Greengirls Helen Yarmoska, Nicole Hvidsten, Martha Buns, Connie Nelson, Kim Palmer and Mary Jane Smetanka are dishin' the dirt from the back-yard garden and beyond. Whether you're a greenthumb or greenhorn, they're eager to learn from your mishaps, mistakes - and most importantly, your sweet successes - all growing season long.
I have a rain garden in my back yard. But it’s not the smart eco-friendly kind with deep-rooted plants that soak up rainwater runoff and keep pollutants out of the lakes.
Four days of relentless rain have flooded my beds. My waterlogged perennials will surely struggle to poke through the mud. But it’s my own fault, because I knew five years ago that I was digging a garden in a super low part of my back yard. I didn’t care - I just wanted to be able to view my bountiful blooms from the deck
I’ve paid dearly for my poor planning. My garden doesn’t thoroughly dry out until the beginning of June. Every spring, a number of my perennials are MIA. Last year, I lost astilbe, yarrow and bellflowers. Although those darn lilies of the valley always manage to return and flourish. I’m sure the saturated soggy soil in early spring has something to do with it.
So instead of trying to fight it - I’m going to go with the flow. It’s time to plant a real rain garden
I already have the required shallow dip or swale. Now I just need a good combination of native flowering plants and grasses that love water. Another bonus is rain garden plants attract butterflies and bees.
I’m planning to go to the Metro Blooms Day rain garden workshop Saturday May 3 at Kenny Elementary School. Free events include a native plant sale and environmental programs and exhibits; workshops are $10. For details on other rain garden workshops, go to www.metroblooms.org.
Do you have a rain garden? What are your favorite plants?
Photo from a Metro Blooms award-winning rain garden
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