If you are new to the blog, you might want to read the previous posts:
- the planting of the original rain garden in 2011 at the Jacksonville Presbyterian Church in Burlington County, New Jersey
- the two-month update on the rain garden’s growth and success
- the overview of the rain garden at one year.
We knew when we planted the original rain garden last year that it was not large enough to completely handle the church’s rainwater run-off problem. The garden was basically an experiment to see if the concept worked, and to our delight, the garden did a good job handling the run-off from the parking lot.
Run-off from the parking lot, however, is not the only water problem the church has. Rainwater also ponds along the side of the building and runs into the low-lying area between the parking lot and the two-story garage. After a big rainstorm, puddles remain for days. So in early spring, the Earthcare Ministry made plans for a second rain garden in this area.
On May 5, 2012, members of the church and friends dug and planted the new rain garden under the direction of Jim Leedom. Unlike the original garden, this one is long and narrow and more densely planted (since some of the plants in the original garden had died during the winter). During the next week, more plants were added and a couple low areas were raised by by adding fill dirt. These areas and the slope from the parking lot were then planted with grass seed and covered with protective straw.
And we waited for rain. We waited nine days before an evening thunderstorm dropped a half inch of rain in a short time. The next morning, the mulch in the new rain garden was dark with dampness, but there were no puddles — and the old rain garden was dry.