Below are comments I shared at a press conference held today in a garden we designed and installed in Garrett Park to announce the launch of Montgomery County’s Green Landscaper Program:

About a year and a half ago, I looked at Backyard Bounty’s logo, whose central feature is a big carrot, and wondered whether it should change. I founded the company because of a passion for the type of gardens the French call a ‘potager’- a garden containing a mix of edible plants, herbs and flowers that create a home landscape that is beautiful and functional.

As Backyard Bounty grew and evolved, I became increasingly passionate about native plants and storm water management, and, while we will always love designing and building kitchen gardens, I wanted to make sure our logo reflected the complete picture of who we are as a company.

Considering different graphic options, I realized a couple of things: 1- that graphic design may just be the most difficult field of design out there, and 2- that the carrot, albeit modified to look a bit more ornamental, was the right logo for our company.

Why the carrot? Because of a metaphor:

As a business woman, I’m inspired by Alice Waters, the founder of Berkeley, California’s ‘Chez Panisse’ restaurant. Alice’s company inspires me because in her commitment to making great food from responsibly raised ingredients, she has used the pleasure of the table to motivate Americans to seek out organic food that has helped foster the growth of local and sustainable food systems across the country-

One of the many lessons I’ve learned from Alice Waters work at Chez Panisse is that the metaphorical carrot can have as much power to inspire good stewardship as the metaphorical stick.

Those of us living in Montgomery County, Maryland, are fortunate to have a Rainscapes progam that offers a valuable carrot to homeowners interested in doing the right thing- up to $2500 in tax credit to be applied towards the installation of a Rain Garden, Conservation Landscape, or Permeable Driveway. Thanks to all the folks who work to make it financially easier to create home landscapes that improve our environment.

Signing on to adhere to the principles of Montgomery County’s Green Landscaper Certification Program inspires us to create beauty that is rooted in good stewardship. Gardens are carrots- full of pleasure in views, in flowering blooms, in the flavor of fresh picked lettuce….

When we design, build and maintain gardens responsibly, we re-charge our groundwater, keep pollutants out of streams, build habitats that preserve the diversity in our eco-systems, and conserve energy and limited natural resources. I’m excited to be part of this team that will lead county residents to create gardens that do good while looking good.