Spring is on its way and here at Hook’s we are getting excited for all of the planting and gardening that comes with it. After a long winter it’s finally time to get excited about working outdoors. Building a rain garden is a fun project to consider for the spring!
Spring brings the April showers that bring May flowers and rain gardens are designed to capture and retain surface water deposited by these showers. By capturing runoff, rain gardens help to increase the amount of water that infiltrates into the soil rather than causing flooding or flowing directly into streams. The spread of urban areas has led to increases in runoff from surfaces such as driveways, roofs and compacted ground. This runoff carries pollutants such as fertilizers and pesticides from our yards and cities into the local waterways. Water that infiltrates into the soil is filtered by plants and soil while also helping to recharge the local groundwater.
On top of decreasing runoff and increasing water infiltration, rain gardens are made up of plants that do not mind “getting their feet wet.” Native plants are adapted to the local climate conditions and environment meaning that they do not require fertilizer, pesticides or much water once established making them idea for rain gardens.
Additionally, native plants tend to attract local pollinators better than exotics because they have coevolved together for millions of years. Although native plants are the best for rain gardens, other non-native non-invasive species that don’t mind wet conditions perform well too.
In summary, rain gardens are a great way to help keep pollutants out of local waterways while simultaneously being beautiful low maintenance landscape additions that attract pollinators such as butterflies and birds.
If you’re interested in learning how to build a rain garden check out this comprehensive guide, https://www.ohioprairienursery.com/resources/rain-garden-manual. For more information on rain garden benefits and plants click on the reference links below.
Here at Hook’s we have a number of perennials that would fit perfectly into a rain garden listed below:
Aronia melanocarpa – Black Chokecherry
Juniperus – Juniper
Ilex – Holly
Itea virginica – Virginia Sweetspire
Physocarpus sp. – Ninebark
Rosa x species – Shrub Rose
Sambucus canadensis – Elderberry
Thuja occidentalis – White Cedar
Thuja plicata – Western Cedar
Hydrangea arborescens – Smooth Hydrangea
Aquilegia – Columbine
Asclepias incarnata – Swamp Milkweed
Coreopsis sp. – Tickweed
Dicentra spectabilis – Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart
Echinacea sp. – Coneflower
Helianthus – Sunflower
Hibiscus sp. – Hardy Hibiscus
Liatris spicata – Dense Blazing Star
Lobelia cardinalis – Cardinal Flower
Mertensia virginica – Virginia Bluebell
Monarda sp. – Bee Balm
Penstemon – Beardtongue
Rudbeckia – Black-eyed Susan
Solidago sp. – Goldenrod
Andropogon gerardii – Big Bluestem
Our staff are happy to help you find the plants that fit your gardening needs. Stop by Hook’s on our Spring Opening Day, April 15th, to check out our native plant selection!