The Worcester County Conservation District (WCCD) offers its seedling sale through March. The seedling sale has over 50 types of trees, perennials, herbs and fruit seedlings. Nearly 20 species are well-suited for rain gardens, including Arborvitae, Spicebush, Blueberry, Aster, Bee Balm, Black-eyed Susan, Coneflower and more. To order seedlings online, visit www.seedlingsale.org.
If you prefer to have a brochure mailed to you, phone 508-829-0168 x 131. The sale runs thru March 29, 2014, with pick-up date of May 3, 2014 at one of six locations across Worcester County.
Rain gardens attract birds and butterflies, and help to protect streams, lakes and ponds. Rain gardens are designed to retain storm water for a few hours, allowing it to seep into the ground. This groundwater replenishes waterways between rain events and sustains the health of stream life. Rain garden plants and soils also cleanse storm water and remove nutrients that can harm water quality.
Gardens make yards more attractive and form mini-ecosystems you can enjoy watching. Many of the WCCD seedling sale plants are good for rain gardens, and others can be obtained elsewhere to add variety. Rain gardens can be placed in sunny or shady locations, and do best on well-drained soils.
Free rain garden guides can be downloaded from the Massachusetts Watershed Coalition website at: www.commonwaters.org/resources/bgy-resources . These guides explain how-to build a rain garden including locations, soils, costs, construction tips and plants selection.