Rain Garden & Sustainable Gardening Workshops

Early spring is the time to spruce up a home's exterior for the late spring and early summer home selling season. As I write this, the snow is melting away more quickly than expected. That mean's it is almost landscaping and gardening season. Just in time, there are some workshops to get you prepared for the planting season.

With all the rain we've been getting, naturally rain gardens would be a good topic to discuss. Do you have a low lying area in your yard where rain water flows or accumulates? It can be hard to keep plants alive in those areas. Planting a rain garden in that spot can help improve the quality of local lakes, rivers and streams. Metro Blooms is offering a series of low-cost rain garden workshops to help get you started.

For $10, learn how to plan, design, install and maintain a rain garden filled with native plants, which filter pollutants out of runoff. There are three levels of workshops: an introductory session, a design session in a small-group format, and a three-hour session that combines both introduction and design. Classes started earlier week and tey run through the end of May. They are being held throughout the Twin Cities area, from from Bloomington to Wayzata, Chaska to Chanhassen. For locations and times, visit Metro Blooms.

Along the same lines, Maplewood MN would like residents and non-residents alike to participate in the Extreme Green Makeover. Starting this month, Maplewood is sponsoring classes on rain gardens, rain barrels, low-input lawn care and sustainable yard design. Nonresidents are welcome to participate, but only Maplewood residents can qualify for the grand prize of a $15,000 front-yard makeover.

Find out more about the Extreme Green initiative at a kickoff event from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 18 at the Maplewood Library. All attendees will eligible to win door prizes, which include compost bins, rain barrels, garden tools and gift certificates. For more information, visit the Extreme Green section of City of Maplewood's website.

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