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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Rain Garden 2013

In April of 2012, we held a rain garden workshop at our office where with the help of Claudia West from North Creek Nurseries, and your very own Land Stewardship Coordinator we did a day long workshop.  The morning involved a small lecture on what exactly a rain garden is, what it does, and how they can be effective.  In the afternoon, the attendees helped us to install a rain garden outside of our office.   The rain garden has been installed for a little over a year now, so I thought it was time for a rain garden up date.  Check out the difference in the two photographs.  

At installation April 2012

Taken on May 1, 2013

Overall we had great survivability of the plants, they are staggered so that they grow and bloom at different times throughout the year.  At the moment from the pictures it looks like the bed is predominantly Senico aureus now known as: Packera aurea (Golden Groundsel) which is an earlier growing plant (the yellow flowers).  This also did quite well and has spread to the point where I may have to actually separate some of it next spring.  The other earliest bloomer Fleabane (Erigeron pulchellus) is the pinkish whitish flower in the middle of the rain garden and while it didn’t spread, has reappeared everywhere that it was planted last spring. The grasses are up and it looks as though the rush (Juncus effusus) did not do as well as the sedge (Carex amphibola) for whatever reason (they didn’t talk, so I’m not sure). 

I have seen some signs of all of the later bloomers that were planted: Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), Blazing Star (Liatris spicata), and Mistflower (Eupatorium colestinum).  The far and away winner at the moment though is definitely the Packera aurea.  I am very pleased with how it held its green foliage over the winter, and how it is currently filling in the gaps throughout the garden.  The Erigeron sp. also retained foliage throughout the winter, so between those two plants and the grasses, we had some color all winter long. 

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