Friday, January 22, 2010

Green Living by Janet Marchant: Why Not Water Gardens?

If you're like me, you currently have puddles a couple of inches deep in parts of your yard thanks to all of the rain. It seems especially bad this year. Maybe that's because of the unusual El NiƱo storms, although it could also have something to do with that new concrete parking space my family put in our front yard last summer. The biggest puddles do seem to be on the downhill side of that concrete pad.

Anyway, I was unloading organic groceries from our hybrid SUV the other day, trying not to step off into a puddle while I was doing it, when I had a fantastic idea: giant lily pads! Within a few minutes, I was back in the SUV, picking up some water plants at the nearest Wal-Mart. Did you know that a single leaf of the Giant Amazon Water Lily can support the weight of a full-grown adult, not to mention this adorable child?

They didn't seem to have any Giant Amazon Water Lilies in stock at Wal-Mart, but I did get some other plants that are supposed to thrive on being submerged, unlike my Kentucky bluegrass. I found some old sandbags that a neighbor had carelessly left lying right across his basement doorway, and arranged them artfully, like natural boulders, around the largest puddle in my yard. Then I plunked my new pots of water plants in the puddle and…well, I could describe the results, but you really need to see it for yourself. So next time you drive past my house, take your eyes off that text message for just a wee moment to get some inspiration for a clean, green solution to your own yard flooding problems. Enjoy!

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