Tuesday, May 24, 2011

From snowbank to sea

Reprinted from my "Save Our Stream" blog.

One warm day in March, years ago, my son Chris and I were walking in Forest Hills cemetery.   Everywhere, snow banks were melting into rivulets, coursing down the asphalt.

Chris asked: "Daddy--Where does the water go?"

As I explained about the water running into the sewer, then into the lake, then into the Mississippi River, suddenly a thought struck: "Why not actually show him where it goes?  Why not?" 

Monday, May 23, 2011

How to build a large rain garden on your terrace


Building this garden doesn't have to cost anything.  Once established, little maintenance is required.  The basic idea is to dig out the terrace, to below the sidewalk level.

How to build a small rain garden on your terrace

How to create an easy rain garden on your terrace--one that drains puddles !

Terrace rain gardens catch sidewalk runoff


On May 11, a hailstorm knocked maple flowers onto the pavement.  Rivulets traced patterns in the yellow flowers, showing where the runoff goes.  It's clear that most sidewalk runoff flows into the street, where it's flushed quickly by sewers to the lakes.

Friday, May 20, 2011

How I became a woodland gardener

If you have lots of shade, and no money for plants--
here's an easy method.

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.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Groundwater--unseen beneath our feet

About groundwater, its biology, and the springs about Lake Wingra.

Rain garden poster

Click on the image to enlarge.  You can order the poster here.  Purchase one and donate it to your school or library, to help spread the word.