Saturday, June 12, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm – “Alternative” Lawns

The Ecological Landscaping Association, in conjunction with Green Decade, sponsors a tour of four residential Newton properties on Saturday, June 12, from 1 – 4 pm.  Are you looking for alternatives to traditional, monoculture lawns that require a lot of water, chemicals, and time?  There are many alternatives to a resource-intensive, chemically-maintained lawn.  Visit four beautiful and successful properties in Newton to see organic lawns, meadow gardens, and edible landscapes.  Each location that you visit will have a professional on-site to discuss the project design, maintenance, answer your questions, and help you understand the options that you have this season to move to more sustainable and organic practices.  All of the sites will be open during the entire tour, so you may choose how much time to spend at each location.

Perennial and Meadow Gardens:  Elaine Bresnick is a technology entrepreneur.  A few years ago, her gardens, which she called “the final frontier,” were rescued from over 25 years of neglect by Risa Edelstein, a local landscape designer, who designed and installed the lovely, indigenous and drought tolerant organic plantings which thrive there today.  The design was inspired by Elaine’s neighbor, Virginia Inglis, who adopted the notion of no lawn, years before.  Virginia’s backyard garden, terraced with billows of grasses and perennials, is a wildlife sanctuary in the middle of Newton.  Risa will be on hand to guide you through these gardens and answer your questions.

Edible Garden: Ted Chapman, another local landscape designer, is opeing his own property for this unique opportunity to tour a successful example of an edible landscape.  Sustainability and energy efficiency are hallmarks of this property.  Using a permaculture model, Ted began designing this edible landscape in 1983.  The mature plantings are both beautiful and productive and are a testament to sustainable maiintenance practices.  Ted’s property also features a 1983 passive solar retrofit of an 1880 working class Victorian home.

Organic Lawn: This private property will demonstrate a successful organic lawn installation that has been managed sustainably for a few years.  Frank Koll, an organic lawn care professional, will be on hand to answer your questions about organic fertilizers, compost tea, watering, and organic lawn care.

$15 for ELA or Green Decade Members, $20 for non-members.  Registration is limited.  Call 617-436-5838, or email