Lawns and Gardens Plus is a landscaping maintenance company serving the high end residential market. Most clients live on or near waterways, including the Virginia Beach oceanfront. Lawns and Gardens Plus staff evaluate landscape needs and use best management practices (BMPs) to achieve the best results for both clients and the environment. For example, the company believes that the best way to deal with grass clippings is to leave them on their clients’ lawns, which returns valuable nutrients, like nitrogen, back to lawns without the need for synthetic fertilizers (saving an estimated 500 pounds of nitrogen from being spread on clients’ lawns in 2018!). Lawns and Gardens Plus also offers Integrated Pest Management techniques to their clients, in order to eliminate the need for insecticides.
The owner of Lawns and Gardens Plus is a strong believer in doing the right thing, when it comes to the environment. He chairs a planning committee for Virginia Turfgrass Council’s Come to the Bay conference, where he partners with local non-profit organizations such as the Elizabeth River Project and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, to educate the public and other landscaping professionals about up-to-date environmental issues that affect our local habitats, rivers, and streams. He is so committed to this annual event that he closed the Lawns and Gardens Plus office for two days in 2018 so that 14 of his staff could attend Come to the Bay and stay abreast of the latest scientific research. Staff attend other educational conferences throughout the year as well.
A few years ago, Lawns and Gardens Plus staff voluntarily established a native pollinator garden at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach.
Lawns and Gardens Plus employees educate their clients about environmental issues, including the importance of decreasing synthetic fertilizer-use, using native plants, avoiding the installation of invasive plants, and controlling non-native, invasive plants. They routinely remove non-native, invasive plants, such as Japanese honeysuckle and English ivy, from their clients’ properties and almost always plant species that are compatible with local habitats and require little maintenance. They also participate in the Plant More Plants Initiative, a personal stewardship campaign by the Chesapeake Bay Program that aims to encourage residential homeowners to take on behaviors that improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay by planting native plants and reducing the harmful effects of stormwater runoff.
For more information about contacting this member, email Corinne Stephens.