Five Tips For a Green Garden Design from GardenWise’s J. Mark White

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Eco Friendly "Green" Garden Design Tips from DC's GardenWise

J. Mark White, GardenWise

A thoughtful understanding that an outside space can have a positive impact on the environment is the best first step to a greener garden design

J. Mark White, president of GardenWise, Inc., ( has been designing and installing "green" landscape garden designs since 1994, and has been recognized for his green and eco-friendly garden design and landscape architecture work throughout the greater Washington, D.C.-area, and in home and garden publications that have included Southern Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Cottage Living, Remodeling, and Traditional Home, among others. White can also be seen on HGTV as a Landscape Architecture garden design expert.

"Many clients come to me and ask, 'How can I go green, and where do I begin" said White. "The simple answer is, you've already begun. A thoughtful understanding that an outside space can have a positive impact the environment is the best first step to a green garden design."

Below are five additional steps White recommends to homeowners who want to change their current garden designs and landscapes to make them more green, without spending a lot of money in the process. For additional green garden design tips, please follow White and GardenWise on Twitter at .

J. Mark White's Five Easy Steps to a Green Garden Space:

  • Reduce your lawn by half. Substitute lawn areas with ground-covers that will provide beautiful colors and textures to your spaces. Another lawn substitute? Vegetables. A small area dedicated growing your favorite vegetables will transform the most unproductive area of your landscape.
  • Replace your plants. Substitute attractive drought-tolerant alternatives that will require less watering year round. Also replace exotic plants with native or natural plants that will survive and thrive in the year round weather conditions in your area
  • Add trees. Trees absorb CO2 and other dangerous gasses while replenishing the atmosphere with oxygen. Deciduous trees will grow tall and full in the summer and add shade your home and roof,while allowing for sunlight to enter your home during the winter months. This energy saving step will also lower the cost of cooling and heating costs. Adding a fruit tree or two will help in the same way, while saving you money at the grocery store.
  • Recycle water. Add a Rain Barrel! A typical 1/2" rain storm will fill a 50 gallon rain barrel, while a 1" rainstorm produces 1/2 gallon of water per square foot of roof area. You can add a soaker hose to a barrel, and use recycled water in watering cans for containers, pots, and beds. Your water savings from using stored water will be substantial. An added bonus is reducing the amount of water around the foundations of your home.
  • Recycle from your new garden areas. Donate excess fruits and vegetables to those in need. Not only will you help others in your immediate community, but you'll show your friends and family, by example, the many levels a green garden design can give back, both locally and globally.

For more information on creating Green Gardens, Green Landscape Architecture and Garden Design, please visit GardenWise online at

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