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Chesapeake Bay BayScapes

mediaYard & LandscapingJun 23, 2017

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service offers a lot of information about BayScapes.

What is a BayScape? Simply, a BayScape is a beautiful landscape, planted and maintained to benefit people, the local environment and the Chesapeake Bay.

A BayScaped landscape is beneficial for the environment and uses native plants to:

  • provide habitat for local and migratory animals
  • improve water quality
  • reduce the need for chemical pesticides and herbicides

A BayScape also is valuable for the gardener or landowner because it:

  • offers greater visual interest than lawn alone
  • reduces the time and expense of mowing, watering, fertilizing and treating lawn and garden areas
  • can address areas with problems such as erosion, poor soils, steep slopes or poor drainage

Installing BayScapes on properties in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed helps improve local streams and waterways, the Bay’s waters and the habitat the area provides. However, you don’t have to live in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to practice this type of landscaping.

The principles of BayScaping have been applied to many other regions, and are referred to by a variety of terms including “xeriscaping,” “beneficial landscaping,” and “conservation landscaping.”

Getting Started

BayScaping can be as simple as a few native potted plants on your balcony, or as elaborate as tearing up your whole lawn and replacing it with native planting beds. Follow these links to find out how to create and maintain your very own BayScape.

BayScaping is Easy

Remember, using native plants, it’s hard to goof. There are no right or wrong answers. If you plant something and later think it would look better in a different spot, move it. If you plant too much of something or a plant has spread more than anticipated, share with friends. If a plant dies, replace it. If you want more of something, collect its seeds and spread it around.

Many natives tolerate a wide range of conditions, particularly in a garden setting where there is less competition from weeds and other plants. No matter what, you are likely to succeed. So have fun with it!

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