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Green Box no. 1: Southern Stars

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

Every revolution has to start somewhere, and the Green Box revolution has gotten started right here in Atlanta, with the completion of our very first sustainable yard transformation. Nestled in a North Fulton neighborhood, this gorgeous southern home has been steadily transitioning to pollinator habitat and food scaping for years thanks to an owner dedicated to sustainability. But after years of chipping away, the owner was looking for a source of new inspiration and support.

That's where Green Box came in.

At nearly 1 acre, this property is large and can be difficult to maintain, which is why we wanted to focus this first project on achieving two goals:

  1. Better defining the landscape with light hardscaping and dedicated beds.

  2. Expanding planted area without making maintenance more difficult.

We decided to focus our attention on two areas of the yard, a neglected part of the front yard near the driveway, and an eroded slope in the back yard. In the front, we fleshed out the edges of the existing bed, added a ton of compost and mulch, and then planted a showy and productive ensemble, featuring Lantana, Echinacea, Coreopsis, and Blueberry along with 5 other species of native plants.

In the back, there was an eroded slope where the owner had been valiantly trying to keep the soil together with mondo grass. But the combination of slope, erosion, and compacted soil was making it difficult for the grass to fill in the gaps. We recommended a small retaining wall to help even out the slope, and a set of trail stairs in the hillside, which could act as a spillway or sorts, and provided a direct path from the back patio to the front yard. We transplanted the mondo grass from the hillside to the edges of the new bed and along the edges of the trail stairs, as a way of retaining all that hard work the owner put into planting them. And then throughout the bed, we sprinkled several native and culinary plants, like Blueberry, Bee Balm, Butterfly Bush, Clethra, and Blue Mistflower, along with 7 other species of native plants.

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