Friday, July 10, 2015

Raingarden in June--Whole Earth Center


Mr. Frog gave me a report on how the little raingarden along Nassau Street in front of the Whole Earth Center is doing. The report got lost under some papers on my desk, so don't blame the frog if the report is surfacing a month late. He said the oak-leafed hydrangea is having a splendid blooming season. The button bush is bouncing back big time from a trimming it got from whatever maintenance crew the landlord employs to breeze through in the spring, leaving dark, ornamental mulch in their wake. Mr. Frog's predicting a big show of cutleaf coneflowers in July, and that solitary tall meadowrue is hanging in there amidst all the enthusiastic growing going on.

Mr. Frog is pretty proud of all the non-standard plantings that are doing so well at the other end. That corralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus)
is thriving beyond all expectation, and that mound of fringed sedge (Carex crinita) is doing a good imitation of the big hair of a country western singer.


Tucked close to the ground amidst the opulence is the diminutive blue-eyed grass (Sisyrhinchium sp.), which is really an iris doing a grass imitation.

The mulch, combined with some proactive weeding, makes maintenance a breeze. But Mr. Frog pointed out a few small matters to attend to. There's that pesky nut sedge (one tiny one at top of photo) that can gain momentum and spread throughout a garden if it's not pulled out as soon as it appears. Some weedy, sprawling grass (lower right) needed to be pulled out, too. That left a few little deertongue grass seedlings (lower left, with broader leaves) and a mistflower in the upper right to let grow.

The deertongue grass seedlings will make good transplants later on, because they'd otherwise grow out onto the sidewalk if allowed to mature in place.

Deertongue grass (Dichanthelium clandestinum) along the edge of a building? Its native habitat is in the floodplain down along the canal, but it actually provides an attractive mound of green and the texture of its tongue-sized leaves.

Whenever it rains, roof runoff comes through this narrow garden via a buried perforated pipe that's connected to a nearby downspout. I like to think that the plants have tapped into that supply, and are thriving as a result.

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