Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 9AM-5PM M-F

TTY 711

12055 Government Center Parkway
Suite 905, Fairfax, VA 22035

Laura Grape,
Executive Director

Sustainable Garden Tour

More information on the 2020 Sustainable Garden Tour will be announced in the spring of 2020.

The 2019 Sustainable Garden Tour was held Sunday, June 9th 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. The 2019 tour will feature gardens from homes, schools, libraries, and churches in the Vienna-Oakton 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!

Garden Tour Map image

View Resources for Sustainable Gardeners

Go to a Google Map of the Garden Tour Sites

View Directions to the Garden Tour Sites

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 703-324-1423, TTY 711.


2019 Vienna/Oakton Garden Tour Makes a Splash!

The 2019 Sustainable Garden Tour was held on Sunday, June 9 and featured nine homes and community areas in Vienna and Oakton. Each year, the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District highlights sustainable gardens and watershed-friendly projects in Fairfax County through our Sustainable Garden Tour. Local residents open their gardens and share their experiences landscaping with natural resources in mind. Homes on the garden tour have voluntarily installed conservation practices such as rain gardens, porous pavers, pollinator gardens, and other practices that not only help conserve soil and water, but are also environmentally friendly.
The rain garden at one residence filled quickly in the rain.

NVSWCD staff and tour site hosts prepared for the event by creating maps of sustainable features on the site, labeling native plants, and creating plant lists for those who were interested in obtaining them. And on Sunday, the day of the garden tour, it began to rain!
While rain at any other event would scare away the crowd, if anything, the weather attracted more participants to the Garden Tour to see sustainable drainage and erosion control features in action! At the Kahn-Furlong Residence, visitors saw how the homeowners dealt with runoff from their neighbors on a downhill slope by covering the terraced slope in native plants. Visitors at the Hoffman Residence observed the water moving into their newly-built rain garden. One visitor commented that she was glad that the rain gave her the opportunity to see a rain garden fill and understand the impact a it might have in her landscape.
One homeowner showed how they used native plants to control erosion on a slope.
The Holtz Residence  featured not only the homeowner’s front yard conservation landscaping project, but also hosted several Boy and Girl Scouts who had worked with the homeowner to accomplish conservation projects. They presented projects on reducing plastic pollution, establishing monarch butterfly habitat, and invasive plant removal. Flint Hill Elementary School had several sites located around the school where knowledgeable students spoke about the sustainable garden features established by the students and used in their learning. One of these tour guides proclaimed that his favorite thing in the courtyard was a small pond that had turtles and frogs.
Our spring intern and many others enjoyed the scout projects.

In all, 182 hosts, volunteers, and visitors took part in this year’s Sustainable Garden Tour. The engagement we saw from the community was inspiring, and we hope to see more sustainable gardening practices installed in Fairfax County as a result of this program and programs like it. Expect to see information in spring 2020 about next year’s garden tour—we hope to see you there!
Fairfax Virtual Assistant