Links to Mary’s articles on Garden Design and Sustainability
The Enchanted Backyard
Sustainable Suburban Gardening made Simple©. The Abundant Backyard© evolved into a small business based on the requests of suburban gardeners, school projects, and community organizations that needed “hands on” help getting “down in the dirt” to garden in ways that protect the watershed and increase pollination by native butterflies, bees, and birds. The Abundant Backyard is a Montgomery County, Maryland Certified Green Landscape Business!
One garden at a time, individuals, families and community groups are embracing conservation gardening principles. Along the way they are finding connections to the amazing conservation and watershed organizations.
Gardening just outside your door is an enjoyable way to understand what it takes to sustain even a small plot of land in a healthy, natural way. Sustainable gardening builds awareness of water and land use through a “hands on” connection from your yard to nearby creeks that can lead to a greater stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and Mid-Atlantic region as a whole.
The Abundant Backyard© provides the necessary educational resources, network of sustainable local suppliers, design skills, and passion to meet the needs of “eager to grow” gardeners with easy to obtain plants, and the knowledge to develop successful and abundant sustainable gardens.
A Garden Buddy provides:
plant identification of existing native, heirloom and heritage plants along with recommendations for invasive removal.
drought tolerant native plant starter kits for butterfly and shade gardens.
strategies for conservation landscaping, such as eco-friendly soil amendment, recommendations for climate appropriate, hardy, pest-resistant plants to limit need for watering, fertilizing and chemical pest control.
Ideas for unique features to enhance the vision of the gardener. Such as, edible landscape, vegetable gardens, children’s discovery feature, environmental friendly strategies, and wildlife habitats, meditation space, etc.
In addition, a garden buddy can help develop checklists and maintenance tips for long term garden care. The Abundant Backyard© promotes numerous nearby conservation and sustainable nonprofit resources to its clients as affordable options for ongoing sustainable implementation, such as the Montgomery County Rainscapes™ program and other rebate opportunities for conservation landscaping.
Mary Phillips, founder of The Abundant Backyard©, is a gardener, writer, outdoor educator and organizational development consultant committed to sustainable gardening principles that promote a healthy environment and support the local food chain.
“As a lifetime gardener I implemented conservation and sustainable gardening principles without labeling it as such —-I often desired the plants, information and tips to head out my kitchen door to make the most of the limited time to I had to garden amidst a busy family and work life- but for many years these were not easily accessible. As a result, I have been inspired to share the resources, strategies (and the most often requested items- native plants, seeds and easy to implement kits). The Abundant Backyard makes sustainable gardening a reality for the busy homeowner or community group with limited time to seek out such resources and information. ”
Since 2008, Mary researched and developed a native plant pollinator garden model with curriculum for grades K-8. She has worked “as a garden buddy” with schools, faith-based, neighborhood groups, and homeowners to integrate sustainable natural landscapes and practices into their properties. At times, she uses history and heritage to incorporate discovery areas and focal points in the garden. She facilitated the founding board of the Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council to develop its first strategic plan.
Mary is currently a board member of the Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council, and Silver Spring Green. She has membership in the Maryland Native Plant Society, Friends of Sligo Creek. Mary is also a Maryland Master Naturalist Trainee in the 2013 class at Brookside Nature Center.
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