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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Rain Garden Update

Our office rain garden changes throughout the season and we wanted to share what is blooming in July.   Overall, the rain garden has been functioning well since its installation during a rain garden workshop in the spring of 2012.

Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal flower) These are the red spikes.  This plant is not a true perennial but readily re-seeds in disturbed soil.  This makes it a great addition to a rain garden or any planting with soil disturbance. This plant attracts hummingbirds, and can be a great addition to any garden, but if you plant it in your regular garden, be sure to disturb your soils each year so that it has a place to re-seed.  
Liatris spicata (Blazing star) These are the purple spikes throughout the garden.  This is a fairly adaptable plant which makes it a great choice for a rain garden--it favors moist soils, but is drought tolerant and can also grow well in drier soils if no other options exist.  It will grow in full sun to partial shade.  This plant is a true perennial and maintains the upright structure in the garden.  For those of you interested in planting a pollinator garden, this plant has special attraction for bumble bees--in fact I saw a few floating around while I was taking these photographs.  

Liatris is a plant that is on the wishlist for my flower beds, once the moratorium on my plant addition has been lifted. (unless i sneak them in and my husband doesn't notice..)  I love Lobelia but my fairly aggressive plants (and lack of disturbance) in my gardens would smother the plant before it would have the opportunity to establish itself.

Our rain garden workshop was one example of ways that TLC strives to educate landowners about changes they can make on their property.  Always check our education programs and upcoming events to learn about the next demonstration session which could pertain to your backyard.  If you are interested in a one-on-one interaction, then perhaps our Landscape Visionaries sessions are for you.  

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