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NH: Gardening wiht the Rain


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Gardening wiht the Rain

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NH: Gardening wiht the Rain

  1. 1. GO GREEN! ( digg erea the; den ( num Han usin, in tl theGardening with Rainwater BY DEBBIE KANE ILLUSTRATION BY LENITA BOFINGER With the right design, DAVID CEDARIIOLiI, D RIIAj)S TOWN ENGINEER, is passionate about rain gardens. Mother Nature can On a stormy day-"the best time to see how a rain garden works," he says- help you reduce- Cedarholm enthusiastically entices a visitor into the elements to see a sixteen-foot- by-ten-foot, stone-filled patch of ornamental grasses, irises and day lilies adjacent or even eliminate- to the Durham Public Works (DP,v) building. how much you Despite a howling wind and torrential rain, water isnt visibly pooling in the garden-which is how its supposed to work, Cedarholm explains. "The water have to water your percolates down through the garden, and the overAow goes into a catch basin landscape plantings. (in the parking lot)," he says. "People arc amazed at how it works."38 NEW HAMPSHIRE HOME I MARCH/APRil 2009
  2. 2. FACING PAGE: Native plants-such as wild berga- mot, blue flag, maidenhair fern, blue cardinal flower, liatris, rudebekia and wild columbine- flourish in rain gardens. THIS PAGE: The New England Wild Flower Societys rain garden in Framingham, Massachusetts, features plants native to North America, such as false goats beard, cardinal flowers and dwarf-crested irises. Cedarholm started his garden by ing, where water runoff from roofs, between 30 percent and 40 percentdigging an eight-inch-deep "bowL" He yards and paved surfaces is absorbed in more runoff than a conventional lawn,created a berm around it to delineate the garden. The water is filtered slowly slowing the rush of a rainstorm andthe area and keep water inside the gar- through the gardens plantings and lessening its potentially polluting effectden when it rained. into the soil, which cleans the water of on a community. Cedarholm is among a growing pollutants before it reaches local In addition to their practical appli-number of ecologically minded ew streams, rivers and lakes via storm cations, rain gardens add beauty andHampshire residents interested In drains. value to commercial and residentialusing the water running off their roofs According to the Rain Garden properties. "A rain garden makes yourin their yards. Water conservation is etwork-an online forum about rain site more sustainable," says Terrencethe primary goal behind rain garden- gardening-these gardens can absorb Parker, principal of Terra Firma MARCH/APRIL 2009 I NEW HAMPSHIRE HOME 39
  3. 3. Landscape Architecture in Portsmouth sh and a designer of rain gardens for both sci commercial and residential use. "Its co more cost-effective in the long term, gr and the gardens are a visual amenity." "p it WORKING WITH NATURE-AND ar TOUGHER BUILDING STANDARDS w; Facing tougher state and federal regulations on potential pollution (commercial construction projects in ew Hampshire must treat stormwater aT runoff from pavements and parking la lots), developers are seeing rain gardens fi) as an appealing water-management b< solution. 01 When Phillips Exeter Academy a built three faculty houses last year in Exeter, the homes were designed with tc a rain garden in mind, says engineer c, Jeff Clifford of Altus Engineering in w (603)736-4884 Portsmouth. (603)545-1779 The runoff from the single-family 1<1 homes is collected in a boomerang- b40 NEW HAMPSHIRE HOME I MARCH/APRIL 2009
  4. 4. a design / build landscape company 603-929-4628shaped rain garden adjacent to theschools athletic fields. The garden- Y0IA.Y H-OVlA,e ~Y0IA.Y WOyLolcontaining mostly wild, ornamental Helping You Create a Beautiful, Earth Friendly, Healthy Homegrasses-is designed to collect and with Our Green Design Center!"pond" water up to six inches beforeits filtered through the landscapeand an underground drain carries thewater away. "Its de igned for a one-inch waterdepth," Clifford says. The garden isbetween two feet and three feet deep, 138 N. Main St - Concord, NH 03301- 6032239867- www.YourHomeYourWorld.comand theres eighteen inches of soil-layers of loam, compost and sand-thatfilter the water. "Its a perfect locationbecause the soil is good and the layoutof the project naturally leads the wateraway," he says. However, rain gardens arent limitedto larger building projects. "Homeownerscan build rain gardens on a small scalewith ornamental appeal," Parker says. For example, Steve Lewis,.an Atkinsonland-use consultant and builder, hasbuilt two residential communities that MARCH/APRll2009 I NEW HAMPSHIRE HOME 41
  5. 5. incorporate rain-gardening techniques.The Village at Braemoor Woods inSalem features maintenance-free raingardens, which add to the develop-ments appeal. "I use indigenous plants,like winterberry, in the landscaping,"Lewis says. "The gardens are meant tobe a bio-cleaning filter, but theyre alsovery attractive."BUILDING A RAIN GARDENFortunately for beginning gardeners, arain garden doesnt have to be sophisti-cated, but there are a few points to keepin mind. First, locate your rain garden nearthe water runoff source. Cedarholm-who built the Durham DPW raingarden on Earth Day 2007 with hisfamily-located the garden near thedownspout of the buildings gutter. Themost important time to treat stormwa-ter runoff is during the first ten minutesof a rainstorm. "Thats when you get silt Future 603-329 -8113 •42 NEW HAMPSHIRE HOME I MARCH/APRIL 2009
  6. 6. from fue roof and junk off the road in the water," Cedarholm says. Second, be sure to consider the soil type. The area around the DPWs rain garden has sandy soil thats permeable and effective at filtering the rainwater. Cedarholm also put in layers of loam and compost to create additional filter- ing properties. Third, use plantings native to New Hampshire climate and soils. Parker suggests native grasses, ferns, rushes, echinacea and black-eyed Susans as well as common plants seen in meadows, such as milkweed, aster, columbine, cornAower and irises. "Youre designing your garden for a dry situation, so plants have to be drought-tolerant," Parker says. "Plants arent sustainable if theyre designed for constantly wet situations. They must be tolerant at both extremes." Also, the local plants andMARCH/APRIL 2009 I NEW HAMPSHIRE HOME 43
  7. 7. ADVERTISEMENT RESOU ALTl 133 Port 433· FA", EDU MAl EXT (8T exll NE WIl nev (eli ane NE OF Attached to a downspout, a rain barrel 88 collects and filters water, storing it for nh later use in the garden and yard. IllC RA Aowers can become butterAy and bird ral habitats. ST The Durham Carden Club gave 11 Al Cedarholm the DPW gardens plant- 3t his award-winning firm then walk clients through the ings for free. Instead of bark mulch, T has been featured every- where, including Signature Kitchens, Kitchens by Professional pros and cons of each, offering guidance and objective opinions with strong client involvement. which absorbs water, Cedarholm and his children placed dinosaur egg-shaped rocks found in a local quarry around the T£ AI 4 P, Designers and Designer Kitchens The designers pride themselves 4: and Baths magazines, HGTY, and on unique design solutions for plants. "The plants we selected can tol- tf NECNs "Dream House." Over the each client, and are versed in erate Aooding as well as droughts," last fifteen years, they have earned every style option from traditional T Cedarholm says. "The day lilies and F more than 100 awards for Best to contemporary. Exotic woods are irises Aourished." v, Value and Best Design of Kitchens also an option. from various organizations, includ- Their designs feature lots of ing the New Hampshire Home curves and angles for visual ex- THE MANY MISSIONS U Builders and Remodelers Associa- citement as well as functionality. OF RAIN GARDENS S tion, the Signature Executive Net- Many of their layouts feature the Cedarholms rain garden has proved 7 work, and both Kitchen Aid and sink facing a family room or enter- successful on several levels. "We use Sub-Zero appliance companies. tainment area, rather than facing They have won awards not only out a window, which can be cold [the garden] as a public outreach to dis- for kitchen design, but for excep- and dark at night. Moving the sink cuss the towns stormwater and water tional designs in baths, entertain- to face the family room allows the systems," Cedarholm says. "I want ment centers, closets and more. cook to socialize with family and everyone to know that this is doable What sets them apart is that friends easier, allows us to watch they promise not only beauti- TV while doing the dishes and and good for the environment." Hes ful designs, but pledge to find at allows the chef to be in the center already planning a rain garden for down- least thirty percent more storage of the family activities while he/ town Durham as well as another behind space in your kitchen. They give she is preparing meals. Design homeowners three completely is the key to making any kitchen the public works building. unique designs for each project, renovation a true success. For Parker, rain gardening is a sim- ple way to help the environment and DREAM KITCHENS express individual creativity. "Everyone 139 DANIEL WEBSTER HIGHWAY, NASHUA, NH can do it at their own level," he says. PH: (603) 891-2916 FX: (603) 891-3590 For gardeners and conservationists WWW.ADREAMKITCHEN.COM alike, that means a beautiful garden that puts water in its place. =44 NEW HAMPSHIRE HOME I MARCH/APRil 2009