What’s new in natural yards? February 2018

Early on, That Blog questioned whether natural yards increase crime. Now, the US government is betting that they don’t.

Since the Clinton administration, all government buildings in the United States have been required to at least consider incorporating locally native plants into their landscaping, for environmental reasons. Now, the State Department is incorporating natural gardening elements into the landscaping of one of the most secure buildings in the world: the US embassy in London, which opened last month.

The grounds of this high-tech building might be expected to contain similarly complex security systems, but instead the architects are counting on simpler solutions to prevent potential attacks. A pond prevents truck bombs from reaching the building, and a hedge disguises additional protective methods.

To improve the sustainability of the building, and to evoke a sense of America, indoor gardens on each floor of the embassy reflect plant communities found in different regions of the United States. For similar reasons, the hill outside the building will be planted with tall grasses and wildflowers.

Several years ago, a woman threatened with jail time for having a vegetable garden in her yard pointed out that Michelle Obama had planted a vegetable garden at the White House. Now that the US government has deemed natural landscaping to be the best choice for one of its most expensive and important buildings, it is hard to see why any American would be questioned for choosing to use natural landscaping in their own yard.

What’s new in natural yards? February 2018

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