If you haven’t been following along with my rain garden project, it all started when I received a grant from my city to install a rain garden on my property. First I went through a few design sessions and came out with a plan for my rain garden. Then I had to have the site inspected, approved and staked out. After all that, we went to work building the rain garden.
Once we were done building the rain garden, we had to have it inspected again. There were a few adjustments we had to make, plus we had to add the dry creek bed for the inlet. The inlet is the area where the water flows into the basin of the rain garden.
|Rain garden dry creek bed|
A dry creek bed isn’t necessary for the inlet. We chose to add one because it’s decorative and also helps keep the soil from eroding. We used the same rock as we used for the adjacent rock wall.
Once that was done, I was finally able to add the plants. I had a $300 budget for plants, and no problem spending it all. It’s amazing how fast $300 goes when you start buying plants!
I was a bit overwhelmed with the number of plants I needed and the time it would take to plant them all. I was also worried that I bought too many plants… or not enough.
|Laying out the plants|
Picking out the plants was a bit complex. A rain garden has three different planting areas; the top of the berm, the basin, and the inside slope. Plants that like average to dry soil moisture go on top of the berm. Plants that like moist soil conditions go in the basin, and plants that like average soil conditions go on the slope.
Since the rain garden is directly in front of our rock wall, I had the added challenge of finding plants that were short so I wouldn’t hide the rock wall.
|Rain garden planting done|
The hardest plants to find were ones that would work in the basin. Most of the plants I found were either invasive or too tall. Hopefully the ones I planted will survive and thrive.
Here’s the list of plants, I chose to use a mix of natives and non-natives (for extra color and interest)…
- Arenaria montana
- Creeping phlox
- Evening primrose
- Golden centaurea montana
- Silene uniflora ‘variegated’
- Russian sage
- Veronica (dwarf golden)
- Liatris (blazing star)
- Trollius (globe flower)
- Variegated water iris
After adding all the plants, all that was left to do was add the mulch. It’s best to use hardwood mulch for a rain garden. Most types of mulch are too lightweight, and will wash away easily. Hardwood mulch will last longer, and it stays in place.
|Hardwood mulch for rain garden|
My rain garden is 150 sq ft, so I needed one cu yd of mulch (according to the design worksheet). As it turns out, this was way too much mulch. I put the mulch on really thick, and still had a bunch left over. I guess it’s better to have too much than not enough.
Whew, it’s been a long time coming, and it was a LOT of work…. but I finally have my rain garden. Oh happy day! Here it is, what do you think?
|Rain garden after adding mulch|
|Completed rain garden|
|Completed rain garden|
Follow my progress:
1. April 25th, 2012 – Rain Garden Please!
2. June 30, 2012 – Rain Garden Plan Complete
3. June 5th, 2012 – Building The Rain Garden
4. June 12th, 2013 – Rain Garden Update – one year later