Unique Rain Garden

Cedar Run Landscapes has become a pioneer in creative sustainable landscapes and integrated storm water management systems. We have the tools to implement solutions to solve your stormwater issues while improving the beauty of your property. Elements such as this 4 tiered rain garden help to purify storm water by capturing runoff and allowing it to percolate into the ground. The use of native plants in these types of projects help to optimize the amount of water that is absorbed while minimizing the need to water, fertilize, and maintain the landscape.

Before work begins, an outline of where each rain garden will be located is marked on the ground.

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After a day of excavation, each garden is taking shape as they are carved out of the slope.

The finished garden has 3 natural dry stacked stone walls with river stone overflows. In a large rain event, the garden is designed to allow water to overflow from one garden to the next. This will create a dramatic scene during and soon after a storm.

The 4 tiered garden retains storm water that flows from the backyard and neighboring property, preventing water from flowing down the slope and directly into the street.

Invasive Plants in the Landscape

Invasive plants are defined as those that are nonnative and cause harm to the economy, environment or human health. These plants are highly adaptable, quick growers, and difficult to eradicate.  Although there are many invasive plants to watch out for, below are several that are frequently seen in the landscape.

Privets (Japanese, Border, Chinese and Common), Ligustrum genus 

These invasive shrubs mainly spread through seed, often distributed by birds which have eaten the fruit. Once established the shrub will colonize the area, forming dense thickets which choke out any native species that would otherwise occupy the area.  What makes the Ligustrum species difficult to eradicate is its ability to regenerate new growth from roots and stumps. Privet pollen is also a severe allergenic.

Alternative Native Species: Yaupon (Ilex vomitoria), Wax Myrtle (Myrica cerifera), Inkberry (Ilex glabra)

Burning Bush, Euonymus alatus

Burning bush was introduced into the United States for use as an ornamental shrub. Its attractive, bright red fall color has made it a popular choice but its fast growing nature and exceptional seed production has landed it on the invasive list. This is another shrub that forms dense monotypic stands that reduces habitat diversity. In open woodlands this shrub will replace native shrubs while creating a dense root mass that prevents herbaceous growth.

Alternative Native Species: Red Cokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia), Winterberry (Ilex verticillata), Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum), Silky Dogwood (Cornus amomum)

Japanese Stilt Grass, Microstagium vimineum 

Introduced into the United States by accident, Japanese stilt grass grows in a variety of habitats from full sun to dense shade, preferring moist, acidic to neutral soils that are high in nitrogen. Spreading exclusively by seed, this annual grass can produce between 100-1000 seed per parent plant. Seeds often fall close but can be carried by water or moved around by humans or animals. Alternative native species will vary depending on site conditions

There are a number of strategies used to control these species including mechanical and chemical. The most important and easiest is to discover an invasion early and remove them before the population becomes too high. Preventing them from entering a vulnerable habitat in the first place is most ideal. Here at Cedar Run Landscapes we hope that by providing information about these plants and recommending the removal these species from the landscape can help minimize habitat destruction due to invasive plants.

If you would like to learn more about these species or others check out this DCNR site.  http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/plants/invasiveplants/index.htm

 

Green Stormwater Infrastructure Partners

The Sustainable Business Network (SBN) is a group of businesses and individuals who have joined together to help build a just, green and thriving economy within the Philadelphia region. The SBN is an effective resource that helps locally-owned businesses improve their environmental and community impact while also advancing profits. Cedar Run Landscapes has been involved with SBN since 2008 when we won the triple bottom award. We have also been closely involved in the organizations newest priority initiative, Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Partners.

PDW Rain Check Project: Concrete driveway replaced with permeable pavers

The trend toward sustainable living and awareness of how individual actions impact our local environment has begun to transform how we manage our stormwater. To help improve upon this movement it is essential that industry leaders help identify the barriers small businesses come across within the GSI industry. Cedar Run Landscapes has taken up this task by participating as a member of the GSI Partners sub-committee, Local Community of Practice. This committee consists of industry leaders that are focused on growing a vibrant green stormwater approach to the management of stormwater. Several of the committee’s objectives are to grow leadership among its participants, identify any obstacles that GSI businesses come across during implementing new infrastructure, and providing recommendations to improve the process.

A rain garden capturing roof runoff from two neighboring homes.

GSI Partners was created in response to the Philadelphia Water Department’s program ‘Green Cities Clean Waters’, a 25 year plan to protect and enhance our watershed through managing stormwater with innovative green infrastructure. Cedar Run Landscapes has also been a part of the Philadelphia Water Departments Rain Check Program, which supports Green Cities Clean Waters. Check out our previous blog posts to see some of our recent projects we’ve installed through Rain Check.