Posts tagged Lucy Hershberger

A look at rain gardens

Gazette photographer Brian Ray takes photos of Lucy Hershberger in the rain garden at Forever Green Garden Center near North Liberty (photo, Cindy Hadish)

Gazette photographer Brian Ray takes photos of Lucy Hershberger in the rain garden at Forever Green Garden Center near North Liberty (photo, Cindy Hadish)

Our flood anniversary tribute continues with a look at rain gardens. Several people I interviewed for the article in the Sunday, June 14, 2009, Gazette said while rain gardens would not have prevented last year’s devastating floods in Iowa, they could have helped. Lucy Hershberger, co-owner of Forever Green Landscaping & Garden Center in Coralville showed me the well-kept rain garden in front of their site on Forevergreen Road, near North Liberty. Yellow and blue flag iris, native grasses, coneflower, liatris and dwarf arctic blue willow were planted when the rain garden was installed in September. It’s obvious that Hershberger’s  enthusiasm goes beyond trying to sell customers on a new fad. She has conducted free seminars on rain gardens for people to learn more and to better take care of their little corner of the environment. Hershberger remembers the interest in rain gardens and rain barrels in the early 1990s, at that time because of costs associated with watering. “Now it’s because of the awareness of stormwater management,” she said. “It’s not cost-driven.”

Blue flag iris

Blue flag iris

The following list of plants is from Iowa’s Rain Garden Design and Installation Manual Native Plant Favorites for Soils with Good Percolation Rates:

Common Name Height Comments

Blue grama 1-2 ft makes a good border

Bottle gentian 1 ft novel purple flowers

Butterfly milkweed 1-4 ft emerges late spring; no milky sap

Columbine 1-2 ft orange flower stalk may add 1 ft

Culver’s root 3-6 ft can get tall; for moderatley moist soils

Fox sedge 1-3 ft may not tolerate drought

Golden alexander 1-3 ft yellow dill-like flower, mod moist soils

Little bluestem 2 ft nice rusty color all winter

Mountain mint 1-3 ft for moist soils

Nodding onion 1-2 ft for moderately moist soils

Pale purple coneflower 4 ft most overused native; only in S. Iowa

Prairie blazing star 2-5 ft for moist soils

Prairie smoke 1 ft makes a good border

Sideoats grama 2-3 ft red anthers; not as tidy as little bluestem

Silky aster 1-2 ft loved by rabbits

Websites with native plant lists for rain gardens:

http://prrcd.org/inl/recommended_plants.htm

http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/runoff/rg/plants/PlantListing.html

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Rain gardens

Presented by:  Lucy Hershberger Forever Green Inc.

Sat. September 6th 10 am

Rain gardens are gardens designed with a purpose: they reduce runoff into our rivers and streams, which reduces pollution and flooding.  Participants will learn what a rain garden is, how it works, and how to determine the location, size and best plants to use in their rain garden. 

 

The near record rainfalls we had this year demonstrated the need to manage surface runoff  help reduce flash flooding and pollution in our rivers and streams.  Rainfall used to be absorbed into the ground as it fell. Now roads, parking areas and buildings channel water and the pollutants it carries into storm sewers that drain directly into streams and rivers.  Rain gardens can absorb most rainfalls and reduce these problems while enhancing the appearance of your yard. 

 

Lucy Hershberger, Forever Green Inc., will show you how you can plant a rain garden that will help reduce the runoff problem.  This hands-on seminar will offer participants an opportunity to see a rain garden under construction, learn what a rain garden is, how it works, and how to determine the location, size and best plants to use in their rain garden.

 

Location:  Forever Green Garden Center  

125 Forevergreen Rd. Coralville, Iowa

 

For information contact:

Lucy Hershberger Forever Green Inc.

319-626-6770 or e-mail forevergreen@southslope.net

This event is free to the public.

www.forevergreengrows.com

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