Tips for Reducing Stormwater Runoff – Help Clean-up the Bay

April 5, 2011

There is a great new initiative in Virginia to help clean-up the Chesapeake Bay from stormwater runoff.  I know that you think because you don’t live near the Bay this doesn’t affect you, but it is actually the runoff from the cities that causes most of the pollutants in the Bay.  All the fertilizer you put on your grass to keep it green; ends up in the Bay.  So below are a few simple tips to help keep our Bay beautiful!

  •  Plant More Plants – A great campaign by the Chesapeake Bay Program that is teaching homeowners in the cities surrounding the Bay, simple landscape strategies to help keep the Bay healthy.  Plant More Plants has a great website that offers information on why this is important, how to plant rain gardens (with four planting plans), provides a comprehensive list of native plants for Virginia and a blog with information on soil, stormwater, wildlife and more. 

    Basic Rain Barrel from Plow and Hearth

  • Use of Rain Barrels – I have blogged about the use of rain barrels in the past, but the information is so important.  A single rain barrel can save most homeowners about 1,300 gallons of water a year.  This is 1,300 gallons of FREE water that you can use for watering plants, gardens and lawns or for even washing cars.  That is 1,300 gallons of water that gets absorbed back into the ground slowly and never reaches the Bay.

Permeable Paver Patio

  • Use of Permeable Pavers – This is another subject that I have blogged about in the past, the use of permeable pavers in landscaping.  Permeable pavers present a solid surface, but still allow storm water and pollutants (car oil, antifreeze, pesticides) to drain through a natural, ecological process.  The permeable pavers come in a variety of designs and colors for all types of applications (driveways, patios, walkways).   This is a product we use more and more in the northern neck of Virginia.

 We all love to eat the blue crabs and oysters, so let’s do our part to help keep the Bay clean and healthy!


Rain Barrels – Save Money and the Environment

April 22, 2010

In an effort to celebrate Earth Day, I thought I would blog about an environmentally-friendly topic – Rain Barrels.  Each year more than 30,000 gallons of rain water will fall from your roof.  Most of this water runoff is washed away into storm sewers and eventually nearby streams and rivers, which can cause river bank erosion and water pollution.   An easy and inexpensive way to conserve water, help stop pollution and save you a little “green” is to install a rain barrel on your homes downspout.    

Basic Rain Barrel from Plow and Hearth

Rain barrels range in sizes from 30 to 100 gallons and come in many designs.  A single rain barrel can save most homeowners about 1,300 gallons of water a year.  This is 1,300 gallons of FREE water that you can use for watering plants, gardens and lawns or for even washing cars.  In addition to the cost savings you receive by reducing your public water consumption, you will help the environment by reducing water runoff as you use the stored rain water around your home and garden (water will absorb slowly back into the ground replenishing groundwater supplies, helping to protect our rivers and Bays).    

Decorative Rain Barrel from Plow and Hearth

You can find rain barrels just about anywhere these days, the big box retailers, your local conservation organizations or you can make your own (Home Depot sells a kit).  Most barrels come with a spigot for your hose, a screen to keep debris and insects out and linking kits to link several barrels together.  They range in price anywhere from $70 to over $200, and in design from a basic black plastic barrel to more decorative pots.  I thought Plow and Hearth had a great selection of basic and decorative rain barrels (just a suggestion, not an endorsement).

So on this beautiful, sunny Earth Day, think about how you can do your part to help save the Earth – start catching some rain!

Environmentally Friendly Landscaping

August 4, 2009
Permeable Paver Patio

Permeable Paver Patio

I believe that landscape professionals should play a key role in caring for the environment.  It may seem that landscaping in general is a “Green” process, but there are many products and techniques that you can use to make your landscape more environmentally friendly.  Therefore, I offer environmentally friendly landscaping services to do our part to create a healthy, sustainable world. 

Environmentally Friendly Landscaping:

Bio-Filters – created by planting native plants in a reservoir area where runoff is settled out before heading to streams and rivers

Permeable Pavers – present a solid surface, but still allow stormwater and pollutants to drain through the surface in a natural, ecological process.  Used for patios, walkways and driveways.  See our earlier blog on Permeable Pavers.   

Green Walls – construct retaining walls with plantable systems to stabilize they grade and add greenery and beauty

Green Wall

Dry Wells – create gravel filled areas to manage gutter runoff that is filtered through ground water before entering streams and waterways

Intelligent Irrigation/Low Volume Emitters/Drip Irrigation – irrigation control technologies to control water flow and avoid over watering

Green Landscape Design – incorporate eco-friendly designs that include: native plants, smart irrigation, permeable pavers, drainage systems and an emphasis on energy reduction

Use Native Plants – plants will require less water and maintenance

Plants that reduce energy costs – plant deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs to cool in the summer and warm in the winter

Vegetable and Herb Gardens – design and plant vegetable and herb gardens for your own fresh food.  See our earlier post on vegetable gardens.

For environmentally friendly landscaping products and services provided by Carville Landscape Co., visit our website at

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