As I’ve posted about before here, I love Rain Gardens. Last year I removed a patch of lawn in my backyard, dug out a shallow basin, and extended two roof downspouts into it. When it rains (which it does a lot here in western Oregon), the garden fills with water and slowly infiltrates into the ground. It is an effective storm water solution and is mesmerizing to watch when it rains.
I’d love to build another one in my front yard, but I’ve pretty much planted to capacity already, as you can see below.
I removed my front lawn a few years ago and have never regretted it. But I’m still aching to expand and plant more wildlife habitat. What to do?
I talked to my neighbor! Above you can see that there was arborvitae planted between my yard and my neighbor’s yard. They are OK shrubs and I appreciate that they are evergreen, but they isolated our two yards from each other. They looked and felt like a real barrier. Well, we got to talking and decided to remove them. But we didn’t stop there…
We built a Rain Garden next to my neighbor’s driveway! This narrow patch was covered with grass before and trapped water in their driveway- a lot of water. So we removed the grass, dug a swale, added some native plants and some river rock and presto- yet another elegant storm water solution that will be a beautiful landscape feature.
Above is the view from inside my house- I caught a bit of my reflection in the bottom right of the photo. Instead of a view of arborvitae, there is now a storm water swale that will function as an extension of my wildlife garden- now a shared wildlife garden.
I am very lucky that I have neighbors that wanted to collaborate on a project like this. Hopefully you do too. Talk to them and make it happen!
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