It took a few years of logistics, but last summer our rain garden was dug and planted. The garden above was built 2015 in cooperation with UNH Soak Up The Rain New Hampshire program and is located to the right of our store. It did in fact sustain several trials of filling to the brim during a few downpours. The employees of Rolling Green Nursery eagerly offered a report of the water level as they travelled to and from the office. [We have an 8′ long transom window in the stairwell offering a birds-eye view.] Success! The problems of flooding between our garden store and the employee parking lot were resolved for the most part, even though the water breeched during a few storms there’d be no more rafting to our cars. The overrun did dissipate rapidly too. So lets flip the story to the other extreme, a rain garden is designed to endure – drought. Plant selection is key, as they have to withstand extremes from heat and drought as well as endure flooding, absorb large amounts of water as well as minimize erosion. We have a good selection of rain garden plants listed and available here at the nursery.
Surely we are in agreement that this summer will be historic as one of the hottest and driest. As you can see the plants look great for September first and thriving with minimal waterings by our staff. Salt marsh hay was applied mid summer to control weeds, preserve moisture and discovered it does not float on top of the water unlike bark mulch. It stays submerged no matter how much water fills the garden. This summer we have enjoyed watching the battle of the hummingbirds as they dual as to ‘who’s cardinal flowers are they?’ – really! Of course the flowers are visited by all kinds of pollinators as well. If you are interested in rain gardens come in and see ours, ask questions, we are a great resource for anything rain garden.