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Swale -- A Swale in Riverwoods, Illinois

This is the swale and front yard prairie garden in mid-June of 2009. The gray blob on the left in the photo is Toby trying to get in the picture. The uninformed think that I am trying to give the impression of falling water with my bucket and rock feature (lower right). Actually, I want to convey the image of new white potatos being displayed at an old-fashioned grocery store.

The pretty pink flowers of Wild Sweet William, Phlox maculata, which blooms in the Summer, form a tight cluster atop the one to three foot stems. This beautiful flower grows in sun to light shade in wet to average conditions. Note the thin pointed leaves along the stem.

Buttonbush, Cephalantus occidentalis, is a schrub aptly named for its white flowers which bloom in the Summer. It can grow to fifteen feet in standing water and enjoys full sun to light shade/ It can often be found growing in swales and drainage ditches.

Blue Vervain, Verbena hastata, has showy, iridescent blue flower spikes atop a four to six foot stem. It enjoys wet areas, full sun to light shade, but be careful -- it can get aggressive.

The swale at sunset early July of 2010.

Note how the top of Toby's head perfectly blends in with the rocks at the bottom of the picture. What great camoflage!

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