A Small Shady Rain Garden on the North Side of Chicago, Illinois
The downspout is directed into a slightly depressed basin in the center of this completely planted front yard. No turf grass remains. This photo taken at the end of August 2009 is punctuated by the bright red Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis.
Elm-leaved Goldenrod, Solidago ulmifolia, commonly found in the woods, fits right in to this shady garden. Contrary to common belief, Goldenrod does not make you sneeze. Its sticky pollen is born by bees and other flying insects. It is not blown around by the wind like Ragweed's pollen. The only way Goldenrod can make you sneeze is if a pollen-laden Bumblebee flies up your nose.
Great Blue Lobelia, Lobelia siphilitica, is a close relative of Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis. They both bloom at the same time, late Summer into Fall. It is found in sunny swales and lightly-shaded wet areas. Its blue color is almost neon-like and iridescent.
The bright red seeds of Red Baneberry, Actaea rubia, reminds me of Maraschino Cherries. This is a small shrub, only two or three feet high, with relatively insignificant flowers. It is closely related to White Banberry, Actaea pachypoda, (also known as Doll's Eyes) which also has clusters of pretty seeds.
One could not think of a better name for Turtlehead than Turtlehead, Chelone glabra. It kind of looks like a turtle's head, doesn't it? It grows three to four feet tall with cream collored blooms in the late Summer and early Fall, and likes wet areas in full sun to light shade.