Archive for the ‘urban garden’ Category

Rain Garden – plants in!

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The Rain Garden was installed last fall, and topped with pine fines mulch for the winter.  This spring, we refined the grading and removed most of the mulch for use in other areas.

The soil at this site is extremely sandy, so standing water will be rare.  We installed native sedges in the lowest areas of the swale, and they should hold the sandy soil quite well.

Over the next few months, as the plants establish, we’ll introduce the downspout water.

CNT’s Rain Garden ……. Education Component…

This is the beginning of a larger effort to initiate educational programming at the CNT garden on Western Avenue.  Check it out!

More videos here.

CNT’s Garden Party

Here are some pictures from the party. Also, check out the videos!

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CNT-West Garden…. ready for plants

Getting Ready for Water…….

The Raingarden Conveyance Channel  is being lined with river rocks.  The water from the roof will be piped to this lined channel, then will travel to the raingarden basin.  The conveyance channel is steeply pitched away from the building  to encourage the water to travel away from the building. The Channel is also lined with a geotextile fabric to reduce the ability of water to percolate into the soil and gravel along the building foundation.  The river rock lining holds the fabric and looks nice.

Getting Ready for Plants…….

Final grading was performed by raking the planting soil and sculpting it to the final grades. The planting areas were marked with inverted spray paint.  Native plant plugs will be installed by volunteers.  Pictures of the site planted are coming soon….

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CNT-West Garden – almost ready for plants

Center for Neighborhood Technology’s new garden on Western Avenue is almost ready for plants.

Most of the hardscape work is done. Some work is still required to get the pergola finished.  Plants should arrive this week and will be installed this weekend by Chicago Conservation Corps!

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CNT’s New Raingarden Education Facility at CNT- West

Please check out the Studio’s exciting project at the Center for Neighborhood Technology’s website.

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In addition to the raingarden, the garden also showcases materials re-use and re-purpose. CNT was able to purchase used lumber from the ReBuilding Exchange for the pergola, tables, and benches.

Construction is scheduled for the end of the month.  More pictures to follow as work continues!

Beyond delicious….

…..and available everywhere

Amelanchier in full fruiting glory!

I found these at the southwest corner of Elston and Webster.

Amelanchiers are easy to grown and found all over the city.  There are a few different species.  The fruit is delicious and pest-free. Try to beat the birds to them, you won’t be sorry.

Think I’m the only one who thinks so? Check out what this urban forager has to say.

The challenge to incorporating raingardens into spaces is often getting the water to the location you are able to have infiltration.

Concept Plan

This is concept sketch showing the basic configuration of the garden.  Ahead of us is refining the design of the rainwater conveyance system.

More to follow as the design moves along…

Green Infrastructure! ….in progress

I have a project underway. I was able to admire my green infrastructure during last night’s rain. What a thing of beauty – the water travels out the downspout and to the raingarden area.  In spite of the shady location and very gluey black clay, the water infiltrates quite quickly – thank you honeylocust tree!

Green infrastructure still under construction but fully functional:

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Boxing the Garden Soil

The boxes were constructed by a friend of the client.  He grew up laying forms for concrete which is not so different from retaining soil.

Our boxes are of 2″x10″ treated lumber. There is a plastic membrane separating the soil and wood.

The box must be strong in two ways.  It must stay in place horizontally and vertically.

The lumber must retain the soil.  The strength for this is provided by using strong lumber that will not bend, by driving rebar stakes along the outer edge of the lumber box, and by reinforcing the box’s corner joints with 2″x2″ wood.  Our boxes are nailed together with box or decking nails (twisted) and they do not pull out.  Additional retaining strength will be provided when the areas between the boxes are backfilled with gravel, and eventually, pavers.

It is very important to affix the lumber to the ground.  The soil will want to creep out underneath the box, lifting the box up and causing it to fail.  These boxes are held down with 2″x2″ stakes into the ground.  When possible, the stake was driven in inside corners.  Then the box edge was nailed to it, providing not only hold-down, but corner reinforcement.

The 2″x10″ lumber was purchased, as were the rebar stakes, however, the 2″x2″ stakes were salvaged, as was all the gravel, from nearby construction.

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