The Rain/Rock Garden – Stage Three

– Posted in: Miscellaneous


I know it been a while since the last report on the downspout gardening effort here (you can see the first stages here and here). Spring in the nursery thankfully has been very busy with not much time for writing; however, there was some planting time this spring for my “disconnect the downspout” garden.

Having a green roof nursery, I took my shopping cart through the greenhouses and test plots to see what plants wanted to live in the boulders. The following plants happily volunteered: Delosperma Kelaidis, Delosperma ‘Lesthoto Pink’, Delosperma basuticum ‘Gold Nuggett’, Delosperma dyeri, Sesleria nitida, Orostachys boehmeri, Sedum pluricaule Ezame, Orostachys aggregatum, Sedum urvellii, Sedum sexangulare, Caladrinia grandiflorum, Sempervivum ‘Oddity’, Sempervivum ‘Georgette’, Sempervivum ‘Sparkle’, Sempervivum ‘Blue Boy’, Carex humilis ‘Hexe’, Campanula rotundifolia, Campanula poscharsyana, Cistanthe species, Thymus serphyllum, Alinopsis spathulata, Titanopsis ‘Karoo Red’, and Titanopsis calcarea.I stuffed crevices and nooks with plants trying to place things as my mind thought I may see them in nature.




It’s been great fun watching the plants adapt to their niches and more fun every time it rains. The first time it rained everyone in the nursery ran out to see how long it would take before the water started dripping from the downspout. No one had the time or patience to see the first drops from the downspout as it took over an hour for any water to come off the green roof and down onto the boulders. On the other hand it sometimes still drips slowly for days after a rain as the green roof releases water.


We built a second rock garden on a section of the barn that had no green roof and now we can see water on the rocks at the very start of a storm. We just can’t seem to stop disconnecting downspouts, we have disconnected four as of today and this summer after the rush of orders subside, we have three more targeted. I have to admit finding child-like joy combining rocks, water and plants.

4 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

the inadvertent farmer June 19, 2009, 4:16 pm

fascinating…I would be afraid to do that in Western Washington for fear of a flood!!! Great job, Kim

healingmagichands June 22, 2009, 2:25 pm

I have a rain garden, it is not as elaborate as yours, it is a simple depression that collects water from my NW down spout and disperses it to the hostas and trees down stream. It only takes an hour or so for the water to drain after it fills. Latest shots are here:

Mr. McGregor's Daughter June 23, 2009, 9:50 pm

I’ve been following the progress on this with interest, as I’m in the midst of installing a raingarden/infiltration system. Of course I don’t have beautiful boulders with which to work, but if I stuffed a few of those plants in between the chunks of recycled concrete, they would look a lot better.

Allen Bush June 24, 2009, 4:50 pm

Ed, Great to see the progress.
We’ve been inundated with thunderstorms, heavy winds and lots of rain over the past 10 days. I’ve got a rain garden absorbing much of the run-off, but chipmunks are tunneling underneath a sloping dry stream bed, and flushing-out mud into the alley at the back of the property. Tempted with a Caddyshack-gopher-be-gone solution…

Previous Post:
Next Post:

[shareaholic app=”recommendations” id=”13070491″]