroom. Along the front of the school, a Timeline Garden of historic period gardens with native plants and edibles is replacing more turf. A small meadow on top of a slope leading to the neighborhood below has been planted with native meadow plants that help to control runoff from storms. These meadow plants include milkweed that is used to find and collect monarch caterpillars, which are studied as a unit in second grade. Last year, the monarch caterpillars collected were raised to butterflies, tagged, and released as part of the Monarch Watch initiative.
Chesterfield Mews Community Associationbehind 3170 Readsborough Court, Fairfax, VA 22031
This 150-member Homeowners Association recently completed two erosion control projects and drainage management projects in their shared garden area. The first involved linking a number of residential downspouts to a large infiltration trench (10’ x 10’ x 4’) to collect and slowly release rainwater runoff. The second constructed a permeable paver walkway over a French drain to redirect additional runoff to the aforementioned infiltration trench system. Areas under two small groves of river birches were planted with indigenous flowers, ferns, and grasses to help absorb the runoff moisture. This site has received funds from the NVSWCD Conservation Assistance Program.
Meara Residence at 7211 Arthur Drive, Falls Church, VA 22046
This local garden project includes a Rain Garden, an Infiltration trench and Conservation Landscaping Best Management Practices (BMPs). The rain garden has been located near the corner of the house in order to capture rainwater diverted from the roof via a reconstructed downspout system. The Rain Garden was constructed using soil excavated from the backyard during construction of the timber and crushed stone stair system that was also designed with water treatment in mind by slowing runoff, reducing erosion and increasing the amount of time rainwater is held on-site to promote infiltration. An under-drain was installed as a future precaution against loss of permeability that may occur with an aging rain garden. The garden's conservation landscaping includes around 40 different plant species and over 450 Virginia native perennials and woody plants well adapted to the local soil conditions. This conservation landscaping project has replaced a traditional lawn of turf grass which typically requires continual maintenance and fertilization, improving watershed health.