Donna Hodges

  • LOCATION: Kirkwood, Missouri
  • The idea has been to establish a beautiful self-sustaining natural habitat with the abundant and graceful assistance of stormwater runoff
  • The naturalized gardens on the front, side and back yards are a blending of older established plantings with a new focus on Missouri pollinators plants and shrubs
  • The front yard is a more formal established garden with azaleas and Hydrangea
  • The side garden contains an array of native shrubs, showy wildflowers, herbs and grasses
  • The backyard with its mature trees is a naturalized playscape in progress

Oma Shanti Garden (Grandmother Peace Garden) in Kirkwood

The perfect opportunity arose once the Metropolitan Sewer District completed a renovation of the outdated storm drains on the property transforming the front and side yards from full shade to full sun (6 years ago), leaving a very steeply graded side yard and nearly impossible to cut grass. As a result, a major transformation has taken place with the emphasis on creating a natural habitat which attracts pollinators, birds and small animals while also demonstrating to neighbors the natural beauty, diversity and sustainability of native landscapes.

This garden produces a parade of blooms from early spring to late fall and each season has its own uniquely colorful beauty from Foxglove, Bee Balm, Copper Iris, Slender Mountain Mint and Shining Blue Star in spring to showy milkweeds, Garden Phlox, Purple Coneflower, Missouri Primrose, Purple Poppy Mallow and Wild Petunia in summer to spectacular varieties of stonecrops and asters blooming among the bright fall colors of the Ninebark shrubs.

We have currently taken on a new challenge of converting the back of the property from overgrown honeysuckle and invasive euonymus into a naturalized children’s playscape. This area currently has Witch Hazel, Mock Orange, Ferns, Blue Bells and Indian Pink below the canopy of mature trees including White Pine, Sweet Gum, Cherry trees and a newly planted Redbud tree.