Thursday, September 6, 2012

Rain Gardens Part 2: Choosing Plants

Swamp Sunflowers
Plants selected for rain gardens should be able to tolerate all levels of moisture, from brief periods of flood and pooled water after a rain, to extended dry conditions during periods of drought. Native plants are often recommended for rain gardens because they are typically more tolerant of the local climate, soil and water conditions, plus they may provide a food source for native wildlife. Other plants suited to these harsh conditions are also selected.  

Crabapple LandscapEXPERTS design and plant Rain Gardens so the root systems take up excess water flowing into it and evaporate it back to the atmosphere through transpiration (movement of water through the plant, and evaporation from the leaves). 

At the same time PLANT ROOTS:  
  • slow the movement of water 
  • make the soil more permeable 
  • enhance the return of water to the ground water 
  • filter the runoff 
  • support microbes that aid in biofiltration

Wetland edge vegetation of many types can be selected, ranging from grasses, sedges and rushes to wildflowers and ferns. Some “tough” shrubs and small trees are included if they do not shade out their companions.

Inkberry Holly
Crabapple LandscapExperts will devise the dimensions, planting plan and plant list based on your unique conditions and tailored to the overall effect you desire on the properties you manage. This can vary from sedate, clipped inkberry hollies to exuberant and rambunctious swamp sunflowers teamed with ornamental grasses.

Extensive plant lists can be found at the University of Georgia Rain Garden publication as well as at the Rain Garden Alliance

Rely on your Rep at Crabapple LandscapEXPERTS to help you with this new installation. 

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