Monday, May 18, 2009


...the rain garden! It's complete, and after observing how much rain it trapped last week, I'm very excited to see it in action with all the plants. (Of course, we have no rain forecast this week. Murphy's Law I suppose.) Here is the whole garden. Everything looks pretty skimpy at this point, but that is to be expected.

This is bottlebrush sedge (Carex hystericina), which is so named because of its brush-shaped inflorescences, which are not blooming at this time obviously. I also get a kick out of its Latin name because it sounds like it's a hysterical sedge. There are four of these in the garden.

Here's an extreme close-up of one of the swamp milkweeds (Asclepias incarnata). Another one is directly to the right. Behind the milkweed is an obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana), which looks very similar to the milkweed at this point.

This is one of the four cardinal flowers (Lobelia cardinalis). They are all this tiny right now. It's hard to believe these plants will grow to be 5 feet tall!

My concern at this point is that the sides are too steep. As you can see in this picture, the mulch gets eroded by the rain, leaving the berm bare. I'm not sure if there's much I can do at this point to make the slope more gradual. Lesson learned, I guess!

(From left to right that's a golden alexander (Zizia aurea), bottlebrush sedge, and owl-fruit sedge (C. stipata).

So it's done, and I'll stop babbling about it so much! Hopefully there will be some rain in the near future and the plants will be nourished and the groundwater a little recharged!

On a different note, it's Plant Conservation Day, a newish, loosely organized day to celebrate and protect plants. If you haven't already, go plant some natives, people!


GinaD said...

It looks great! Congrats on completing the project as well as it's demonstrated success in doing it's job . . . if you're going to get what they forecast will hit LI next week, it should get a workout. I was also considering putting in cardinal flowers because they are so pretty, but it sounds like they're going to get way to big for any of the spaces I have available. BTW, I'm fairly well decided that I'm going to go out to Montauk w/Mom to check out the native plant nursery I told you about - it's supposed to be a beautiful day and as long as we time it right, it should be a nice mom-daughter garden excursion . . . I'll keep you posted! :)

rambleonrose said...

Please let me know how it goes! And don't count out cardinal flowers just because of their height--they may only get to 3' tall and it takes a few years for them to get that big anyway. If there's a lot of competition around them they won't get so large. Just a consideration!

GinaD said...

I'll keep an open mind about the cardinal flowers, but I'm also thinking that they might make for a serous cacophony of color in my yard that may not be that appealing, at least to me . . . I have some different shades of pink going on, like my super-fuschia peonies, that I personally don't care for when mixed w/red. I was curious if you had a suggestion for me: perennial(s) for two very large pots that flank a bench in my yard, full to part sun, yellow or white flowers, a couple of feet tall, maybe something that blooms later in the summer so as not to compete w/the peonies . . . any ideas?

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