In the Garden: May

By Layne Knoche, RORG Landscape Designer

We think April 2021 will go down as one of the most exciting months the Red Oak Rain Garden has ever experienced. From the amazing display of spring color appearing for the first time, to the return of guided tours after more than a year, we hope you’re enjoying the garden as much as we are. But we’ll be the first to tell you that the fun is just beginning!

May promises to be another exciting month to visit the garden. Historically, this is the wettest month of the year, when Champaign averages a total of 4.80 inches of rain. Immediately following big rainstorms, be sure to watch our social media or swing by the garden yourself to see it in action. We’re always amazed at how quickly the excess stormwater is soaked up! With all of that rain comes an array of new blooming plants, all being cared for by our amazing volunteers from the Champaign County Master Gardeners and East Central Illinois Master Naturalists. As the showy tulips begin to fade early this month, native species will take center stage such as Foamflower, Wild Geranium, Shooting Star, and Jacob’s Ladder.

Photos by Sandra Bjerga & Layne Knoche

To add to the excitement, the long-awaited boardwalk bridge construction is scheduled to begin towards the end of the month! The sustainably-sourced Black Locust lumber is coming from Allerton Park and, once complete, the bridge will allow people to pass through the garden without causing harm to any of the plants. We also anticipate that once the bridge is built, we’ll finally be able to take down the temporary fencing that has been standing since the 2019 renovation.

Cover photo by Sandra Bjerga

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