FARMINGTON – The Mt. Blue Area Garden Club-April 16-FREE

The Magic of Rain Gardens

FARMINGTON – The Mt. Blue Area Garden Club will host a presentation on creating rain gardens at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Farmington Falls on April 16 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. This event is free and open to the public.

Rain gardens help control excessive water runoff, preventing erosion and transforming soggy soil into beautiful areas pollinators love. With the increased frequency and severity of rain events here in Maine, installing a rain garden can be a way to help mitigate trouble spots in your landscape. Vera Johnson, who has extensive experience designing rain gardens in the rainy Pacific Northwest, is the presenter. She will provide insight into creating low-maintenance rain gardens that thrive in both wet and dry conditions.

Vera Johnson, owner of Vera’s Iron and Vine in Wilton, is an energetic entrepreneur and visionary artist. She features works from more than 50 artisans at her cooperative gallery. She also has a studio and creative arts center in Wilton called The Belle, where she teaches. The Belle is a historic, former fiddlehead canning factory that she transformed into a lively creative and learning space for blacksmithing, pottery, and jewelry making, among others.

Vera has been a creative soul all her life both in and out of a studio. She owned and operated a nursery and permaculture farm for 14 years in Seattle where she specialized in native plants. According to Vera, the venue was the epicenter of the community and continually expanded to offer hands-on workshops and lectures.

It was there, in the bustling garden community and rainy Pacific Northwest, that her knowledge of rain gardens grew. The city of Seattle had installed a rain garden to slow down the way water travels over land, allowing it to percolate into the soil and mitigate erosion. She spent a great deal of time studying this masterpiece of horticulture and began to professionally design and install rain gardens throughout the region. These gardens would often incorporate her creative side and feature beautifully welded “rain chains’ that channel water away from a roof into large swales lined with a variety of items including rock, compost, and sand.

The magic of these gardens is not only the benefit of controlling excessive amounts of water to avoid erosion or standing water, it is their beauty. A carefully curated mix of plants added to a rain garden attracts pollinators and thrives in widely fluctuating moisture conditions. At this speaking event, Vera will provide insight into creating low-maintenance rain gardens, including real examples from Seattle projects she designed. Plant recommendations for Maine will be discussed. There will be time for questions and answers, so come curious. You will not be disappointed!

 

For more information on the many other events sponsored by the Mt. Blue Area Garden Club visit www.mtbluegardenclub.org.