Marshall Native Gardens is a "certified" Native Plant Habitat.

Know anyone who has some locust logs to donate to the MNGI Garden?  We need additional material for the pathways. 
Please call Ed at 828-333-3883 or drop off at the library next to the mulch pile in the back.  5"+  in diameter and 3 ft or longer in length.

New Rain Garden at the Library

by Rita Pelczar

There’s a new addition to the Marshall Native Gardens at the Madison County Library in Marshall—and it’s a garden with a mission. The Rain Garden, located along the entrance drive at the base of the steep slope that leads up to the library building, is designed to capture rainwater runoff and reduce soil erosion. With the help of the native plants that grow in the garden, water is absorbed into the soil where it cools before making its way into our streams and rivers. This garden is one of 6 EcoExplore HotSpots located in the Marshall Native Gardens.

At this library, rain water that travels down the slope is collected in a French drain that is buried under the gravel path near the curb of the driveway. From there it is directed into the Rain Garden. The garden’s design was completed this spring with the assistance of the North Carolina Arboretum, who also contributed many plants for the garden. The deep-rooted native plants that inhabit the garden, are able to capture far more rain water than shallow rooted turf. Plants you will find in the garden include New England aster, swamp milkweed, horsetail milkweed, crimson-eye hibiscus, sundrops, and cardinal flower among others. All these plants thrive in moist conditions.

But another important consideration for rain garden plants is that they need to be able to withstand dry periods between rains. Because the roots of these plants can extend several feet into the soil, they are very adaptable as well as beautiful. Moreover, they invite pollinators, butterflies, birds, and frogs that increase the diversity of friendly wildlife on the library grounds.

Volunteers from Americorps and Project Challenge partnered with the Marshall Native Gardens Initiative volunteers to construct the garden over several weeks this June. The garden, which is roughly 25 feet long and 10 wide, was dug to a maximum depth of 15 inches. In this case, screenings/sand was placed on the bottom and mixed with the existing soils to enhance drainage before aged wood chip compost was added and the native plants were installed. This garden includes a small, shallow, lined pond that provides habitat for wildlife, and is an important feature for the adjacent garden, the Forest Farm. The volunteers also built a small deck that allows visitors to observe activity in the pond—tadpoles have already been spotted!

So drop by the library and follow the gravel path down to the Rain Garden. See if you can identify any of the native plants or spot a frog. It’s an inviting place to visit for both children and adults.

What's Coming up....

Monday, September 11  @ 5- 6pm.    Green Power Hour.  This month we will be clearing more of the debris in the Woodland Shade Garden and if we can find some black locust logs we will be placing more steps.

Saturday, September 16th - 8:30am - noon
. Our September will focus on steps in the Shrub Garden.   At noon we start our monthly MNGI meeting – all are cordially welcomed.  

October 12th @ 5 p.m. 
Pat Somers from Natural Selections Nursery will show us how to start native seeds for spring plants.

Anyone interested in gardening or wanting to learn about native plants, should join us on a work day or... call Ed McNally for more info at 828-333-3883!

Want more info on medicinal garden plants?  Check out own Rita Pelczar's latest article in the July/August issue of American Gardener.

We're still looking for someone to champion the BIRD and RAIN gardens.....interested??  
Drop us an email and let us know or call Ed at the number below.
.. or join us at one of our work days/meetings

Meet our partners:

NC Aboretum, Asheville, NC

Pat Somers, Natural Selections Nursery, Asheville, NC

Reems Creek Nursery, Weaverville, NC

Southeastern Native Plant Nursery,
Candler, NC

Asheville, NC