Saturday, June 28, 2014

Saturday Shorts: 06.28.14 Two New Rain Gardens Ready for the Rain

Two Saturdays ago I shared photos from the Rain Garden Training and Installation day at Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven.

Late this past spring Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven received a grant from the Greater New Haven Green Fund to educate neighborhood activists about ways to reduce stormwater runoff. The original plan was that Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven staff and volunteers would dig and install two rain gardens in their Hudson Street demo lot on Friday, June 13th, with instruction and guidance from Michael Dietz, Director of U Conn College of Agriculture and Natural Resource’s NEMO Program.

It rained heavily that day. While the torrential rain did bring home the point that “global weirding” is indeed here to stay, it also posed an extreme challenge to our garden planting schedule.

We dug one of the gardens and planted most of the plants the best we could. The enthusiasm was there, but we had to stop before we added the mulch.

Garden 1 before we called it quits.
The staff of Neighborhood Housing agreed they would get the second garden dug and take care of the plants until we could get them in the ground.

We set Thursday, June 26, as the date for completing the project. 

It was hot. Very hot. 

And humid. Very humid. 

But it could have been worse. Thunderstorms were predicted, but they passed us by.

It was hard work, but we got the new garden prepped, planted, and mulched.

A NHSoNH staffer puts finishing touches on the channel
to the new rain garden.
And now the water from the roof next door has a way to get to each garden. [Note the rock-lined channels.]

Some of the plants may look a little droopy in the photos. But if I had included photos of the hard-working gardeners, believe me, the humans would have looked droopy, too.

The plants in the original garden have hung in there, despite their very soggy start. They may not look like much at first glance, but one of the swamp milkweed plants is starting to bloom, and the coneflowers should open soon.

Rain garden #1 after two weeks in the sun.
Watch for more updates as the gardens fill out.

Now all these gardens need is some rain…

Happy Saturday. The sun’s out here.

Why Saturday Short Subjects? Some readers may recall being dropped at the movie theater for the Saturday matinee — two action-packed feature films with a series of short subjects (cartoons or short movies, sometimes a serial cliffhanger) sandwiched in between. Often the short subjects were the most memorable, and enjoyable, part of the morning. That explains the name. The reason behind these particular posts is that we are all short on time. My Short Subject posts should not take me as long to write or you as long to read (or try).

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