May 2013 Yard of the Month!


Congratulations to Joe Gilliland and Katy Roper @4602 Yellow Rose Trail

I asked Katy to tell their “story” of the transformation of their yard and energy savings initiatives. Here is what she wrote:

We started working on xeriscaping the backyard soon after moving here in 1997. We started thinking about long term solutions to reduce maintenance and upkeep, add color and diversity, as well as to reduce water use. This was to help us, as we age, save exertion and money and address the changing climate. Joe has laid flagstone and built beds in the back, and we worked together to mulch and use river stone to replace grass in large areas and plant mostly native perennials. We left carpet grass in the shade for our corgis’ use.

Everything has been incremental as we attacked various areas to reduce lawn mowing and watering. It was probably 11 years ago that we started on the front. First we removed lugustrum and boxwood, adding flowering native perennials in the beds and on the parkway. Those are my ongoing project to find plants that survive and flourish without totally taking over the areas.

A few years ago we had flagstone laid and limestone borders done in the front. Joe replaced the carpet grass with buffalo sod and we put in a large area of mulch. The flagstone covers what used to be a concrete walk and front porch, making the front access a wheelchair accessible ramp.

In another bid to reduce our future bills and make our home greener, we have 10 water collection barrels and a 6300-watt solar panel system. The water barrels help keep the trees and vines watered in drought. We purchased surplus 50 gallon tomato sauce barrels and Joe turned them into an efficient water collection system about 10 years ago. The solar panels were installed 4 years ago and should provide for our total electric needs in the years to come.

Congratulations to Katie and Joe and a big Thank You to our sponsors Emerald Gardens and Klingemann’s Auto Care!

Barb Huffman
WNA Board Member
YOM Committee Chair

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