Tallgrass Prairie Center


Backyard Abundance Yard Tour

Sunday, July 7, 2019 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
2040 Rochester Court, Iowa City, IA 52245

Tour an elegant urban garden. This event is free and open to everyone.

Yummy snacks will be provided by New Pioneer Food Co-op. The Johnson County Master Gardeners will provide gardening advice and handouts.

Pockets of Diversity

The expansive yard was designed by Kasia and Kelly over many years. It features beautiful wildlife habitat, outdoor rooms, high-yielding vegetable gardens and water management features.

Features you will enjoy:

  • Stately patio of permeable pavers
  • Delightful fountain fed by an underground cistern
  • Rain garden of native prairie plants
  • Shady hosta garden
  • Grand vegetable garden on a sunny slope
  • An unobtrusive tall fence that acts as deer protection
  • Small orchard of fruit trees and berry bushes
  • Charming deck at the peak of the yard

The yard brilliantly demonstrates how a space can be shared by both people and wildlife for mutual benefit. Creating a habitat for wildlife strengthens the resiliency of that wildlife. A strong and diverse wildlife population helps to keep our ecological systems in balance; for example, a strong bird population can help control infestations of insects.

Water Management Features

Rainwater is held on their property with an underground cistern and rain gardens. Keeping rainwater on the landscape helps maintain the health of our urban streams by reducing extreme water level fluctuations.

​Permeable pavers were used to create a small, stately patio. Water flows through the pavers to an underground cistern. That water then feeds a babbling fountain which acts as an oasis for birds and insects.

​Rain gardens capture water flowing from their hillside. In addition to watering the native prairie plants in the garden, nearby trees and shrubs benefit from the infiltrated water.

​These features were designed and built by Alex Schmidt Landscape Design. Mr. Schmidt will be available during the tour to answer your questions and discuss options for your property.