Gwyn Whittaker, president of the Sycamore Ridge Homeowners Association in Oak Hill and her dog Duncan check on the native perennials the HOA planted last fall at the entrance to their development. “It’s a work in progress; an investment in long-term sustainability,” said Whittaker.
Photo by Mercia Hobson.
Herndon Native perennials promise regeneration year after year enhancing gardens and signifying seasonal changes. Being pre-adapted to local conditions, they are drought tolerant. Even the smallest garden area can conserve resources, restore native ecology and create a wildlife habitat.
Wanting to promote eco-friendly practices that would save replanting and watering costs, Sycamore Ridge Homeowners Association in Oak Hill decided to take action last fall. They began, as HOA President Gwyn Whittaker stated, "a sustainability plan for the neighborhood.”
Months earlier, Whittaker had urged HOA members to consider not continuing the association's practice of purchasing annuals seasonally, which required costly planting, replanting and watering fees but instead to consider naturescaping and the use of organic pesticide and fertilizers. “New homeowners want pesticide-free. People care about the environment,” said Whittaker.
The HOA members agreed and outsourced a landscape company to convert part of the entrance's border plantings to include those found in a naturalized local meadow. The fruits of the HOA's decision are seen as pollinators land on the Bee Balm, Black-eyed Susans, Tickseed and Geranium Maculatum. Although the plants are small, they will grow rapidly in the next two years, filling in the negative spaces.
“It’s a work in progress; an investment in long-term sustainability,” said Whittaker.