Our Native Landscape Story (Part 10): Acquiring a Grant

This is Part 10 of Our Native Landscape Story.

Each of the posts in this series has showcased sections of our yard and what we've done in each section including before and after photos.

Part 1 and Part 2: Removing Impervious Surfaces
Part 3: Removing Stone Mulch
Part 4: Removing Invasive Species and Smothering Grass
Part 5: Smothering More Grass and Planting Woodland Natives
Part 6: Planting Natives on a Steep Hillside
Part 7: Planting the Hillside
Part 8: Removing More Stone Mulch and Planting Prairie Plugs
Part 9: Working with Damaged Soil

Part 10 is the area to the north of our house outside the front door. This is the where we have the most gravelly soil in the yard. When digging here, we're sure to find large rocks and sand deposits. 

Before Photo taken in July 2004

There was a patio outside the front door with an old wood retaining wall and lawn. We started to smother the lawn in 2006. In one portion of this side yard, we created some raised beds to propagate native perennials.
September 2009. 

We tore out the wood retaining wall in the fall of 2009 and reduced the size of the patio. We then installed new stone steps and a rock retaining wall. 

I applied for a Watershed Cost-Share Grant in the winter of 2009 to create a wildlife corridor and add more native plants to connect the prairie plantings from the front hillside to the back yard. We received the grant in early spring 2010, acquired the plants from Natural Shore Technologies and Outback Nursery and planted the area. This part of the yard is only half of the grant area.

Area just planted, June 2010 with prairie plants

We added some Chokecherry trees to the backdrop by the fence which don't get too tall (we have overhanging power lines here that limit plant heights). Other shrubs added to the backdrop include Downy Arrowwood Viburnum, Nannyberry Viburnum, Gray Dogwood and Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle. Many of these will provide shelter, insects and berries for the birds. 

Two trees were added into the middle of the area, far enough away from the power lines, an Hackberry and American Plum.

The prairie species included Little Bluestem, Butterfly Milkweed, Side Oats Grama, Prairie Dropseed, Pale Purple Coneflower, Wild Petunia, Button Blazingstar, Pasque Flower, Wild Lupine, and Silky Aster.