Free “Less Lawn” Garden Tour

| September 9, 2013 | 8 Comments

CLICK HERE to see photos and read descriptions of all the gardens on the tour; some also have plant lists.  And CLICK HERE to see a 172-photo album of the tour by Kathy Jentz, editor of Washington Gardener Magazine.

And watch the video!  It’s by Marcia Van Horn, who lived in Old Greenbelt in the ’80s.

The Greenbelt “Less Lawn, More Life” Garden Tour was co-sponsored by Greenbelt Homes, Inc, the Greenbelt Gardeners Yahoo Group, Greenbelt blog, where you are now, and its editor, tour organizer Susan Harris.  Thanks to the Greenbelt Museum for distributing the tour brochures, and to Museum volunteer Chris Stark for printing more at his own expense!

Fifteen unique gardens in Old Greenbelt will be on a FREE TOUR this Sunday, September 15 from 1 to 5 p.m. Thirteen are small GHI gardens and two are larger, lake-view gardens just outside GHI.

All the gardens have very little or no lawn, with the space being used instead for trees, shrubs, flower borders, patios, paths and more.  So bring your curiosity and notepad and take home ideas for reducing or replacing your lawn, including examples of easy ground covers.

This being early fall, it’s a great time to notice design features and the all-important but not-so-flashy plants like evergreen screening and the aforementioned ground covers.  You’ll also discover plants that bloom in the fall, when they’re most appreciated.  Some of the gardeners have helpfully supplied plant lists!

Click here for all the tour information you’ll need – garden descriptions, more photos, some plant lists, but with addresses being added on the day of the tour.  There will also be a custom Google map available on that link on the day of the tour. Or stop by the Greenbelt Museum between 1 and 5 to pick up a printed brochure with addresses, descriptions and a map.

My garden’s on the tour so I’m making excuses early and often for the newness of it and the mistakes I’ll correct next year.  But I bet all of us on the tour are fretting about the imperfections, and hustling all week to pretty them up.  I  know I am.  But I know I’ll enjoy the result, so it’s all good.

“Less Lawn” is an important new trend in gardening, and there are lots more suggestions for reducing lawn here on the website of the Lawn Reform Coalition.  Greenbelt’s “Less Lawn Tour” is believed to be the first in the U.S. outside of California, where the shortage of water makes lawns a crazy choice and municipalities are paying residents to get rid of it.



Category: Green, Our Gardens

About the Author ()

Susan Harris has been writing online since 2005 - about gardening. (E.g., Garden Rant, Lawn Reform Coalition, and Behnkes Nursery.) In 2012 she started this community blog for and about her adopted hometown. She also created and curates the Greenbelt Maryland Youtube Channel and does digital promotion for several Greenbelt organizations.

Comments (8)

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  1. Pam J. says:

    I’ll be there! (Fortunately, my Saturday plans changed.)

  2. Pam J. says:

    Oh, and thanks for scheduling this for a reasonable time, instead of the crack of dawn.

  3. Etana Finkler says:

    Do you know how much walking it will be? I have a pulled calf muscle so could do some walking but not extensive. Thanks, Etana

  4. Michelle says:

    That was so fun! Thanks to all the organizers and hosts. The gardens were all full of personality and plenty of inspiration.

  5. Earl K says:

    Thanks to the organizers for the wonderful(maybe perfect?) afternoon. You may wish to have the North end of town represented next year as there are gardens that way exceed the one’s on the tour this year.
    BTW, 58 Lakeside is beautiful but was not less lawn. it belongs on the maximum lawn, less wildlife tour. Just saying.

    • Susan says:

      I organized the tour and chose Mary Lou’s garden for its many fabulous plants, its large animal-filled pond, and the inspiration that Mary Lou offers as a lifelong gardener and gracious hostess. A garden that large is hard to rid completely of turfgrass. Don’t know if there will be a tour next year.

  6. Kristin F. says:

    A belated THANK YOU for organizing this absolutely wonderful tour. I had such a good time. The refreshments were terrific! It was the perfect way to spend the afternoon. I liked very much seeing the gardens over on Lakeside as I have only seen them from the lake path. It looked like there was a lot of interest as I saw many people walking around GHI with maps. Please send my belated thanks to all the persons who volunteered to share their gardens. I hope that they enjoyed the day as much as the visitors.

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