Monday, May 24, 2010

Rain Garden

At The Woodlands, things are moving right along. We've sorted our donated lumber in order to make a picnic table (which is in progress right now), and we planted a rain garden!

Gardeners Mandy Katz and Todd Greenberg from Bartram’s Garden generously donated the plants to us (and Mandy suggested the idea in the first place, she's one of our brand new gardeners!).

A rain garden is planted in a depression where runoff from surrounding impervious surfaces (like asphalt and rooftops) can be directed. The plants help the water soak into the ground instead of running off and causing erosion and pollution of surface water. Our rain garden is in a depression where water naturally collects from the surrounding asphalt, and water from the roof of the neighboring building is diverted to the spot (the black tube in the photos). We’ve planted wetland-tolerant plants, some of them native. Inkberry holly, Ilex glabraDensa; white turtlehead, Chelone glabra; swamp hibiscus, Hibiscus moscheutos; and Joe-Pye weed, Eupatorium fistulosum.

This kind of action will become increasingly necessary for storm water mitigation in The Woodlands and surrounding areas because residents of the city of Philadelphia will soon be charged for the amount of storm water their property produces. Here’s the Philly Inquirer article about it.

The plot that M and I tend is also doing incredibly well. We harvested lettuce and kale (to freeze, I'm almost kaled out for the season), and the potatoes are coming up (4 varieties). I'm afraid that we planted more than the space can handle, but that seems to be the case every year, so time can only tell!

The other gardeners are also doing fun things with their own space. The plot behind ours has a huge bean trellis, and another one has a large, elaborate cage around it (this was originally to keep out the deer that lived in the cemetery). When we designed the garden we decided to build 8x8 beds and split them between people, so as to maximize wood and the number of gardeners participating. It's worked out wonderfully, and it's been fun to see people making new friends, figuring out how to share their space, and being creative!


Nicole said...

What a cool idea! You are a creative bunch!

Ann Flower said...

Nice blog. Being a great lover of Garden art, I enjoyed going through your blog. Keep on posting.