Saturday, August 13, 2011

Win a yard full of plants – house included

Back in December, I wrote a post about DIY network’s Blog Cabin Sweepstakes. I love sweepstakes. I enter them all the time. And I’ve actually won WAY more than my share of good things. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to quit trying to win more!

Starting Monday, you can enter to win a renovated home on the Chesapeake Bay in Susan, Virginia, about 155 miles southeast of DC.

For the past five years, DIY Network has let viewers vote on various options to be included in a home that they build or remodel. At the end of the renovation, viewers can register to win the home.

Since this year’s home is on the Chesapeake Bay, when I first heard about the contest, I contacted Lisa Dyer of DIY Network to ask her if they were going to keep the beauty of the Bay in mind by incorporating Bay Friendly Landscaping.

No matter where you live in the DC area, your lawn and garden practices can have an impact on the Bay. But properties that are directly on the water, such as this one, have an almost immediate effect. Everything that goes into the ground on this property has the potential of finding its way into the Bay. So the use of eco-friendly landscaping is very important.

The premise of the show is that the network gives viewers the opportunity to vote on the options for the home. In December, Ms Dyer told me this:

I confirmed that we are indeed incorporating Bay-friendly landscaping choices into our Blog Cabin online voting. That polling period will be from Feb. 28 – March 13. While we don’t have specifics on what exact questions will be asked at this time, we will have confirmation around early to mid-February at the latest, so I will follow up with you then to provide the specifics.

Well, I forgot to pay attention to their website in Feb and March (and Ms Dyer forgot to follow up with me) so I don’t really know if they asked viewers about whether they should use Bay-friendly landscaping. But it looks like they are done with their landscaping now, so let’s see how they did.

The before photo (above) shows a huge expanse of lawn, and not much else. Not necessarily bad for the Bay, if you don’t use a lot of chemicals to keep it green or over-water it.

But the after photos look much better.

Looks like they used lots of mulch, perhaps a gravel or crushed shell driveway, and at least some of the plants are natives. According to the caption on their page “What About the Landscape” , we can :

Expect to see hollies, magnolias, petunias, grasses and long-blooming hydrangeas. Shrubs, trees and flowering plants were chosen for their drought tolerance, hardiness and color.

You be the judge? How did they do? If you won this house, would you keep these plantings or add new ones?

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