Saturday, May 7, 2011

Lake Mendota garden designed by Richard Fayram

Doug and Sherry Caves built two large rain gardens at their new house on Lake Mendota.  It's located at 2317 Middleton Beach Rd.

The gardens were designed by Richard Fayram--part of the entire landscaping when the Caves' new house was completed.  It sits on low-lying land, formerly a wetland bordering the lake.  Click on photos to enlarge.

The first garden is in the front, between the house and the street.  It takes runoff from the garage, and a small portion of lawn to the left.  Because the soil was compacted during construction, this one drains very slowly.  I saw two mourning doves use it for a bath, and the frogs like it.

Same garden, seen from the house.

There's a second and much larger rain garden in the front yard.  This one receives rain from the roof of the house, much of the yard, and even some from the street.  Sedges are visible on the left.  Marsh marigold is blooming.

This one drains much faster, because it's close to the lake.  If it overfills, water empties via a small spillway here (the gravel on the left).

This garden is beautifully sculpted and graded.  When very full, water extends onto the front lawn, into the foreground.

Water comes from the street and front yard via PVC pipe.  It descends over several silt socks towards the main body of the garden. 

View from the lakeshore towards the house.

The Caves were not required by any DNR regulation to build the garden.  They simply built the garden out of concern for health of the Lake, and enjoyment of native plants.

Fayram said: "The design reflects my usual strategy of integrating rain gardens into the overall landscape design, and grading as a design feature rather then just adding them to a yard.

One design feature here is a stone base under the building overhangs and decks. This helps deal with roof runoff directly on a site that has a lot of water moving through it."
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View a slide show of all the photos here.

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