In this session, Drew Lathin will discuss the benefits challenges of urban landscaping with native plants which require no supplemental water, fertilizer, or pesticides. With his extensive photo documentation of the process, Drew will guide you through the transformation of his postage stamp sized lot in Ann Arbor from a traditional landscape to one containing only native species. He’ll show you the process of eliminating the existing vegetation and installing a short grass prairie and pond in the backyard with traditionally landscaped perennial beds in the front of the house, the design and build of four rain gardens, and the installation of a buffalo grass front lawn. Drew will further share his experiences maintaining the landscape which primarily utilizes prescribed burning and the issues associated with it in a tightly confined neighborhood.
Drew Lathin – Creating Sustainable Landscapes, LLC
Drew Lathin has been playing with native plants for the past ten years in a variety of situations. He is the current owner of Creating Sustainable Landscapes, LLC, the former General Manager of Great Lakes Native Plants, and is also a volunteer and park steward in the City of Ann Arbor’s Natural Area Preservation Division. In 2011 he was named Volunteer of the Year for his restoration work in Miller Park and participation on the city burn crew. At home, Drew has transformed his yard from a traditionally landscaped property to one containing only native plants. He has four rain gardens including the first in Washtenaw County taking water off the street, a backyard shortgrass prairie, traditionally designed native perennial beds, and a buffalo grass lawn.