At Quiet Village Landscaping, we are passionate about thinking green. Even small changes in your yard or business property can make a big difference for your local ecosystem. If you want to make a positive impact this spring, here are some big and small projects that can help your yard be more sustainable and environmentally friendly:
Rain gardens are attractive and functional additions to every landscape. Designed to absorb rainwater so that runoff is reduced, rain gardens are green solutions to lawn drainage problem areas. We incorporate low-maintenance native plants that benefit birds, butterflies, and other local wildlife.
Reduce, reuse, recycle your rainwater. No need to send more runoff downstream. Conserve water to use for your landscape via rain barrels that attach to your gutters.
Install a permeable paver driveway, patio or pathway to allow water to seep through into the ground. Not only does this reduce runoff–it increases the groundwater for your landscape, positively impacting nearby plants and trees. Additional groundwater can be a valuable asset for your lawn during our hot and unpredictable St. Louis summers when we often receive little precipitation.
Trees provide habitation and food critical for your local ecosystem. Restore native species of trees on your property to restore woodlands. Talk to us about what you want to accomplish. Do you want to attract more birds to your landscape? Do you need more shade trees? Are you interested in installing fruit trees or flowering trees? There are so many possibilities.
Great news—the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District’s initiative “Project Clear” offers small grants to help improve water quality through rainscaping! As MSD announces on their website, they “will invest billions of dollars over a generation in planning, designing, and building community rainscaping projects, system improvements, and an ambitious program of maintenance and repair.”
Residents of participating St. Louis County municipalities can now apply for a rainscape rebate to establish a rain garden, amend the soil, or install permeable pavement, rain barrels, or even a green roof on their property. Find out if your property is included in the grant program focus area.
Quiet Village Landscaping can design a rain garden that adds beauty to your landscape while improving your property value. A rain garden is a great solution for existing drainage problem areas in your yard that hold water for hours—or even days—after a downpour. If your lawn has sections where turf refuses to grow and always looks patchy and weak, a rain garden may be just what you need.
By creating a shallow depression planted with a variety of attractive native plants, rain water can be held and properly absorbed by the soil to replenish groundwater supplies. This prevents rainwater from streaming off of your property to pollute and flood neighboring creeks and waterways, and it also provides food and refuge for native wildlife like butterflies and birds.
“I love my new rain garden. Thanks!” – Victoria V.
A rain garden is a shallow depression containing rocks and plants that can thrive in wet conditions. These gardens provide an alternative to drainage systems, attract native wildlife, and prevent chemicals used in the yard and home from polluting the water further along the system.
Perhaps you have an area in your yard that retains water for hours or days after a good rain where your lawn looks patchy and weak. That is an ideal spot for a rain garden. With the right sculpting and the right plants, a rain garden holds and absorbs water, replenishing groundwater supplies. This is a much greener alternative to allowing rainwater to stream off of your property, polluting and flooding neighboring creeks and waterways.
Quiet Village Landscaping designs gorgeous rain gardens that add beauty to landscapes while improving property value. A well-planned St. Louis rain garden will also attract a variety of birds, butterflies, and other native wildlife that your family can enjoy throughout the year. Let us install your rain garden for you and you’ll feel good about providing a habitat for native creatures, reducing water pollution and conserving our soils.
Last month, Quiet Village Landscaping took advantage of a neat opportunity to help out the Habitat for Humanity ReStore location near the Sam’s Choice on Manchester. We donated materials and labor to add some charm to their store sign. We kept it green, using native plants in the design.
If you aren’t familiar with Habitat for Humanity ReStore, they bring in additional monetary support for Habitat for Humanity by offering a lower-cost alternative to the conventional hardware store, selling perfectly good surplus construction and household materials that might otherwise be discarded into landfills. Stop by one of their two St. Louis locations. For more info, check out www.habitatstl.org/supportus/restore/.
Rebecca, our landscape designer, responds to some commonly asked questions about landscaping.
Q. What’s trending right now in the landscaping world?
A. We’re seeing a lot of great trends right now:
Q. What is easy to overlook when designing or maintaining your outdoor living space?
A. Most often we see people not being conscious of the plant’s mature size. For example, people tend to plant their plants too close together or the house and then once the plants have reached their full size, the home owner has to go back and consistently maintain them.
A few other things people tend to forget is how important soil preparation is, how the natural habitat has an effect on their landscape (especially those living close to the woods), and how your water runoff can affect your neighbors’ water runoff and drainage.
Especially in the heat of the summer, it’s important to remember that even well-established plants (large trees and shrubs) can benefit from being watered a couple times a week. The stress of the summer heat can lead to issues in the future. Also, using proper pruning technics is critical since a poorly pruned tree or shrub is more susceptible to disease and pest problems. Lastly, people must understand that even a low maintenance garden needs some tending to a couple time of the years.
Q. How can I really make my landscape “pop”?
A. Adding a fireplace, fire pit, pizza oven or outdoor kitchen to a patio gives you a lot more options with your space. Pergolas are great for climbing plants and adds a vertical dimension to your landscape. The right outdoor lighting can turn your home and garden into an entirely new setting at night, and water features add a great natural touch to your garden.
Let us know how we can help design or maintain your outdoor paradise!
The 2014 Green Homes Festival at the Botanical Gardens on June 7th was a great success! Yes, stormy showers eventually chased us inside, but the event was fabulous nonetheless. Despite the rain, a grand total of 3,781 people attended the show, which included over 70 exhibitors and vendors all focused on some aspect of green living.
Some of the highlights included local food, live music from Eco-Elvis and Wack-A-Doo, the Green Marketplace, activities for kids, and the great variety of educational opportunities for sustainable living.
Our booth got a lot of attention because we were one of only two landscaping companies participating in the event. It was a great opportunity for us to educate others about the environmental benefits of permeable paver patios, walkways, and driveways.
If you would like more information about installing a permeable paver patio, walkway or driveway in your landscape, give us a call to set up a free initial consultation. And, if you didn’t make it to the Green Homes Festival this year, put it on the calendar for next year! We’d love to see you there.
Permeable paver patios, pathways and driveways are much ‘greener’ than their asphalt or concrete counterparts. Also referred to as “pervious,” permeable pavers allow water to filter into the ground rather than causing runoff. Permeable pavers allow snow and ice to melt more rapidly. Water drains into the ground rather than refreezing on the pavement.
When the water is absorbed by the ground rather than flowing into the sewer drains, it greatly reduces the amount of man-produced irrigation that your lawn requires in the direct and surrounding areas. This helps nourish deep-rooted plants and trees along with surface vegetation like turf and flowers.
Environmentally-speaking, less storm water runoff means that our streams and riverbeds are less likely to flood and the rate of erosion will be reduced. It also decreases the amount of toxic pollutants such as chemicals and oil that get washed into water supplies, affecting aquatic life, fishing, swimming, and even, in some cases, drinking water.
Permeable pavers come in a huge variety of attractive styles and colors. Talk to one of our expert designers about your green vision for your landscape.
This article was printed as a special “Green Scene” section in the Ladue News on March 28, 2014. Reproduced with permission. Written by Julia Christensen.
Thumbs aren’t the only green things you’ll find at Quiet Village Landscaping. From reusing office supplies to recycling plant debris, the company is focused on eco-friendly practices both inside its office and out on the field.
“The primary thing we’re trying to go after is sustainable landscape designs for homeowners,” says Quiet Village owner Dennis Evans, who says that from rain gardens to hardscaping, there are a multitude of ways to take an area that may be physically green and make it metaphorically ‘green.’ “Traditionally, standard landscaping used a lot of non-native plants, and they are plants that required heavy irrigation and chemical applications–they just don’t succeed and thrive in our environment. Eco-friendly landscaping incorporates the native and lower-maintenance plants.”
Not only can native plants help to cut back on chemical applications, but often they can withstand extreme conditions that may wither other plants. Through a practice called xeriscaping, Quiet Village can create drought-resistant landscaping, which often uses native plants that are accustomed to the weather.
For homeowners hoping to maintain eco-friendliness in their landscaping, Evans recommends incorporating as many native plants as possible. “They’ll require no irrigation after established, and they’ll be resistant to disease and insects in this area.”
Quiet Village’s ‘green’ responsibility doesn’t end there. As Evans says, the business is committed to recycling materials whenever possible. Lawn debris from clients’ homes is brought to a facility to be turned into mulch, for example, and plastic pots are melted through Pots to Planks program to create plastic landscape timber.
Currently, Quiet Village is working with the Deer Creek Watershed Alliance as a preferred contractor to perform the rebate-supported landscaping work. “In certain municipalities, they’re trying to reduce the amount of water run-off that goes into the Deer Creek Watershed, so we’re creating rain gardens and installing permeable pavers to allow the water to slow down and go back into the ground,” Evans explains. “It’s a cleaner, better way to do it.”
Quiet Village is involved in a multitude of other eco-friendly organizations, including St. Louis Green, the U.S. Green Building Council, the Horticulture Co-op of Metro St. Louis and the National Wildlife Federation. “One of the big things for us is to give back to the community and share the success that we have,” Evans says. “We encourage our employees to give back and, organizationally, we like to lead by example.”
Reduce Runoff while Retaining Cash
Landowners in 19 participating municipalities, including residents, schools, churches, and businesses are eligible to take part in the RainScape Rebates Program. This voluntary program financially assists landowners in the Deer Creek Watershed wishing to landscape their yards to improve stormwater management.
Watch this video on how to save money and reduce stormwater runoff via the Deer Creek Alliance’s RainScape Rebate Program. Click on the image above or follow this link to watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKj7royML3o
Rebates of up to $2,000 are available. The application deadline is February 12, 2014. Visit www.deercreekalliance.org to learn more.
In addition, for a limited time Missouri Botanical Garden in offering a RainScaping Prize Drawing. Go to www.mobot.org/rainscaping by February 11, 2014 for a chance to win a $500 gift certificate for Shaw Nature Reserve’s Spring Wildflower Market in May or one of five other rainscaping prizes valued at $350 to $1000.