Green Hills: Rain garden grows

September 10, 2016

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager


Despite a lack of rain, the rain garden is doing well at Green Hills Preserve. It was just planted this year by volunteers and we have been trucking a 125 gallon water tank there a couple times a week to keep the plants alive until they are well rooted or we actually get some rain. (Many thanks to neighbors who report on the status of scattered storms there; although only 15 miles from Crow’s Nest the weather there is different and Green Hills has received more rain this year than Crow’s Nest Preserve, where we are struggling with a severe drought).

In the front is blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) and the yellow flowers of sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale). Then there’s blue vervain (Verbena hastata) and a rejuvenated sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana). Oddly enough the original plantings suffered from too much water, the result of a poorly-designed berm that lacked a spillway—something we addressed before replanting. Bluebird boxes and an upland meadow we planted are in the background.

The garden also suffered this year from having five or more shrubs stolen from it (really, I’m flattered that someone liked them enough!) and I did not replace them, just filled the holes with mulch. Nonetheless it is looking good and, when it rains, the garden will help filter runoff from the parking lot.