Rain Garden Planting Day a Big Success

A large group of volunteers came out to help dig in the dirt and complete the demonstration area in Lake Saint Louis' Boulevard Park.

The big planting day for both the rain garden and bioretention demonstration area was held last Saturday morning in

Volunteers from Jardin du Lac garden club, Charlie Perkins and Theresa Dunlap from St. Charles County Soil and Water Conservation District, Ann Finklang from Missouri Master Naturalists and the Lake Saint Louis Advisory committee headed by the Director of Public Works, Derek Koestel, with Scott Ellis and Maria King all came together Saturday morning to install all the native plants in both the rain garden and bioretention swale.

Arborist Lorrie Grueber designed both planting areas and had every plant positioned already for us to put into the ground.

With so many helpers, the work was complete in about two hours. Plant name tags will be added soon so anyone interested in installing a rain garden will know what native plants to use.

Stop by and take a look at what a rain garden can look like and how easy it can be to install. There are kiosk signs for each project that explain each type of system, and illustrate what is below the surface and how these systems work.

The new demonstration areas offer educational opportunities for residents and school field trips to learn about the importance of reducing water runoff into lakes and streams. Rain gardens slow water flow, minimize flooding and improve the water quality in rivers and lakes. Rain gardens like this one can be used to reduce your storm water footprint as well as to address soggy or poorly drained areas in your yard.

Planning your own rain garden? Consider these points:

  • The size of your rain garden should be 10% to 30% of the square footage of your roof or other impervious areas draining to it.
  • Plant rain gardens at least 10 feet from building foundations.
  • Plant a rain garden near roof drains to catch water.
  • Amending soil with sand and compost greatly improves function.
  • Call 1-800-DIG-RITE before you dig to identify any buried utilities

Native plants that can be used in a rain garden are:

  • Arrowhead Sagittaria graminea
  • Buttonbush Cephalanthus occidentalis 
  • Cardinal Flower Lobelia cardinalis
  • Culvers root Veronicastrum virginicum
  • False dragonhead Physostegia augustifolia
  • Golden alexanders Zizea aurea
  • Great blue lobelia Lobelia siphilitica
  • New England aster Aster novae-angliae
  • Palm sedge Carex muskingumensis
  • Prairie blazing star Liatris pycnostachya
  • River oats Chasmanthium latifolium
  • Squarestem spike rush Eleocharis quadrangulata
  • Stiff goldenrod Solidago rigida
  • Swamp milkweed Asclepias incarnata
  • Tussock sedge Carex stricta
  • Wild bergamot Monarda fistulosa
  • Southern blueflag iris Iris virginica aherevei
  • Zigzag iris Iris brevicaulis

If your local garden center does not carry these plants, go to www.grownative.org to find nurseries that specialize in Missouri-grown native plants. Just click on "Buyer's Guide" then "Find Suppliers" to locate the Grow Native!

A BIG THANK YOU to Lake Saint Louis for taking a pro-active approach to educate residents about the importance of reducing water runoff and improving the quality of water that does flow into the lakes.


If you are interested in gardening, learning about gardening or joining a garden club, stop by the Community Association Clubhouse, the second Monday morning of each month and sit in on a meeting of the Jardin du Lac Garden Club.  Meetings start at 9:30 a.m.

If you have a beautifully landscaped yard or have unique garden ornaments that you are proud of and would like to see featured on Patch.com, or have any gardening questions, contact Peggy at Bahrmasel@msn.com.

Maggie Lester October 01, 2011 at 08:55 PM
Would something like this be a good addition to a rain garden? http://www.aquabarrel.com/product_rain_barrel_complete_fatboy_waterwall.php
Tamara Duncan October 07, 2011 at 03:58 PM
Maggie, I checked with Alderman John Pellerito and he said that the rain barrels would not be allowed in Lake Saint Louis. Good thought, though!


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