The common question from fellow employees during this period was, “What happened to you?!” City rain gardeners Kari Hedin and Amber Westerbur often looked like they had jumped in a mud puddle and rolled around a little; but we had help. In spring 2006 a City employee removed sod for us with a sod cutter, and a work crew from Woodland Hills helped muck the clay out of the gardens. We planned to dig 1 foot deep in each garden, but after digging 8 inches we were too exhausted to continue. Such is reality.
We put the school-issued rain boots to good use in spring 2006. Once plastic edging was staked around the garden perimeter, students back-filled the gardens to aid in water infiltration. Fill consisted of a sand/gravel layer topped by peat and compost, and finished off with a layer of wood mulch. And then we asked, “Will it ever stop raining?” The gardens held 3 inches of water throughout the preparation process. Our solution? A wet vac! The picture on the right below shows Kari Hedin sucking water out of a garden so we could get in them to plant. Hardly orthodox, but it’s our little secret. We know you won’t tell.