The Green Teaching Garden is sponsored by the College of Charleston’s Grice Marine Lab (GML), CofC’s Marine Biology Graduate Student Association (MBGSA), and the CofC Office of Sustainability ECOllective Fund.
Herb garden: January 31st, 2012
Our herbs we planted last spring are still doing really well! We cut back all the herbs we still had growing: lavender, rosemary, terregon, and oregano and put them into bunches to dry around the lab.
Herbs hanging in the Grice Marine Lab dorm kitchen pantry
Rain barrel painting and platform building: February 10th 2012
We started applying the primer and base coat for our rain barrels. I chose natural colors-green, yellow, tan, and brown to go with the sustainability theme. Four of the rain barrels were donated from Clemson Extension and the other four were purchased from EarthFare. Before we could install the rain barrels, we had to create a flat raised surface for them to sit on. Even though the garden site is fairly sandy and flat, we dug down to remove roots and then added paver sand to help raise and level the pavers.
(Left) Marine biology graduate student Katie Anweiler places a paver leveling the ground. (Right) Marine biology students — paint the rain barrels.
Transplanting Workday: Start of turnover from a bog garden to a rain garden: February 17, 2012
When the garden was created last year, a bog garden was installed in the center of the four raised beds. Unfortunately, our garden isn’t the best site to have one and would be much more sustainable to create a rain garden instead.
What’s the difference between a rain garden and a bog garden? A bog garden is created to retain water. A plastic liner is placed about a foot underneath the garden to keep the water in and plants that do well in high moisture environments are selected. It is also best to have a water source such as an ice machine like the Fort Johnson Community Garden has in place. A rain garden on the other hand is a depression in the ground made of mostly sand and allows for rain water to soak into the soil with the goal to improve water quality in near bodies of water. Plants in this habitat should be able to handle about a day of water coverage before it soaks through the soil and periods of drought. Native plants in the South Carolina coastal area do well in rain gardens.
Today was the first step in changing over from the bog garden to a rain garden. The surviving plants were removed and placed into pots donated from Hyam’s on James Island. The College of Charleston’s Biology Club also donated several packages of flowers to be planted in front the garden.
(Left) Marine biology graduate students: Hannah Day, Michelle Reed, Robin Garcia, and Meredith Smylie work on transplanting the plants from the bog garden. (Right) Biology Club president Haley Ottinger planted the flowers in front of the Grice Marine Lab sign.