Garden Design Theme: Increasing habitat for mosquito-eating birds using native plants
Designing for an ecological solution to mosquitoes can be a challenge. As members of the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy and avid organic gardeners, these clients were looking for a sustainable answer to the mosquitoes that were a constant nuisance in their yard. They were excited about the prospect of attracting birds known for their voracious appetite for mosquitoes. After consulting with resources and studies on local birds and their habitat requirements, this design focuses on adding additional habitat-building plants to the existing landscape by incorporating native plants that provide berries, nesting spaces and nesting materials in order to attract for mosquito-eating birds found in Maryland. These birds include bluebirds, warblers, sparrows, eastern phoebe, wrens, Baltimore orioles and red-eyed vireos.
Key Site Constraints: shady dry slope, rocky soil, and mosquito presence
Garden Design Theme: Intercepting runoff with a contour swale. The berm is planted with native shrubs and herbaceous plants for increasing bird habitat
This Baltimore backyard was experiencing occasional flooding during heavy rainstorms. This design intercepts rainwater and supports habitat for beloved backyard birds using native arrowwood viburnum, sweet pepperbush and spicebush shrubs with a groundcover of woodland ferns and flowers. A swale was dug along contour and filled with woodchips, intercepting storm water and allowing it to infiltrate. The runoff is absorbed by shrubs and flowering herbaceous groundcovers planted in the berm.
Key Site Constraints: flooding from multiple sources in rainstorms, shady slope, and compacted, heavy clay soil