Barbara Brain & Ken Herlien

  • LOCATION: University City, Missouri
  • Front yard dominated by garden beds with native and non-native perennials
  • Steep slope at the street planted with native perennials
  • Large mature shrubs deliver attractive screening and habitat in backyard
  • Certified GOLD through St. Louis Audubon Bring Conservation Home program

Soon after buying their house in 1987, Barbara and Ken began clearing invasive Wintercreeper vines covering large areas of ground and several mature trees. Luckily, a number of large native trees survived and formed the “bones” of the garden including Swamp White Oak, Bur Oak, Shingle Oak, Black Walnut and Hackberry.

Over the years, large areas of lawn have been removed while native understory trees, shrubs, perennials and grasses have been added to provide food and cover for birds and other wildlife. At the back of the property, a wood chip path winds through a woodland garden planted with Celandine Poppy, Virginia Bluebells, Jacob’s Ladder, Wild Ginger and Wild Geranium. The sunnier front garden features beds with a mix of native and non native shrubs and perennials. The landscape was certified gold in 2015 by the St. Louis Audubon Bring Conservation Home program.