The Carolina Yards Program at Summers Corner

02.12.2016
carolina yard

It’s no exaggeration to say that the signature, defining piece of Summers Corner is going to be the landscape. In fact, our goal is to ensure that every resident will be no more than a minute’s walk to a park or public garden.

But we think a thriving, healthy garden could be just outside your front and back doors, too. At Summers Corner we’re encouraging homeowners to embrace a garden landscape using the Carolina Yards Program. The Clemson University-certified program seeks to work with residents to create healthy, watershed-friendly landscapes.

The idea is simple, really: use simple and effective gardening methods that allow the homeowner to work with nature, rather than against it.

Some suggested methods:

  • Use fallen leaves and pine needles as mulch under trees and shrubs. They make attractive, natural mulches and are cost-free.
  • Design and maintain a yard that thrives predominantly on rainfall once plants are established.
  • Choose native plants (flowers, trees, shrubs, vines and groundcovers) for your yard, considering those most suitable to site conditions.
  • Put a rain gauge in your yard and track rainfall to avoid unnecessary watering.
  • Provide wildlife shelters such as a bird or bat house.
  • Establish a butterfly garden by providing nectar and host plants for butterflies and beneficial insects.

Yards are evaluated using a scorecard based on the 9 principles of the Carolina Yards Program. Each action taken earns “inches” towards certification. By meeting the minimum requirements and achieving 36 inches, you can have a Certified Carolina Yard.

Want to see what a Carolina Yards landscape might look like? Check out the FrontDoor Communities Magnolia model. They’ve incorporated a rain gauge, collection barrels for rainwater, a birdbath for wildlife, a bluebird house, as well as plants that are native to the area. The result is a low maintenance landscape that’s both environmentally-friendly and perfectly charming.

And don’t forget: situated on The Commons, the Dorchester County Master Gardeners’ office is happy to help community members with advice and insight for growing a Certified Carolina Yard.