Contrast. Repetition. Alignment. Proximity. C. R. A. P. These are basic design principles, but not the only ones. This is a very handy mnemonic—a memory device—that I learned from William’s The Non-Designer’s Design Book* in another century. She laid it out as P. A. R. C., but it is just naughty enough for my students to remember when it’s C. R. A. P.
I’m a sucker for green and for texture. Green is very restful. On the other hand, an endless expanse of the same texture, even in green, can become either boring or overwhelming depending on the scale of the texture and of the plants. Continue reading “C. R. A. P. in the Rain Garden”
I cannot believe I’m saying this, but I was very happy to be blasted out of bed shortly after 5 a.m. by very loud thunder. When I looked out the window, the rain garden had plenty of puddling in it, so it was doing its job keeping at least some of the rain from running off down the sidewalk and into the overtaxed storm drains.
By 8 a.m., the silver maple had stopped dripping enough that I could walk around and enjoy my second cup of coffee. The hydrangeas looked terrific. Looking more closely, I realized that a month with many more promises of rain than actual rain had taken its toll. The flowers heads are smaller than usual, and the individual flowers are quite a bit smaller, but the green of the leaves was already shifting from that piny, water-stressed blue green to a much brighter and greener green.
A week ago Saturday, on May 20, I helped sort plants purchased through the Washtenaw County Water Resources Office by people who were putting together rain gardens—like me. The advantage of helping out was that I got to take my order home that day instead of the following one—one more day to plant!
I planted them Sunday. I had done a partial planting last fall, so the plants I picked up just about completed the garden, with the last pieces coming from transplants from other spots in the yard.
The Rain Garden
We had better start with a schematic. You cannot see from one end to the other due to the redbud, so this will keep you oriented.