“Rainy days and Mondays always get me down . . .” sang vocalist Karen Carpenter many decades ago. I respectfully disagree.
How poetic is it that after a very trying month of family care-giving, family drama, summer travel, and exhausting events out in the elements that our “rainy days” of late could turn a corner to mean something else? Enter here the Master Rain Gardener Class offered by Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner in Michigan. Let us turn the rains of life into something good!
Rain gardens are specialty garden beds designed to filter water runoff from hard surfaces in your landscape. They help to manage potential flooding, attract beneficial insects and wildlife, often include plants native to the region, and are simply lovely. I am halfway through the 5-week class and am hooked on this idea. I included a rain garden in our class project for my Master Gardener training which is where this interest began. Connection with a local Native Master Gardener and her native plant nursery furthered my intrigue so I included butterfly weed and a native hibiscus in one of our garden beds. Now its time to get serious . . . and fast before the class ends in 2 weeks!
I posted a plea on Facebook looking for anyone who would like to work with me on a rain garden project for my certification as a Master Rain Gardener. A self-called “community connector” responded and put me in touch with the President of the Board for the not-for-profit that manages a large park in our hometown. He is interested in the idea! There is already an environmental education project for kids on the property. I took some pictures before and after a huge rainstorm which suggested some viable locations. We will be meeting soon!
Below I will post a picture of the location I am recommending that is adjacent to the cinder block building that houses the public bathrooms and vending facility. The location is highly visible to patrons of the park, there is a water outlet nearby to help in getting the plants established the first year or so, and there is already evidence of water accumulating in a low area. There is much work to do and many unknowns should this project go forward. No problemmo. The beautification project in our housing association took six months to come to fruition and is largely a success to day. Besides, I kinda like this theme more than the other “rainy days” in my life of late!
Stay tuned. Always something goin’ on over here and if it’s green then, for me, it is good! JJ