Touring an Eco-friendly, Shady Yard Retreat


You should be cautious once you enter the yard of backyard designer Jeff Epping—not since you’re more likely to journey on one thing, however since you could be dive-bombed by a pair of nesting hummingbirds, or a bevy of butterflies, or any variety of different pollinators that make this shady midwestern backyard their house. Jeff Epping is the principal designer at Epping Design and Consulting and the previous director of horticulture at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin. Given this background, it’s no shock that his house panorama is one thing particular. He writes about this stunning area in his article Design an Partaking, Naturalistic Backyard within the Shade.

Twenty years in the past, this yard was a sunny patch of turf, surrounded by borders crammed with floriferous perennials. Jeff made fast work of putting in an expansive stone patio so the household may very well be at all times immersed within the backyard after which planting timber to supply shade. The panorama has been slowly present process a change within the more moderen previous, shifting away from a conventional shade backyard to a extra naturalistic one which embraces an ecology-first mindset. This evolution, nevertheless, hasn’t sacrificed the unique intention of the dream backyard—that it’s a visually interesting area with loads of exercise.

Jeff has a couple of design ideas for making certain {that a} backyard is ideal for folks, crops, and pollinators:

  • Construct a robust connection between the home and backyard.
  • Embrace a extra relaxed planting plan.
  • Make certain all on-going upkeep and substitutions are eco-friendly.

Jeff says, “I strive to decide on crops that assist assist bugs, birds, and different creatures with out the enter of supplemental water, fertilizers, gasoline, and different chemical compounds. The needy, noncontributing ‘have a look at me’ crops that I used to develop primarily to impress those who visited my backyard have fallen by the wayside. Some exceptions are in a couple of pots and planters on the patio, however even these are chosen to assist assist hungry hummingbirds and bees. I’ve heard many a gardener lament that they’re ‘pressured’ to backyard in shade, however I’m not a kind of; I like my little shade backyard and all of the crops and animals it helps.”

On this video, Jeff walks us by means of this superb area that’s buzzing with exercise.



See extra backyard excursions

Eco-friendly Entrance Yard Backyard Tour

Rethinking a Mature Backyard Tour with Laura Trowbridge