Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I had a great time with the Woodcroft Women's Club on Monday night. I presented a talk on "Sustainable Landscape Design" with an emphasis on building landscapes that last and have a positive impact on the environment. There were a number of questions after the talk that I promised I would address in a blog post. First, we talked about what I feel is the best mulch to use- leaf compost. It's what mother nature puts down in our forests once a year, so it should be good enough for us. A source for leaf compost in the Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Southeast Durham is Area Mulch and Soils. They only deliver to a few places in Durham, so not a total solution. The Carrboro Public Works department also has leaf compost periodically that you can pick up yourself. Visit their site to learn more. I couldn't find any mention of it there, but the contact info is there to learn more about what they offer. Also, I gave a lousy definition of Greensand, a common ingredient in a number of organic fertilizers. Here's a better one. We talked alot about soil building, and how important it was to healthy plants. Here's an article that gives a good overview of the topic, albeit it's on a website trying to sell you stuff. Ignore the product placements, and you'll get some good info. We also talked alot about fungi and how important a good fungal colony in the soil was to healthy plants. Here's a short piece of information about how that works. Here's where you can get fungal innoculants for your soil through the web. I have used the Mychorrizal Landscape Innoculant on that page and have had great results. If there are any other questions I didn't answer from the talk, please comment on this post with a question and I'll respond. If you weren't at the talk and have a related question on the topic, feel free to add a comment as well.


  1. Stefan, we thoroughly enjoyed your talk at the Woodcroft Women's Club and I think we all learned something! I had one more question...could you tell us where we can find a list of native plants?

    Thanks so very much for giving us your time and being so informative and interesting!

  2. Cindy,
    Here's a nice link to a list with photos of plants suitable for NC Native Gardens. It's on the Ladybird Johnson Wildlfower Center website, and the list was compiled by the NC Native Plant Society


    NC Native Plant Society Website: