Their Heating and Cooling Systems Went Out at the Same Time

Their furnace and air conditioning system went out at the same time.


While pricing options–all expensive–they looked into a geothermal system,  most expensive of all–but wait!  The government was– and still is–giving a 30% tax credit for the installation of a geothermal system.  Whatever the system costs, 30 % of it may be deducted from your income tax, which made the installation affordable.  But, unfortunately, the tax credit ends this year–2016.

Ask your representative and senators to extend the credit.

Having just recently created a successful rain garden to handle the runoff from the sump pump, using my design for a Drainage Swale on page 171 of  my book (that was recommended to John from a  mutual friend as a guide), John and Laurie asked themselves “Why plant grass over the loop field (i.e. the torn up part of the yard)?”

So they copied the design for the Island Daisy Garden on page 79 for the back yard and then the Less Lawn for the front yard on pg. 24, which I describe here.

design less lawn

They chose “Less Lawn” on page 24 for their front yard.

corner of house schyltz

Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum),  Purple Giant Hyssop (Agastache scrophulariifolia) and Showy Tick Trefoil (Desmodium canadense) ties the corner of the house to the ground.

front side yard Schultz

The garden then travels along the edge of the property to a berm that winds around the corner.

corner berm schultz

The berm at the corner was made from the sod that was stripped off the areas of the new gardens.  A staggered row of Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) marches along the top of the berm, intermingled with Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), Pale Purple Coneflower (Echinacea pallida), Prairie Baby’s Breath (Euphorbia corollata), and Rough Blazing Star (Liatris aspera),


corner berm little bluestem schultz

Little Bluestem and Prairie Baby’s Breath on the berm.  Note the blue cast to the blades of Little Bluestem.

front corner Schultz

The garden  continues across the front yard next to the sidewalk, with more Little Bluestem edged with Prairie Alum Root (Heuchera richardsonii).  




lawn triangle Schultz

It ends in a triangle of Prairie Drop Seed at the driveway corner.

newly planted

This garden is on the other side of the driveway, based on the same design that’s continued on page 25.  Just planted at the end of June, one can see the size of the plants and the spacing between them at the beginning.


They plan to do the Long Prairie Garden on page 94 at some point in the future.


How about the rest of you?   I would love to see pictures of any gardens you may have copied from my book–that was why I wrote it.  If so, please e-mail me photos and a narrative of what you did.  <>


If you haven’t yet planted a native plant or pollinator garden, I hope this inspires you.

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