Samples Of Our Work
  Our Services, Philosophy
     and Prices
  Slide Shows and Events
  Plant Sales
  Educational Links
  Native Plants and
    Seed Sources
  Our Newsletters
  Conservation Foundation
     and Certification
  Monarch Butterfly Waystations
  Contact Us

The Construction of a Rain Garden in a Swale in Downers Grove

Summer of 2007

This swale carried large amounts of water after a heavy rain and always overflowed over the sidewalk and into the owners' front yard.

Note that the swale is about two feet below the level of the road. Ths means that a plant four feet tall would appear to be only two feet tall when observed from the sidewalk or road.

The inflow culvert is visisble at the top of the photo and the outflow is at the lower left hand corner. We cleared the work with the city ... is a good idea for everybody to follow.

Missing pic

The area was herbicided, rototilled about two weeks later, planted and mulched. Rock and log design features were added for artistic appeal. Special consideration was giving to the inflow and outflow culvert openings.

Missing pic

missing pic

Naturally, Toby helped in his own special way

Tony is finishing up the stone work around the outflow culvert.

Missing pic

Toby is inspecting Tony's work. He always gives his approval.

A year later, the Summer of 2008, the garden has really filled in. Many of the flowers are blooming. See the pea gravel streambed running the length of the swale.

By mid-October 2009 you can no longer see the streambed. The garden has survived and flourished despite being a banquet hall for rabbits.

A tall Joe Pye Weed, Eupatorium purpureum, is at home midway down the swale. Although about six feet tall it appears much shorter because of the depth of the swale.

The Art and Linda's logo sign as well as the Conservation@Home sign are proudly displayed in this garden. We put in these two signs separately before it came to us we could put them both on the same stake.

Missing pic Missing pic

Here is the planted drainage swale ain early March 2011. The left photo showing the garden looking south and the right shows the area looking north. Because of the large amount of water carried in the swale the plants are unable to absorb even a noticeable portion of it.

However, doesn't a planted swale look much better than a barren drainage ditch? That's important too!

Missing pic

Here is the rain garden at the end of July 2011. It is thick, lush and fully developed. Remember that this rain garden is several feet below street level so it accumulates a tremendous amount of rain water during a downpour.

Missing pic Missing pic

Sweet Joe Pye Weed, Eupatorium Purpureum, can grow to eight feet tall. It is fragrant and blooms in the Summer. This beautiful plant attracts butterflies and bees like a magnet.

The native plants all have a history, culture and story to tell. It is very worthwhile to familarize yourself with their stories. Joe Pye was a Revolutionary War era medicine man.

Missing pic Missing pic

Swamp or Red Milkweed (left), Asclepias incarnata, and Common Ironweed (right), Vernonia fasciculata, both like living in very wet places. This Milkweed is host to the Monarch Butterfly and its catterpillar. The Ironweed as seen here looks lavender. Its true color is actually a deep royal purple, which is difficult for an amateur photographer like myself to capture.

This site designed by:
lombard and Thomas Website Design