Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District

703-324-1460 TTY 711
12055 Government Center Parkway
Suite 905, Fairfax, VA 22035
Willie Woode
Executive Director

Sustainable Garden Tour

The 2023 Sustainable Garden Tour is being planned for June 2023. More information coming soon. 

For this year's Sustainable Garden Tour, NVSWCD is featuring never-before-seen gardens as well as tour favorites from across Fairfax County. You'll also see garden tour classics like rain gardens, 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. Hidden treasures and verdant landscapes await you! Follow NVSWCD on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to see garden tour materials as they are released and view a complete list of our gardening resources in Resources for Sustainable Gardeners.

In the meantime, please explore garden tours from past years! See the links to each site's garden tour below. 

For more information or to nominate a future site, please email us.

2021 Virtual Sustainable Garden Tour


2020 Virtual Sustainable Garden Tour

The 2020 Sustainable Garden Tour was held virtually and highlighted front-yard gardens and edible landscapes in partnership with the Fairfax Food Council Urban Agriculture Working Group. Virtual experiences from each of this year's incredible garden tour sites were added throughout the month of June. These homeowners opened their gardens and shared their experiences with videos, presentations, and webinars. Resources and virtual tours from the 2020 Virtual Sustainable Garden Tour are included below. Many homeowners had a Virginia Conservation Assistance project - you can learn more about the VCAP program here.  


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