Friday, March 30, 2012

Port Townsend Rain Gardens

Yesterday, my post was on rain gardens, after seeing the need for them here in my city during some very heavy rain. I shared a really good example of one that I saw in Port Townsend, WA last fall. I live in southwest Washington state, Port Townsend is located in the northwest corner of the state on the Puget Sound.  I don't know the statistics, but it rains even more there.

When I was there last fall it was obvious that the city had recently done a lot of road improvements in the downtown area. Those improvements included the addition of rain gardens to filter stormwater runoff.

Rain garden in Port Townsend, WA
This was in late October and the landscape made up of perennials, grasses, and ferns still looked great.

As I walked around town I kept taking photos of these rain gardens, specifically looking for plants that worked well. 
Gutter to rain garden with fescue.

Gutter to rain garden with river rock and evergreen ground cover.

Drain with grass, iris and evergreen ground cover.

Rain gardens are designed to hold a lot of water in the center and have plants that can stand to be dry on the perimeter. Some rain gardens I've seen are planted only with that in mind. The rain gardens I saw in Port Townsend were better landscaped than a lot of commercial properties.  I was impressed and hope to use these as an example in future rain garden design at work.

Finally, I want to show  the great way they incorporated the rain garden, accessible ramp, and the street names.

Accessible ramp on Washington Street.

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