Baltimore Baywise Landscape Renovation

Before & After

This summer, Lauren’s Garden Service took on one of its biggest projects yet.  This Baltimore landscape got a complete remodel with all new plantings, permeable patio, pond, pollinator garden, stepping stone pathway, dry river bed drainage solution and an herb spiral. The original landscape was full of vines, overgrown shrubs, and invasive plants.  Nearly all of the grass on this property was pulled up to make way for the new beds and hardscaping. First, the client called us to make an appointment for an estimate. Lauren went to Baltimore to take a look, take some measurements, collect information from the client and to take some before photos. Lauren took the requests of the clients and drew up an estimate for developing a design/install plan for a new low maintenance, eco friendly, Baywise native landscape. The client accepted the estimate and Lauren started designing. It took about a week to get the design on paper. The client had an opportunity to revise, request additional plants and make some changes.

Meadow area design with a dry river bed drainage issue solution for water coming off of the driveway.

Hand sketch for the backyard area which included a plan for a permeable patio, a small pond water feature, a stepping stone walkway, removal of an old cement pathway, herb spiral installation and an all new low maintenance native plant landscape including edibles and herbs.


PA irregular flagstone was used to create a pathway from the front door, all the way around the house and to the new patio in the backyard. This side of the house is a shady, wet area so Lauren selected plants appropriate to those conditions.  Turtlehead, christmas fern, moss phlox, black cohosh, Mt Airy fothergilla and wild ginger were planted along the pathway.

The area here was previously planted with natives. A landscaper unexperienced with natives ‘weeded’ this area, removing all the natives the client had planted. After that, bind weed took over pretty quickly. This new meadow pollinator garden includes milkweed, oxeye sunflower, goldenrod, ironweed, blazing star, purple coneflower, iris, switch grass, bee balm, cardinal flower, joe-pye weed, and mountain mint. It was planted densely so that it would come together quickly and out complete the weeds. The dry river bed catches and infiltrates water coming off the driveway. We planted an oak tree in the middle of this bed because it is one of the best trees for supporting wildlife habitat.

PA Flagstone was used for this permeable patio, which is surrounded by Caramel coral bells, autumn fern, purple coneflower, woodland phlox, amsonia, creeping phlox, butterfly weed, sweetpepper bush, beautyberry, winterberry, 3 varieties of blueberry, fringetree, and button bush. We also removed the old cement walkway along the fence on the left side of the above photos. We jackhammered and hauled the old cement and base away and brought in a bunch of soil with compost.

We removed all the turfgrass, added a stepping stone pathway, remove some really overgrown old shrubs and reused (transplanted) some of the existing hydrangeas. In the front we planted sweet pepper bush, button bush, shamrock inkberry holly, Ruby Slippers oakleaf hydrangea, dwarf crested iris, blue flag iris, amsonia, woodland phlox, moss phlox and butterfly weed. The hydrangeas we transplanted died back to the branches because of the heat of the summer while we were doing the work. With regular water they will put out new leaves and re establish well!

This area was planted with Autumn Brilliance serviceberry, Shamrock holly (a shorter variety of inkberry holly), iris versicolor and butterfly weed.

All of the grass along the driveway was removed and replaced with threadleaf bluestar amsonia. The new plants will establish a deeper root system than the turf grass did, which will help absorb driveway run off. No more mowing!

Here is a view of the whole backyard with the pond, herb spiral and stepping stone pathways. We transplants a Japanese maple from another location on site. It will likely drop its leaves and then re-leaf in a few weeks. Plants are resilient and often times aren’t dead yet when you think they might be.  

This is a dry river bed that slows the flow and catches water that comes off of the driveway. This is another view of the native pollinator meadow.


Container garden with mostly annuals and a perennial toad lily 

Phlox, Autumn Brilliance serviceberry, Shamrock holly, American beautyberry, buttonbush, blue flag and dwarf crested iris, butterfly weed, Ruby Slippers oakleaf hydrangea. PA irregular flagstone stepping stone path. 

Pond, herb spiral, stepping stone pathway and permeable flagstone patio.

Pond- this small water feature will be easy to maintain and attract wildlife to the yard as well as make a peaceful running water sound.

A close up of the herb spiral.  Herb spiral utilizes a permaculture design to allow for varying water and climate.  Herbs on the top receive much less water than the herbs at the bottoms.  The herbs we used here are holy basil, genovese basil, dill, variegated thyme, regular thyme, rosemary, mint, flat leaf parsley, oregano, chives, sage, borage, lemon balm, sorrel, and nasturtium.

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