Sunday, June 18, 2017

North American Fathers Day Rain Gardens Against Summer Bugs and Floods


Summary: North American Fathers Day rain gardens end erosion, mosquitoes, pollution and runoff for seven hours of preparation and five-minute upkeep every 10 days.


Neighborhood settings may easily accommodate rain gardens; plant choices, rain garden depth, rain garden size, soil amendments and location are all important factors in designing a rain garden in a neighborhood setting: illustration by Doug Adamson/RDG Planning & Design provided by USDA-NRCS in Des Moines, Iowa, via USDA NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) Iowa

North American Fathers Day rain gardens add fragrant color March through October, alleviate erosion, mosquito, pollution and runoff problems, appreciate native nonwoody and woody plants and attract beneficial insects and perching birds. They bode maximums of one hour for ideating, three hours of teamwork, or six without, for installing and every 10 days for irrigating during severe droughts.
Ideation considers construction 10 feet (3.05 meters) from foundations and 10 to 30 feet (3.05 to 9.14 meters) downslope from downspouts, driveways and ground-level, impervious surfaces. It deems coarse, fast-draining, gritty sand desirable over medium-draining, smooth silt or slow-draining, sticky clay and shape determinable by disposition toward crescent, kidney-like or rectangular designs. It estimates downspout at 25 percent, drainage from ground-level runoff and roof downspout, garden depth by site slope and garden length and width by size factor.

Drainage area formulas figure roof area times roof downspout for gardens under, and that total plus ground-level runoff area for over, 30 feet (9.14 meters) away.
A downhill stake top that guarantees a string a straight line from an uphill stake bottom gives slope, as stake height over string length times 100. Five-inch (12.7-centimeter), 6- to 7-inch (15.24- to 17.78-centimeter), 8-inch (20.32-centimeter) garden depths have respective slopes under 5, over 5 under 7, over 7 under 12 percent. They hustle 0.43, 0.32, 0.20 size factors for clay, 0.19, 0.15, 0.08 for sand and 0.34, 0.25, 0.16 for silt under 30 feet (9.14 meters) away. They invoke 0.10, 0.06 and 0.03 size factors for clay, sand and silt at all depths in gardens 30 feet (9.14 meters) from downspouts and runoff.
Ideators of North American Fathers Day rain gardens judge garden width as calculable from drainage area times size factor divided by a maximum 15-foot (4.57-meter) length.

Know when excavations knock into pipes by keeping authorities, such as Miss Utility in Delaware, District of Columbia and Maryland, informed 48 business hours before installation.
A trough-like, v-shaped swale of, or an extension from a rain barrel or roof downspout into, drought-loving, flood-resistant, mower-friendly, sun-tolerant bunchgrasses leads runoff into garden basins. The North American natives purple three-awn (Aristida purpurea), river oats (Chasmanthium latifolium), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia cespitosa) masquerade barrels, berms, extensions and swales. Low mounds called berms nudge all sides, except the downspout on the upslope, as 12-plus-inch- (30.48-centimeter-) wide mounds into which dug-up rain garden basin soil nestles.
Shaded berms and swales offer cinnamon (Osmunda cinnamomea), Hart's tongue (Asplenium scolopendrium), lady (Athyrium filix-femina), male (Dryopteris filix-mas), moonwort (botrychium lunaria) and sensitive (Onoclea sensibilis) ferns.

Two-inch- (5.08-centimeter-) deep gravel or mulch upslope and 4- to 8-inch- (10.16- to 20.32-centimeter-) deep settling basins underneath rain garden basins promote aeration, infiltration and percolation. One-inch (2.54-centimeter) drought-provoked watering supplements, 4- to 6-inch (10.16- to 15.24-centimeter) pruning lengths and 6- to 8-inch (15.24- to 20.32-centimeter) mowing heights qualify as first-year upkeep.
Three- to seven-member clusters of the same species render dramatic, efficacious, flavorful service from purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) and yarrow (Achillea millefolium). Currant (Ribes), holly (Ilex), spicebush (Lindera benzoin), sumac (Rhus), thimbleberry (Rubus) and wax-myrtle (Myrica) shrubs and mountain-ash (Sorbus) and willow (Salix) trees support similarly clustered services.
North American Fathers day rain gardens take away runoff, take in beneficial wildlife, take off November through February and take on colorful fragrances March through October.

A rain garden may be part of a larger framework of low impact development (LID) through rain water management via such features as bioswale, biorention cell, level spreader, native landscaping and pervious paving: illustration by Doug Adamson/RDG Planning & Design provided by USDA-NRCS in Des Moines, Iowa, via USDA NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) Iowa

Acknowledgment
My special thanks to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet.

Image credits:
Neighborhood settings may easily accommodate rain gardens: illustration by Doug Adamson/RDG Planning & Design provided by USDA-NRCS in Des Moines, Iowa, via USDA NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) Iowa @ https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/ia/newsroom/factsheets/?cid=nrcs142p2_008527
A rain garden may be part of a larger framework of low impact development (LID) through rain water management via such features as bioswale, bioretention cell, level spreader, native landscaping and pervious paving: illustration by Doug Adamson/RDG Planning & Design provided by USDA-NRCS in Des Moines, Iowa, via USDA NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) Iowa @ https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/ia/newsroom/factsheets/?cid=nrcs142p2_008518

For further information:
Dunnett, Nigel; and Clayden, Andy. 2007. Rain Gardens: Managing Water Sustainably in the Garden and Designed Landscape. Portland OR: Timber Press, Inc.
Kraus, Helen; and Spafford, Anne. 2009. Rain Gardening in the South: Ecologically Designed Gardens for Drought, Deluge, and Everything in Between. Hillsborough NC: ENO Publishers.
Steiner, Lynn M.; and Domm, Robert W. 2012. Rain Gardens: Sustainable Landscaping for a Beautiful Yard and a Healthy World. Minneapolis MN: Voyageur Press.
Wallace, Terry. 2008. The Rain Garden Planner. Atglen PA: Schiffer Publishing.
Woelfle-Erskine, Cleo; and Uncapher, Apryl. 2012. Creating Rain Gardens: Capturing the Rain for Your Own Water-Efficient Garden. Portland OR; and London, England, United Kingdom: Timber Press.


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