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Experience 'A Sense of Place' at the 2006 Philadelphia Flower Show

Release Date: 03/02/2006
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113

(03/02/06) PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency invites you to experience “A Sense of Place, ” its exhibit at the 2006 Philadelphia Flower Show. Proper plant selection and site preparation are basic components to the success of any garden. “A Sense of Place” vividly demonstrates these concepts with some of the region’s most beautiful native plant species.

“EPA’s Flower Show exhibit is an excellent environmental outreach activity,” says Donald S. Welsh, EPA’s mid-Atlantic regional administrator. “This exhibit showcases the beauty and value of native plants and natural ecosystems.”

Visitors to the display will step into a tranquil backyard refuge, soothed by the rhythm of water bubbling from an urn and from the scent of azaleas. The garden is filled with native vegetation including ferns, creeping phlox, early spring blooming wild flowers, and the cascading blossoms of Silverbells and Fringtrees. A handmade gazebo and fence complete the effect.

There are take-home messages to apply to everyone’s backyard. Because they have adapted to the local climate, native plants and groundcover are more able to resist disease, and handle droughts and winter ice. They require less water, less pesticides, and a lot less work. Using native plants maintains ecological balance, and avoids the possibility of introducing a non-native plant that might become invasive.

Ten Tips to Protect the Environment While Enjoying a Healthy Yard

1. Know Your Yard - learn about soils, plants, climate, and wildlife around your home

2. Choose the Right Plant for the Right Spot - avoid invasive species. Know the requirements and ultimate size of the plant. Select species that require less water, fertilizer, pruning, and pesticides.

3. Be Water Wise - water lawns only when needed, and cover bare soil with mulch.

4 Know Your Pest - make sure the pest is correctly identified and use the most appropriate method to control the problem.

5 Prevent Pollution Possibilities - Prevent fertilizer, pesticides, yard debris and pet waste from entering water sources or waste water systems. Use pesticides only when and where they are needed!

6. Read and Follow The Label - before using pesticides or fertilizers, know the do's and don'ts. The label is the law. Keep children and pets away from pesticides. Store and dispose of pesticides properly.

7. Go Natural - create wildlife habitats at home. Consider using native plant species and remove invasive exotic plants.

8. Pile It On - build a compost pile with grass clippings, leaves, and other organic material. Use compost as mulch or natural fertilizer to improve soil health.

9. Take It To The Max - cut your lawn at the highest recommended mower setting and leave clippings in place.

10. Respect Your Neighbors - regardless of whether you have a traditional lawn or a more indigenous landscape, keep your yard safe, clean and well maintained to add beauty to your neighborhood.