10-31-22 | News

The Raine Garden, Hillsborough, NC

by Preston Montague Studio
by Staff

The Raine Garden addresses stormwater management and erosion control on a newly developed lot blasted out of bedrock and with significant erosion problems. The client, eager to return the site to a higher ecological function, requested that the plantings be mostly native with some fruiting trees and shrubs. Little grading was possible on the site as slopes were at their maximum percentage, and activity areas would have to be carved into the slopes and stabilized with repurposed boulders from the neighborhood, as well as concrete from a demolished sidewalk. Erosion control fabric was installed on the slopes and a seed mix containing buckwheat and zinnia was added, as well as seed of over two dozen native species. Seed is collected from within a 30-mile radius. Additionally, native grasses and perennials, also from stock found within a 30mile radius, were plugged in to help hold seed from washing away during rain events.

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The buckwheat and zinnia helped as nurse plants while the native seed germinated. After two years the annuals are no longer present and have been replaced by a diverse mix of very locally sourced native grasses and perennials, as well as oaks, birches, and viburnum, also from local genetic stock. Lastly, stormwater flowing down the rear slope of the backyard is captured by a babbling brook installed in a seating area where the stormwater is processed. Both the water feature, and vegetated slopes, provide habitat for innumerable insects and birds that now call the landscape home.

The upcoming Stormwater and Erosion Control Issue of Landscape Architect and Specifier News saw many firms submit their projects for feature consideration. This project was not chosen for a Feature in the issue, but we at thought the project deserved to be showcased online . . .


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