Let the Rain Fall Down!
All the melted snow has me itching to get into my garden. I know a few people have been posting pictures of snowdrops and crocuses on their Facebook accounts and I have noticed my rose bushes hyacinths are showing some new growths! But what is stopping me from getting outside and working with the soil seems to be how wet everything is. All year long a brook runs across the South perimeter of our property, cuts across the lawn and under the driveway to a nice swampy area on the North side. Around this time of the year another small brook runs East to West, emptying into the larger brook.
However, the abundance of water doesn’t last and I find my little rose bed bone dry by August. Roses are a very thirsty plant and so are many ornamental species, as any well seasoned gardener would know. But gardening doesn’t have to be so water intensive. There are a few different ways you can reduce the amount of water your garden swallows up in a summer.
Xeriscaping, or xerogardening, is landscaping and gardening with little to no irrigation. This is very popular in arid regions or where there is limited water access. Check out this great website to get started on xeriscaping on your property.
Image 1. Xeriscaping (Retrieved on March 18, 2011 from: http://www.re-nest.com/re-nest/green-glossary/what-is-xeriscaping-and-wh...)
Native species gardening is gardening with plants that are native to Nova Scotia (or your region). These species are used to the local climate and weather patterns, so they have adapted to regional rainfall and require little to no fertilizing and pest control. The links below describe native plants and their basic habitat requirements.
http://nativeplants.evergreen.ca/search/printable-list.php The second link contains a table that lists which native species are available at various garden supply centres throughout the province, in Appendix A. http://annapolisriver.ca/downloads/rain_gardens_final_report_2010.pdf
Image 2. Bunchberry (Retrieved on March 18, 2011 from: http://bloomingwriter.blogspot.com/2010/12/return-of-nativeplant.html)
Rain gardens are gardens made up of plants that can withstand periods of inundation. They hold water and allow it to infiltrate the ground. Rain gardens are often catchments for rainwater runoffs from roofs, driveways or parking lots. The following link is a good resource for understanding and using rain gardens.
Image 3. Rain garden (Retrieved on March 18, 201 from: http://www.roomu.net/exterior/build-your-own-rain-garden.html)