Starting a rain garden

We’ve been having a little water in our basement after heavy rains, and we noticed that water from our neighbors’ downspout was pooling right outside our basement where we’re seeing the water. Sounds like a job for a rain garden!

rain garden - just starting

One of the neighbors and I dug out the outline of it last weekend and she dug a path from her downspout to it (our downspout already sends the water that direction). The grass went into the compost heap, and I keep hauling buckets of dirt off to fill low spots in the lawn and in the sideyard. Once I take it down a couple of inches from the level of the lawn, I’m going to rototill in some (store-bought) compost and then cover it in mulch to make the bed look level.  How soon this gets done depends on when the rain and humidity let up – it was dry until we dug this, and ever since it’s rained every day!

Plants? Well, I’m hoping to pick up some sweet black-eyed Susan and New England aster at the farmer’s market this weekend. This fall, I want to plant Virginia bluebells and maybe Jack-in-the-pulpit. For late spring and early summer, maybe more of my favorite blue lobelia or cardinal flower along with some irises. I’m continuing to scour my native plant catalogs for part-shade, sometimes-wet, clay-loving plants, and finding a surprising number of options (although given that it is in the front yard, I should probably avoid some of my favorite ones with poisonous parts).


2 responses to this post.

  1. I think that’s a great way of dealing with a “wet” situation. Can’t wait to see how it turns out. I wish I lived closer, I have black eyed susans EVERYWHERE; you could help yourself!


  2. Posted by lakechicagoshores on August 10, 2007 at 11:20 am

    I’m pretty psyched about it – less lawn and more plants! Since I’m contemplating driving out to St. Charles to buy plants, maybe I just need to stop by your place to steal…er, divide…some of your black-eyed Susans….


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