Eastgate Ecohaven

  • LOCATION: Southeast End, Grand Rapids
  • Large shady area of front yard converted to native shrubs and groundcovers
  • Rainscaping features within tree lawn and catch basin for downspout in front yard
  • Mix of DIY and professional installations
  • Natives share space with a number of traditional, sentimental non-native plants

Around 2010, we tired of mowing over and around the roots of the maple tree in our front yard. Friends, who had replaced a grass lawn with native plants, told us to contact Wildtype Native Plant Nursery and Summit Landscape Management. Working with these two companies, we were able to replace the grass around the maple tree with native plants including Virginia creeper, wild strawberries, and northern bush honeysuckle. The native plants covered about half of the front yard.

In 2021, we began working with Plaster Creek Stewards to replace the grass in the parkway with native plants. We now have coreopsis, nodding onions, trillium, columbine, ferns, and sedges in place of turf. Plaster Creek Stewards also helped us create a small catch basin to slow the flow of rainwater from our rooftop on to the street. This area contains water-loving plants, including cardinal flowers, sedges, Solomon’s seal, swamp buttercup, blue lobelia, turtlehead, blue flag iris, and black eyed susans.

The rest of our property has a mixture of turf, non-native flowers, and native flowers (black-eyed susans, coneflowers, columbine, yarrow, ferns, spring beauties, trout lilies, mayapple, and several varieties of milkweed). In 2020, we put a paw paw patch (three trees) in our backyard. Most recently in 2023, we installed several varieties of sedge along our neighbor’s fence.

Please come and have a look at our eclectic ecohaven.