Eco-Friendly Gardening

Create an eco-friendly garden by using native plants, conserving water, and reducing pollution in water.

An eco-friendly garden is all about designing with nature and the environment in mind.  Learn how to create a functional garden that:

  • uses native plants
  • conserves water and energy
  • minimizes the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides & herbicides
  • recycles green garden wastes
  • provides valuable habitat for birds, butterflies, lady bugs and other critters.

Eco-friendly gardens will save money, time, and the environment by protecting clean water, creating habitat, and preventing invasive species from taking over a landscape.

Information on stormwater solutions, rain gardens and rain barrels

Step-by-step process to success in managing stormwater on your property.

Hummingbird on cardinal flower

Benefits of using native plants may include improved wildlife habitat, maintenance of biodiversity, climatic suitability, resistance to pests and diseases, reduced water and chemical use, and reduced maintenance.

Install a rain garden to collect stormwater from your rooftop or driveway. These gardens capture and filter rainwater, allowing it to recharge ground water rather than running off you property to pick up additional pollutants.

Rain barrels are a valuable addition to any garden. Site the barrels underneath a downspout to collect water from the roof each time it rains; the water can be saved and used to water plants in your yard.

Water-efficient gardening includes seven basic principles that are easy to employ while they increase the value of your home, plus save you time, water and money.

Tips to manage your stormwater. When it rains in developed areas, rainwater washes pollutants such as fertilizers and pesticides from lawns, chemicals and heavy metals from paved surfaces, and sediment from bare soils into storm drains.

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia spp.)

Sure the vegetable garden will always need watered, and the lawn may brown-out each summer but why not consider these heat and drought tolerant plants for your flower beds? Sandy Feather, extension educator in Allegheny county, has prepared this list of trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials that don't just survive but will thrive in our long, hot summers.

If you are fortunate enough to have a stream that runs along or through your property, even it’s a small drainage ditch, you have the opportunity to both enhance you landscape aesthetic and protect our precious water resources.