Earth Day!


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I'm a bit late in posting this since I've been out playing in the earth. Today is Earth Day!
It seems this important day has gotten a little lost among the plethora of "dill pickle day". "kiss the cook day", and "national pet day." Really, only one day for pets, and one day for planet earth?
I wanted to celebrate by planting more vegetables and flowers, but my dear husband, the sensible one in this partnership, nixed the idea. After all, after Earth Day, somebody has to weed!
 
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JBtheExplorer

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Last year, in honor of Earth Day, I started working on plans for three new native gardens. I ultimately added five new gardens, but the original plan was to finally add a small rain garden. My rain garden collects water from my garage roof. The native plants then filter pollutants and excess nutrients out of the water before it slowly drains into local streams and rivers, and ultimately into Lake Michigan.

People unfamiliar with rain gardens often think the garden will fill with water and become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, but that isn't the case. If built correctly, rain gardens will only have standing water during and shortly after a rainfall. At very most, standing water shouldn't stay more than 24 hours, but under normal circumstances, it'll soak in within a few hours.

My planned budget for this was about $0. I divided native species I already had that I knew would work well in a rain garden. I hope to add native grasses in the future to help thicken it up. My rain garden is in a small fenced-in area next to my garage, and surrounded by pathways, so I could only do so much in terms of shape and size. As you can see, I had to use a wall of bricks on one end to help keep the pathway wood chips in place, but many of you would be able to have a more flattering shape and size if placed out in a yard.

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The native plants did well during the first season.
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The garden quickly became beneficial to native pollinators, which also led to it being beneficial to frogs, toads, and birds.

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I hope these photos will inspire others to add rain gardens to their own yard. They can help our planet in multiple ways, from helping our wildlife to keeping our water clean. There are many websites that have all the necessary information on how to create rain garden, and once you learn what needs to be done, it's easy.

Happy Earth Day!
 
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