Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
OK, so you’re interested in building a rain garden – good for you! You’re planning something that is good for the environment and your community at large. Please keep in mind, however, that some communities place restrictions on what you can and cannot build, and this extends to landscaping as well. This article will give you a few pointers on what to look for in your community.
Just like county or municipal governments might place zoning restrictions on properties within their jurisdiction, some communities place rules on homes and lots within their borders. These rules are typically called Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs for short or simply Covenants) and they guide how a community is built and maintained. CC&Rs are normally recorded in the County records so that all owners in the community, existing or prospective, are aware of the restrictions.
These CC&Rs typically establish an organization or association that administers the day-to-day operations of the community. This organization is often called a Property Owners Association (POA) or something similar like HOA for homeowners or COA for community owners. The POA may also establish committees or boards to help in governing the community, and an Architectural Review Board (ARB) is likely to be a key part of this structure.
The ARB will publish rules that guide the design and construction of improvements within the community. The ARB may look at issues including the design of the house, color, aesthetic issues, grading, and even landscaping of the property. Since a rain garden would be considered part of the landscaping, you should check with your POA or its ARB to make sure your planned improvements are allowed.
In general, the ARB is likely to be interested in making sure the rain garden is compatible with the POA rules and the surrounding areas. They may be interested in the design to make sure it is aesthetically pleasing. Since some POAs also check to make sure drainage isn’t a problem, they may ask how your rain garden is graded so that stormwater doesn’t flow onto a neighbor’s lot. On a related note, one POA even asked us how deep the rain garden was going to be since they didn’t want a safety hazard for children or pets. Of course, the rain garden should only have a shallow depression, so that shouldn’t be a problem!
You may have already sketched or planned your proposed rain garden, and a few key points will help you to prepare for your trip to the POA. For example, is your rain garden part of a new house construction project or is it a retrofit to an existing home? If it qualifies as new construction, then just add the rain garden to the landscaping plans being prepared by your architect or landscape architect. If it is a retrofit of a portion of your existing landscaped area, then you should check with your POA as to whether a permit is required.
Is the rain garden large or small? In one large community, the architectural guidelines noted that we only needed a permit if our rain garden was going to modify a significant portion (25% or more) of the existing landscaped area.
Is your project simple or complex? One POA staff member that we interviewed indicated a simple rain garden is just a part of the landscaping but if we added a rain barrel with attachments then we would need to get a permit.
Where on your lot will you build your rain garden? At one POA, we were told that there wouldn’t be any problem with a rain garden in the back yard or courtyard area since those areas weren’t visible from the street or by the neighbors. However, they indicated there may be more scrutiny given to a rain garden in a prominent or visible area by the roadways.
Keep in mind that the POA and its staff members are generally looking to protect the residents in the community, and your ability to provide good information on your proposed rain garden will help them make an informed decision. We have heard first-hand from various POAs that rain gardens are welcome – and we hope you get to build yours soon!
Hilton Head Plantation – Architectural Guidelines
Sea Pines Plantation – ARB Guidelines
Palmetto Dunes – ARB Policies, Procedures and Guidelines
Indigo Run – ARB & Other Documents
Palmetto Hall – ARB Guidelines
Port Royal Plantation – Plans Approval Board Guidelines and Procedures
Spanish Wells – Plans Approval Board Home Page
Windmill Harbour – Rules and Regulations
Long Cove Club http://www.longcoveclub.org/club/scripts/library/view_document.asp?GRP=12437&NS=REALTOR&APP=80&DN=ARB
Rose Hill Plantation – Architectural Standards & Review Procedures
Colleton River Plantation – Architectural Review Board Webpage
Moss Creek – ARB Guidelines & Procedures
Sun City – Riverbend
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Leadership Class member Amy Henz puts the finishing touches on the Red Cedar rain garden -- a little H20!
Sea Pines Montessori Academy middle school students plant a rain garden at their school as part of Earth Day and their environmental science studies.
Leadership Class members pose with the Sea Pines Montessori rain garden team after their planting.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Honey Horn Rain Garden:
- Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)
- Fetterbush (Lyonia lucida)
- Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
- Sweetspire (Itea virginica 'Little Henry')
- Variegated Acorus Grass (Acorus gramineaus variegata)
- Blue Flag Iris (Iris virginica)
- Butterfly Weed (Asclepis curassavica 'Blood Flower')
- Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)
- Rudbeckia (Rudbeckia fulgida)
- Lantana (Lantana 'Miss Huff')
- Sedum (Sedum 'Matrona')
Red Cedar Rain Garden:
- Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)
- Dog Hobble (Luecothoe axillaris)
- Dwarf Wax-Myrtle (Myrica cerifera 'nana')
- Henry's Garnet Itea (Itea virginica)
- Louisiana Iris (Iris louisiana)
- Bunny Blue Sedge Grass (Carex laxiculmis)
- Soft Rush (Juncus effusus)
- Pink Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris)
- Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida)
Students in 5th grade teacher Jodi Nason's class will be planting the Red Cedar rain garden. A group of middle school students at Sea Pines Montessori will plant their school's rain garden. Leadership Class members Alan Arseneau and Steve Sugg worked with the schools to bring the gardens to life. Russ Charek of LowCountry Rain Barrel donated a rain barrel that will be used in the Sea Pines Montessori rain garden.
Davis Landscape of Hilton Head is a partner for the Red Cedar rain garden and provided the garden design below:
Monday, April 5, 2010
You can view the story here:
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Clemson Extension Agent David Joyner leads a public workshop on rain gardens prior to planting.
More than 50 people attended the rain garden workshop and had the chance to ask questions about planting their own rain gardens.
The Leadership Class and friends following the planting.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
The Leadership Hilton Head-Bluffton Class of 2010 will present rain garden expert David Joyner for a free workshop on planting rain gardens, at 10 a.m., Saturday, March 20, at the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn Plantation on Hilton Head Island. Joyner, of the Clemson University Extension System, and the Leadership Class will plant a rain garden on site at the Coastal Discovery Museum and attendees can learn how to plant their own rain gardens. Ocean Woods Landscaping, Hilton Head Public Service District (PSD), and LowCountry Rain Barrel have teamed up to sponsor the rain garden planting.
The Leadership Class is building rain gardens on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton as part of its class project, Rain Gardens: A Beautiful Solution to Water Pollution. Rain gardens are landscaped depressions, channels, or stormwater runoff containment areas that filter pollutants from stormwater.
The Leadership Class is interested in partnering with residents and local businesses and organizations to foster the proliferation of rain gardens in our community. If you or your group is interested in creating a rain garden or sponsoring a rain garden event in our area, please contact Leadership Class member Pete Nardi at (843) 681-0525 or email email@example.com.
The Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce began its Leadership program in 1985. Its mission is to cultivate leadership resources within the community by giving participants the opportunity to study and experience the Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Okatie and Daufuskie Island communities—their history, government, economy, human services and culture.
Monday, March 8, 2010
The Leadership Class extends its thanks to Chris, Fran, and the Home Builders Association for providing this excellent opportunity to share the Rain Garden story with the numerous attendees of the Home & Garden Show.
Click here: http://www.dnr.sc.gov/marine/NERR/traininggarden.html to learn more.
Class members at the 2010 Business Expo staffed a booth that was generously provided by the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber. Class member Sean Congleton of Sign D'Sign provided signage for the booth, while class member Steve Sugg of Omega Graphics Direct provided project brochures and business cards.
Friday, January 15, 2010
The Hilton Head/ Bluffton Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class of 2010 is conducting a rain garden and rain barrel project this spring. Gardens are to be built throughout March and April at four locations, The Coastal Discovery Museum, The Promenade in Bluffton, Red Cedar Elementary School and Hilton Head Montessori School.
Our vision is to educate our community and our children about one way we can reduce water pollution in our area in an effort to protect our waterways. We will be building the first two rain gardens as “prototypes” and then helping the children at the schools create the second two gardens using our “tool kit”. We will also be presenting a seminar and exhibit at the Home Builder’s Show on Hilton Head this spring. Our project information will be distributed to local nurseries and to the schools as well as being displayed on a website through the Chamber of Commerce. We are asking for help to fund our project.
$ 1,500 – Green Sponsor - Full sponsor of one of the rain garden sites. Sponsors name/ logo to appear on the garden’s signage, project materials and website. Opportunity to cut the ribbon at garden’s dedication/“ribbon-cutting” ceremony.
$1,000 – Gold Sponsor – Sponsorship of planting materials, barrel, signage and education materials. Name to appear on project materials for distribution and website. Public recognition at garden’s dedication/ ribbon-cutting.
$250 - $500 – Silver Sponsor – Sponsorship of planting materials, barrel, signage and education materials. Name to appear on project materials for distribution and website.
$50 - $100 – Bronze Sponsor - Sponsorship of planting materials, barrel, signage and education materials. Name to appear on website.
In Kind Sponsor - Sponsorship of planting materials, barrel, signage and education materials. Name to appear on website.
If you are able to make a donation, have questions about the project, or are interested in coordinating additional rain garden projects in the lowcountry please contact Trisha Greathouse at 843-301-4859 or Jennifer Stupica at 843-301-1753. We can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can be made out to Leadership Hilton Head/Bluffton (a 501c3 organization). Thank you in advance for your consideration.
Monday, December 21, 2009
So, what’s a rain garden?
• Appealing landscape ideas for homeowners and Property Owners Associations.
• Allows collection of stormwater and infiltration.
• Plants and microbes do the work of pollutant removal.
• Can be attractor for wildlife such as birds and butterflies.
• A natural way to irrigate.
Where do we put the rain garden?
• Between rainfall runoff “source” and “destination”.
• We want to intercept the water before it reaches surface waters or low spots!
• Gutters and downspouts help direct rooftop runoff flow.
• Driveway and sidewalk edges can also make good locations.
• It’s important to watch how water flows during a storm event!!!
• Install your rain garden more than 10 ft. from building foundation, and more than 25 ft. from a septic system drainfield.
• Avoid shallow water tables (less than 18 in. deep).
• Away from utility lines.
• Ensure no buried cables or pipes in the excavation area.
• In full to partial sun, if possible.
What size should the rain garden be?
• Determine the area of impervious runoff source (rooftops + sidewalks + driveway areas).
• Rule of thumb: estimate the size of your rain garden based on soil types:
Sandy soil (well-drained) = 20% of impervious area.
Loamy soil (poorly-drained) = 20-60% of impervious area.
• May be limited by the space you have, but smaller is easier!!
• The excavated area should be 6-8” deep.
• The area should be typically 8-10 ft. wide in the direction of runoff flow.
• Try using a kidney bean or half moon-shaped layout with the inner curve of the area facing the runoff source!!
How do I know if it’s in a good spot?
The ability of rain water to drain is important for your rain garden location:
• A simple “perk” (percolation) test can help you to decide:
1. Dig a hole about 6 inches deep and wide
2. Fill the hole to the top with water
3. Check the hole 24 hours later – if the water is gone, you have an ideal rain garden location, otherwise, consider a backyard wetland!!
What kinds of plants should I use?
• Hearty species with a range of drought and wet condition tolerance.
• Options include small trees, shrubs, perennials, and grasses.
• Please use native species!!
• Plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
• A plant list is available – contact the Beaufort County Clemson Extension office.
How much will my rain garden cost?
• For an 8 x 20 ft. garden:
• Plants = $200 (retail; cheaper if you use wholesale or transplanted).
• Soil mix and mulch = $200 (retail; cheaper if you use bulk or fill).
• Labor = free (don’t forget to use your friends).
• Total = $400 (~ $2.50 per sq. ft.)
• Protecting water quality = PRICELESS!!
Please visit the websites below for a wealth of information on smart Lowcountry landscaping and to learn the things all property owners can do to protect water quality and our delicate Lowcountry environment:
www.clemson.edu/cyn Clemson’s Carolina Yards and Neighborhoods program has practical and comprehensive information on how to irrigate and landscape responsibly.
http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic Clemson’s Home and Garden Information Center is the resource for all of your horticulture and landscaping questions.
www.clemson.edu/extension This website is the home base for Clemson’s statewide Extension Service system.
www.clemson.edu/beaufort Beaufort County’s Clemson Extension Service office can be found at this website. Or contact their office at (843) 470-3655.
Monday, November 23, 2009
The Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Leadership Class of 2010 wants to foster the installation of rain gardens throughout our community as a way to protect our delicate Lowcountry ecology, and to promote the conservation of our precious water resources.
If you have questions about the rain garden initiative, please email us at: email@example.com.