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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rain Garden

Last weekend's project was a rain garden. Exhibit 1, my backyard after torrential Houston downpours last April.
I'm planning on taking a three-pronged approach to this problem. First, was spreading 4 yards of dirt around the yard in hopes of slowly raising the level. Second is the rain garden. And third will be gutters and a rain water collection system.

I've been wanting to build a rain garden for several years. I've even had most of the plants that are now in the garden for at least a couple of years. You'll notice the picture below is the same location as the first picture above, which looks like a lake.

I filled the rain garden with Louisiana iris, colocasia (elephant ears), wood fern, iris cristata, white tip sedge, and a few plants that I got from the rain garden workshop I attended at the Houston Arboretum. This is the lowest part of the yard, so it is a natural location for a rain garden. I removed about 2-3 inches of the existing soil. It just so happens that it was great soil, most likely this was a garden bed sometime in the house's history. And, it just so happens I needed some extra soil about 8 feet away, in the bed I'm building around the gazebo.

Here is a Rain Garden fact sheet from Angela Chandler, a Harris County Master Gardener.  There is a great plant list on the last few pages.

I still have room for a few more plants in the rain garden, but I'll wait for some of the existing ones to fill in a bit. Now, I'm waiting for the torrential rains to find out if it will work. Let's hope the build it and they will come approach will work.

3 comments:

  1. Wow - those before pics are something else. I hope you get a chance to see how the rain garden will work, and not another drought like last year. Our rainbarrel was our best ever investment, I think.

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  2. I have been wanting to put a rain garden in our backgarden - thank you for the chance to see yours and the information. Congratulations on starting your new blog. I heard/read about it through Cindy's (My Corner of Katy)blog and popped over for a visit. The picture of the Hydrangea is great! Enjoy your time in Buffalo!

    RM

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  3. The link to the Rain Garden Fact Sheet from Angela Chandler isn't working anymore. Looks like they've moved it here: http://harris.agrilife.org/files/2011/05/raingardens.pdf I just wish they had good photos (overview of size/shape as well as close up)!! I spend so much time trying to look for good photos to figure out what the plants will look like when they're mature, and what their growth habit is.

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