Rain Garden Success!

IMG_3947.JPGThis photo taken 6 months after the installation says a lot but I will share some details.  Spring flooding leaves standing water in the two backyards for days on end. As you can see, the Japanese Maple has not leafed out yet.  The homeowner has invested over three years into cultivating an all organic, lush lawn. She had sump pump work done in her basement and to her horror the water was directed to dump into the back yard instead of draining into the front. Her small dog enjoyed wading through the water but a solution was in need.  The neighbors plan to start construction and remove the chain link fence as well.  Their solution will complement this one, including the continuation of the slab stone walkway through the garden for the kids and dogs to enjoy.

A small box culvert was installed in the middle of the lawn with down spouts directed to it to add more drainage to the saturated site. I designed a dry creek bed next to the sump pipe (now hidden by the slab stones) to drain the water into a rain garden.   Sitter style stones dot the way to crate the illusion of an actual creek bed as well as giving a seat. Sedge grasses dot the creek bed and Rush was installed in the rain garden. I wanted to keep clean lines and complement the lush lawn with grass like plants.  I plan to pop over late summer to see how much the Soft Rush has grown in the rain garden.

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Spade Edged Bed

Do you ever wonder how to keep the grass out of your planting beds?  No fancy gadgets needed for this one, just the ordinary garden shovel. Turf grass spreads by the underground root system. The best way to combat the intrusion of grass in your beds is to create a void in the lawn around your beds with air. Thats right. Air.  The roots will not attempt to grow in the open air.

Take your garden spade, and dig out the soil all around your bed. That soil waste gets pretty heavy so have a wheel barrel to receive it.  You can use this soil/grass combo to fill in those low spots in your lawn you have been cursing.  You are creating a crisp edge that will define your garden space from the lawn.

The key to the longevity of a spade edge bed is keeping debris out of it. Mulch, grass clippings, leaves can settle in this void and create a wonderful environment for the grass roots to spread right on over to your bed. Keep it tidy with a soft rake and remember to dip your lawn mower wheel in the trough slightly to keep that turf under control. IMG_4441IMG_4442IMG_4443