Have you noticed how plants can look very different at different times?
This can be particularly noticeable at your own home as you await the first bloom of your favorite flowers. Perhaps a gorgeous azalea or the sweet smell of a fragrant lilac in Spring, or again in Autumn when the leaves take on a myriad of vibrant colors.
Similar to your home garden, bioretention gardens also go through seasonal changes. A great example is the new bioretention garden that the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) constructed at Newport Mill Middle School. It is one of four Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) green infrastructure improvements constructed during summer 2017.
Landscape architects designed the landscape plan for the bioretention garden with native plants known to thrive in both wet and dry conditions, and to flower in different seasons, including:
All in all, more than 1,700 shrubs, perennials, and ornamental grasses were planted! Amazing, right?
Since this is the first full growing season for the bioretention garden, the plant roots will be growing and helping the plants to become established new residents of the garden. By next year, we expect the plants to be more lush and fill in the garden. We hope you follow them along as they grow.
DEP’s staff will be following the garden’ progress to ensure the plants survive and are replaced as necessary under the contractor’s warranty. We’ll also be following this bioretention garden to see how it grows and changes each season. We’ll keep you updated on the growth.
Let us know if you have any questions! Also, stay tuned for two more MCPS green infrastructure improvements under construction this coming summer at Olney Elementary and Sherwood Elementary!
For more information on how the Newport Mill Middle School bioretention garden works to improve water quality, check out our blog with the school’s Green Team from Dec 2017.