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Learn “Green” Backyard Gardening Techniques from EPA’s Exhibit at the 2008 Philadelphia Flower Show

Release Date: 03/03/2008
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 /

PHILADELPHIA (March 3, 2008) – Come visit EPA’s urban backyard at the 2008 Philadelphia Flower Show. You’ll learn the best techniques for having a beautiful, carefree garden that doesn’t need mowing, uses little water and fossil fuels, reduces the need for fertilizers and pesticides, and keeps garden waste out of landfills.

“We want to show people it’s possible to have a beautiful garden without a lot of fuss, and have it do good for the environment,” said Jeff Lapp, an EPA scientist who helped design and construct EPA’s exhibit.

No-mow sod, native plants, composting, using a rain barrel to capture rain and using recycled materials such as old wrought iron fencing are just some of the topics demonstrated in this year’s EPA exhibit.

One of the more intriguing methods for backyard gardeners this year is the no-mow sod. It’s an ornamental grass that has long slender blades which grow long and lay over. The sparkling green color remains beautiful year-round. It is fairly wear resistant and works best in areas that don’t get a lot of wear from foot traffic. Gas powered law equipment such as mowers, blowers and trimmers emit 10 to 30 times more air pollution than a typical car for every hour in use. And in the Eastern U.S., 30 percent of residential water consumption goes toward watering lawns. The no-mow sod requires less watering, and less mowing – from once a month to once a year depending on landscape tastes.

EPA’s exhibit stresses the importance of minimizing air emissions from mowing and reducing the use of chemicals on lawns. Structural elements include re-used wrought iron fencing, re-cycled glass mulch, and re-cycled glass and aluminum tiles in fountains and obelisks. Our final elements include the composting of yard waste and capturing water in a rain barrel to assist with garden watering.

EPA’s exhibit won two awards – the award of merit for non-academic education from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the Philadelphia Flower Show’s exhibit of distinction. For more information on green landscaping, go to:

Audio of Jeff Lapp describing EPA’s exhibit available at: