Thursday, September 9, 2010
The group scouted for spots, researched, designed and engineered the swales, consulted with experts, figured out what native plants would work, raised money, and organized fellow citizens and students to help with planting in the fall of 2009.
Now, the bioswales provide attractive gardens in our public spaces. They also serve the purpose of filtering runoff from parking lots and helping others to learn how best to manage stormwater runoff.
Click on links above to check out our three bioswales, and check out posts on the right to learn how you can build rain gardens and bioswales in your own yard or community.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
If you want to beautify your yard or business with a raingarden or bioswale, and don't want to do it yourself, you can hire Liza Ehle of By the Sea Gardens. Liza has special expertise in both bioswales and the kinds of plants that can work in coastal gardens. She and her crew bring a can-do attitude to any project. (She typically has a waiting list so plan ahead.)
Check out our native plant list for plants that will work locally.
Twinberry, Lonerica involucrate
Pacific Wax Myrtle, Myrica californica
Snowberry, Symphoricarpos albus
Nootka Rose, Rosa Nutkana
Red Currant, Ribes sanguineum
Red Osier Dogwood, Cornus sericea
Evergreen Huckleberry, Vaccinium ovatum
Slender Rush, Juncus tenuis
Spreading Rush, Juncus patens
Tufted Hairgrass, Deschampsia caespitosa
Slough Sedge, Carex obnupta
Dune Wild Rye, Leymus Mollis
Coast Strawberry, Fragaria chiliensis
Sword Fern, Polystichum munitum
Yellow Monkey Flower, Mimulus guttatus
Douglas Iris, Iris douglasii
Douglas Aster, Aster subspicatus
Yarrow, Achillea millefolium
Pacific Potentilla, Potentilla pacifica
Fringe Cups, Tellima grandiflora
False Lily of the Valley, Maianthemumd ilitatum
Seaside Daisy, Erigeron glaucus
Sea thrift, Armeria maritima
Wetland plants that don't mind "wet feet" were planted in the lowest part of the swale. Plants that can tolerate both winter wet and summer drought and winds were planted on the slopes.
Each of our bioswales has a different microclimate so it will be interesting to see and learn which plants will thrive at each site. We'll be weeding out troublesome and invasive weeds, such as sheep sorrel, blackberry, broom, and crab grass. However, because the design is naturalistic, we'll be expecting volunteer plants--some native, some weedy but not invasive--to join our mix.
Queen Anne’s Lace
We purchased our plants from Trillium Gardens, Curry Native Plants, and Huckleberry Lane nursery, all of which offer wholesale services. (We bought and planted thousands of plants!)
For a great source of information on landscaping with native plants in the Pacific Northwest, check out King County's Native Plant Guide website. King County is located in Western Washington state, and though it's far to the north, we share many plants, especially close to the coast.