Rainbows and raingardens!

The rain has come back to Minnesota, and late summer flowers are blooming, especially in raingardens! Raingardens are shallow depressions in the ground planted with grasses and flowers. The long roots of these plants help soak up water and filter it as it goes through the ground. They can take water from lawns, rooftops, sidewalks, parking lots, and even roads.

Flowers lean into the photo from the left side while a rainbow arcs overhead. The end of the rainbow appears to land at the school in the background.
Photo by Beth Maurer

These pictures were taken by a volunteer at Normandale Hills Elementary in Bloomington. The double rainbow just makes the welcome rain that much more beautiful, and really shows off the colors of the flowers. In this garden, tall purple spikes of blazing star lean into the center, where swamp milkweed is also blooming (as of the middle of August).

A large grassy hill slopes from the left to the right, where a raingarden is planted by a school building. A double rainbow arcs overhead, seeming to land on the school.
Photo by Beth Maurer

Students, teachers, and parent volunteers all had a part in bringing this garden to fruition. They all helped remove the sod in the depression at the bottom of the hill, then add compost and mulch on top. 5th graders helped plant all the flowers on a chilly spring day. Now, students help clear trash, pull weeds, and replace plants every year to keep their school raingarden thriving!

Thanks to everyone who helped put this garden in–it is better than the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!