Get inspiration from gardens in the greater region or pop over to Mt. Cuba Center! If you are looking for more personalized advice, Mt. Cuba offers Eco-Gardening Consultations at the gardens ($50 per person/$75 per household). We also recommend the Home Landscape Visitation Program, offered by the New Castle County Master Gardeners.
Spend time in your yard. Take some time each week to walk around and see what is flourishing and what needs some help. See something that makes you smile? Share it with your friends and family and share it with us! With your permission, we’d love to post them on our web page.
It can be hard to know what plants might be right for you if you don’t know the conditions of your yard. Soil testing can provide you with useful information to help manage your yard. You can have your soil tested down the road at The University of Delaware.
Looking for ideas? There are many native plants and ways you can add them into your yard. Dig Deep Delaware Newsletters feature many native plants that can be locally sourced and shows pictures of what your neighbors have selected. Find more design ideas and advice on the Habitat Network site.
To find the right plants, search Mt. Cuba Center’s native plant database to learn more about native plants and find the right options for you. Or enter your zip code into this Audubon society website to find beautiful plants for your area. It also tells you about which birds love your plants!
Many local garden centers and nurseries sell native plants. Give them a call or check their websites to see if they have what you’re looking for. They may also have great suggestions for what might plant well for the season. Take a look at our Events page for info on local native plant sales
If your landscaper makes your home garden choices consider asking them how they choose plants. Your yard will be healthier in the long run if plants are carefully selected. Keep these questions in mind:
Does your landscaper do the following?
- note conditions in the different areas of your yard?
- look for plants that are native to the Mid-Atlantic?
- look for plants that resist pests and use less water?
- group plants with similar sun, water and soil needs together
If you know what plants you want and want to hire landscaper to do the physical labor, consider asking the following questions
- do they prepare the soil before planting?
- do they add compost or examine soil quality before planting?
- do they water deeply? It’s important to moisten the entire root zone, then let the soil dry before watering again.
- do they check that the soil drains properly and retains moisture? If not, will they add amendments to the soil to improve its texture?
Join a group purchase of native plants. In spring and fall, The Growing Together program helps to organize groups of neighbors to collectively source plants for their yards at a discounted price from the retailer. If you’re interested in being involved, please contact us or your community ambassador!
Ask your neighbors for help. Many of your neighbors support the idea of planting for a healthier and better future and community ambassadors in your neighborhood are committed to making it happen. Ask neighbors nearby or contact one of your ambassadors and ask if they or someone they know could help.
Contribute to our community page
Through this program, we want to build a supportive network of people who want to make a difference in their yard. Share your experiences with us on our community page by emailing us or calling/texting 302.203.9612.
You can also let us know if you’d like to be featured in one of our newsletters!
Talk with your neighbors
One thing you and your neighbors all have in common — you care about your home and having beautiful yards that provide homes to birds and other desirable wildlife. Talk with your neighbors about home gardens and yard care. Tell them what you are up to or what you hope for in your yard. Share what has worked and not worked for you. Talk about your relationship with landscapers and nurseries. Talk to them about how to keep the dear away. The possibilities are endless.
Participate in neighborhood events. Go to neighborhood social events and participate in our spring and fall community planting efforts. Twice a year neighbors get together to collectively source plants for the new season to add beauty and health to their community. Stay up-to-date on events by subscribing to our listserv, looking at our announcements and events pages, or contacting your community ambassador.
Talk to us. If you’re having trouble with maintaining your purpose and your yard, we’re here to help. Let us know what difficulties you are facing and if there is anything you think would make maintenance easier for you. Even if you don’t know what to do, tell us what’s going on and we’ll try our best to problem-solve with you.
As graceful and beautiful we know deer are, we also know they can bring some trouble too. We hear you and will be dedicating this section on our website solely to information about deer. Click here for a list of the best deer resistant plants for your garden.