The dirt: Gardening for the rain

  • Article by: CONNIE NELSON
  • Star Tribune
  • March 9, 2010 - 3:49 PM
Gardening for the rain

You can help improve the quality of our lakes, rivers and streams by planting a rain garden in your own back yard. Metro Blooms is offering a series of low-cost rain garden workshops to get you started.

For just $10, you can learn how to plan, design, install and maintain a rain garden filled with native plants, which filter pollutants out of runoff. There are three levels of workshops, which start this week and run through the end of May: an introductory session; a design session in a small-group format, and a three-hour session that combines both introduction and design.

Classes will be held throughout the Twin Cities area, from Minneapolis to Savage to Wayzata. For locations and times, call 651-699-2426 or go to

Sustainable makeover

Maplewood wants you to give your yard an Extreme Green makeover. And it'll lend a hand, even if you don't live in Maplewood.

Starting this month, the city will sponsor classes on rain gardens, rain barrels, low-input lawn care and designing for sustainable yards. There also will be a family-friendly celebration of trees, a wildflower hike and a water fest at Lake Phalen. (Nominal fee for some events; others are free.)

Nonresidents are welcome to participate, but you must be a Maplewood resident to qualify for the grand prize: a $15,000 front-yard makeover.

Find out more about the initiative at a kickoff event from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 18 at the Maplewood Library. (All attendees will eligible to win door prizes, which include compost bins, rain barrels, garden tools and gift certificates.)

If you can't make the kickoff, go to or call 651-249-2170.


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