The Charlottesville Garden Club




Projects and Tips




American Bird Conservancy
P.O. Box 249
The Plains, VA 20198

700 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
Conserves and restores natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats.

Bird Conservation Alliance
A network of organizations that focus on bird conservation, study and education and observation.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Box 17447
Baltimore, MD 21298-9104
Phone: 1-800-SAVEBAY

" The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, founded in 1967, is the largest conservation organization dedicated solely to saving the Chesapeake Bay watershed." The CBF is a catalyst for bold and creative solutions to Bay problems.  Staff members set the agenda, serve as watchdogs, and speak out on behalf of The CB to business, government, and the public.

Department of General Services, County of Albemarle

Environmental Compliance Manager
County of Albemarle
401 McIntire Road, Road 224
Charlottesville, VA 220902
For answers to questions on local environmental issues

Environmental Defense
P.O. Box 5055
Hagerstown , MD 21741-9729
ED is dedicated to protecting the environmental rights of all people, including future generations.   Among these rights are clean air, clean water, healthy food, and flourishing ecosystems

Friends of the State Arboretum (FOSA)
Blandy Experimental Farm
400 Blandy Farm Lane
Boyce, VA 22620
BEF is a 700-acre University of VA research facility situated in the northern Shenandoah Valley about 10 miles from Washington, DC.  BEF is also the home of the State Arboretum of VA, displaying more than 8,000 trees and woody  

Ivy Creek Foundation
P.O. Box 956
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Phone: 434-973-7772

"The Ivy Creek Foundation is a volunteer-based non-profit organization founded to create, maintain, and preserve natural areas in Albemarle County and to heighten public appreciation of the community's natural and scenic resources.  The Foundation is supported entirely by community donations."

The Nature Conservancy (National)
4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 100
Arlington, VA 22203-1606     
Mission:   To preserve the plants, animals, and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the land and waters they need to survive.

The Nature Conservancy (VA Chapter)
490 Westfield Road
Charlottesville, VA 222901-1633
(same mission as National )

Piedmont Environmental Council
Established to promote and protect the Piedmont's rural economy, natural resources, history and beauty.

Sarah E. Temple, Environmental Compliance Manager
County of Albemarle
401 McIntire Road, Room 224
Charlottesville, VA 22902
For answers to questions on local environmental issues

Scenic Virginia, Inc.
4 East Main Str, Suite 2A
Richmond, VA 23219
Scenic Virginia, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization that exists to preserve, protect, and enhance the beauty of the Commonwealth. Scenic Virginia undertakes programs that enhance the scenic qualities of both rural and urban landscapes. Working in concert with conservation groups and businesses, we seek ways to preserve scenic beauty in its natural settings.

Virginia Conservation Network
The Virginia Conservation Network (VCN) is devoted to advancing a common, environmentally sound vision for Virginia. Created in 1990, the Network's membership is comprised of more than 100 groups committed to protecting Virginia's natural resources.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
4010 West Broad Street
P.O. Box 11104
Richmond, VA 23230-1104

Virginia Forever

Virginia Native Plant Society
400 Blandy Farm Lane, Unit 2
Boyce, VA 22620
Originally founded as the Virginia Wildflower Preservation Society, its purpose is to further appreciation and conservation of Virginia's native plants and habitats.


Projects and Tips

Recycling Water

One-inch rainfall on a 1000 square-foot roof can provide over 620 gallons of water.  Attach a rain barrel to a gutter downspout and equip it with a faucet.  Barrels can be purchased from the numerous sites listed on the internet if not available locally.  There are also sites with directions for creating a rain garden.

Using native plants for your area will cut down on watering.  Ask the Cooperative Extension for a list.  Mulch fairly heavily around plants, even reinforcing the mulch with newspaper underneath.  In a real drought, use water from a dehumidifier or collect water in a bucket when taking a shower.  Be inventive!

For other good suggestions, consult the book Square Foot Gardening and the August/September 2004 edition of Mother Earth News, page 100, "Tap into Water Savings".

The Flora of Virginia Project

The Flora of Virginia Project is designed to produce a comprehensive guide to the plants of the Commonwealth.  It will:

For more information please contact: Marion Lobstein: Tel: 703-536-7150 Fax: 703-534-5713, e-mail:, Website:

Outdoor Watering Tips

Make sure your lawn needs to be watered before doing it.
Grass and plants need only one inch of water per week.
Use the rain gauge, and water only to supplement that one inch.
When watering plants, use a watering can instead of a garden hose.
Water before 9 a.m. and between 6 p.m. and twilight.
Keep grass between 2 and 3 inches tall to help reduce evaporation.
In most cases, watering is necessary only during the growing season, March through
Use 1 to 3 inches of mulch around plants, shrubs, etc., so they will require less water.
Water in several short sessions, not one long one.  For example, instead of watering for 30 minutes at one time, water for 3 sessions of 10 minutes each, spread out throughout the day.
Make sure water comes in contact with grass or plants only, not sidewalks or driveways.
Clean driveways, walkways, and patios with a broom, not a garden hose.

Indoor Tips

In the Kitchen...
  • Fill a pitcher with tap water and put it in the fridge, rather than running the tap every time you want a drink of cold water.
  • Defrost frozen food in the refrigerator or microwave instead of running water over it.
  • When washing dishes by hand, use two basins. Wash dishes in one and rinse dishes in the other rather than letting the water run.
  • Install inexpensive aerators in all faucets.
  • Drain or use a pan to wash fruits and vegetables. Use this water to water houseplants.
  • Use the dishwasher only when full.
  • Do not pre-rinse items for the dishwasher. Automatic dishwasher detergent is highly alkaline and needs the acidity of the food to reach optimum cleaning action. (Besides, rinsing wastes time, your energy and water!)
In the Bathroom...
  • Check toilets and faucets for leaks, and repair.
  • Install flow restrictions and/or low-flow showerheads.
  • Install a low-flow toilet or modify your toilet with an inexpensive flushing device that reduces the amount of water used during each flush cycle.
  • Take shorter showers! A shower uses 5-10 gallons of water a minute. Try turning the water off when shampooing or soaping up.
  • Turn the faucet off when brushing your teeth or shaving!
  • NEVER use the toilet as a wastebasket!

In the Laundry Room...

  • Use the proper water-level setting when washing clothes. If your machine's water level cannot be adjusted, do FULL loads only.
  • Use the perma-press cycle on your machine only when necessary. It uses 1/3 more water than the regular settings.

Throughout the House...
  • Build a compost pile instead of using your garbage disposal.
  • Insulate your water heater and all water pipes.
  • Recycle water from fish tanks by using it to water plants. It's rich in nitrogen and phosphorous and makes for a great, inexpensive fertilizer

Outdoor Tips
  • Professional gardeners have always valued fall for planting trees and shrubs, seeding lawns and setting out spring bulbs such as tulips and daffodils.
  • Autumn is perfect for gardening. The typically cool temperatures reduce stress on gardens and gardeners alike! Plan your fall planting using the principles of water-wise gardening!
  • Reduce areas of thirsty turf grass by adding more mulched beds. Mulch not only helps plants retain moisture, but cuts down on weeds and keeps plants cool!
  • Add organic materials, like compost, to planted beds to improve water and air holding capacities.
  • Choose plants native to our area. They have lower water requirements, fewer pest problems and need less fertilizer than non-native plants. 
  • Plan your landscape for the most efficient water use by grouping plants with similar watering needs.
  • Keep areas clear of weeds that will compete with your plants for water. 
  • Use these tips, and you'll be Saving Today's Water for Tomorrow