RAIN GARDENS AND WET PLACES


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Front Yard Rain Garden in LaGrange, Illinois

The raingarden basin is graced with many large boulders which makes for a stunning display. Passerbys often stop and cars come to a screeching halt to take in this view -- a 100-year old plus Victorian home which was recently totally restored.

The owner chose all the rocks himself at Schroeder Material Company who delivered and set the stones. Art and Linda's determined their placement and orientation. This demonstrated the successful collaboration between the owner, the supplier and the designer.

Generally, a rim or berm about six inches to one foot high surrounds the raingarden basin which is depressed about the same distance. It closely resembles a crater with the water source entering the basin somewhere. The plants in the berm are generally short and appreciate drier conditions since the berm is a well-drained site.

Several grasses, sedges and rushes look very nice in the raingarden basin. Seen here is Bebb's Oval Sedge, Carex bebbii (center bottom). These plants find a welcoming home in the occasionally flooded raingarden basin.

The False Aster, Boltonia asteroides, is a real show stopper. It is a large plant, three to seven feet tall, that likes sunny, wet places. Typically, it can have hundreds of blooms in late Summer to Fall. This plant is only one year old, but is really impressive.

The Great Blue Lobelia, Lobelia siphilitica (left), and the impressive Kankakee Mallow, Iliamna remota, make a good pair. They both like sunny wet places and make great raingarden basin plants if you have the room. While only two to four feet tall the Lobelia spreads easily and I have found it to be very hardy. The Kankakee Mallow needs a lot of room to spread out.

The Obedient Plant, Physostegia virginiana, has a square stem and tubular flowers. This beauty is two to four feet tall, likes it wet and can get very aggressive. The various plants I have shown here, like living in the raingarden basin because there is enough room to accommodate them.

Aggressive plants, while having many qualities like filling a large area, also have certain drawbacks. They must be watched to make sure they do not get out of control.





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