It's been two years since I dug into a project that took two years to come to fruition.
My rain garden took root one hot August day when I was gainfully unemployed and looking for something to do. I walked outside and stared at the grass and stared some more. Then I came up with a brainstorm.
I grabbed a shovel from the garage and just started digging. Well, I kind of had a plan in mind; I had applied for a grant through the city to help fund this project and knew where to start digging and how big a space I would need. I even went so far as to call Digger's Hotline just to be sure I wouldn't unearth anything that would send high voltage through my fingertips.
Then I started to dig.
I dug off and on for nearly 6 weeks, with the help of my son and daughter who earned a cool 50 bucks for their troubles. Sometimes we worked in the morning, more often it was late afternoon, a few shovels-ful at a time, depending on how hot it was. I enjoyed a beer or two while I set out to create a 200x200 square foot plot and that's what I ended up with, though probably more by chance than by ingenious design. I never was very good at calculating things!
It's August again, and thanks to a hot, sunny, rainy summer, many of the perennials I planted have staked their claim in the plot, showing off a host of colors and smells and textures. Gayfeather, coneflowers, bottlebrush, false indigo and many others whose names I've forgotten are home to monarchs, several pairs of goldfinches, and an untold numbers of beetles, spiders, worms and other bugs.
The best part of having a rain garden? That much less grass to mow, naturally.