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Rain Gardens

A rain garden is a depressed area in the landscape that collects rain water from a roof, driveway or street and allows it to soak into the ground. Planted with shrubs, perennials, flowers and grasses, rain gardens can be cost effective and provide a wonderful way to reduce rainwater runoff. Rain gardens are effective in removing up to 90% of nutrients and chemicals and provide food and shelter for butterflies, song birds and other wildlife.

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Acer circinatum (Vine Maple)

Acer circinatum (Vine Maple) is most commonly grown as a spreading bushy large shrub, but it will occasionally form a small to medium-sized tree. Low-branched, multi-stemmed in habit, it usually develops multi-trunks with bright, reddish-green bark. Beautifully colored in most seasons, its broad foliage canopy, elegantly displayed in tiered pattern, emerges bright green in spring and warms up to attractive shades of orange and red in the fall.

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Acorus calamus 'Variegatus' (Variegated Sweet Flag)

Ideal for wet areas, Acorus calamus 'Variegatus' (Variegated Sweet Flag) is an attractive herbaceous perennial forming a tuft of gracefully arching, narrow, sword-shaped leaves adorned with creamy-white and green stripes. Often displaying a nice pink tinge in cold weather, the foliage is sweetly fragrant when bruised.

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Acorus calamus (Sweet Flag)

Ideal for wet areas, Acorus calamus (Sweet Flag) is a spreading, marginal aquatic perennial forming a tuft of erect, sword-shaped, bright green leaves adorned with one slightly wavy edge and a prominent midrib. In late spring, this plant bears inconspicuous greenish-yellow flowers in finger-like inflorescences, 2-4 in. long (5-10 cm), which give way to tiny, reddish berries. Both the crushed foliage and rootstocks have a pleasant aromatic fragrance. A great choice for naturalizing, Sweet Flag is quite versatile in the garden and makes a decorative foliage accent in water gardens and around ponds.

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Acorus gramineus 'Ogon' (Golden Variegated Sweet Flag)

Ideal for wet areas, Acorus gramineus 'Ogon' (Golden Variegated Sweet Flag) is a semi-evergreen herbaceous perennial forming an attractive tuft of gracefully arching, narrow, sword-shaped, golden-yellow leaves adorned with olive green stripes. The foliage is sweetly fragrant when bruised and evergreen in mild winter areas.

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Adiantum capillus-veneris (Southern Maidenhair Fern)

Adiantum capillus-veneris (Southern Maidenhair Fern) is a slowly spreading, semi-evergreen fern forming a mound of gently arching or pendant, twice divided, delicate fronds adorned with wiry, black stems.

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Adiantum pedatum (Northern Maidenhair Fern)

One of the most sought-after ferns, Adiantum pedatum (Northern Maidenhair Fern) is a deciduous perennial fern with handsome, black shiny stems and graceful, bright green fronds spreading horizontally in a circular pattern.

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Alnus serrulata (Smooth Alder)

Most attractive, Alnus serrulata (Smooth Alder) is a large, spreading deciduous shrub or small tree of pyramidal habit with a densely branched canopy. Its multi-stemmed trunks are covered with shiny gray-brown bark. The foliage of undulating, elliptic to obovate, glossy green leaves, 2-4 in. long (5-10 cm), turns yellow-brown in the fall. In early to mid spring, long, pendant, pale yellow male catkins, 4 in. long (10 cm), dangle like Christmas decorations.

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Amelanchier laevis (Allegheny Serviceberry)

Amelanchier laevis (Allegheny Serviceberry) is a large deciduous shrub or small multi-trunked tree of dense, fine-textured branching habit with purplish to bronze young leaves. In mid spring, abundant sprays of small, slightly fragrant, white flowers emerge as the leaves unfurl.

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Andropogon glomeratus (Bushy Bluestem)

An impressive ornamental grass for moist soils, Andropogon glomeratus (Bushy Bluestem) is a clump-forming, warm-season grass forming a sturdy and upright tuft of tall, flattened leaf blades. Emerging blue green in spring, the foliage turns rich coppery-orange in the fall. Elegant tall flowering stems rise above the foliage in late summer to early fall, bearing densely clustered, clublike, silvery pink to white panicles.

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Angelica archangelica (Angelica)

Well-known as a decoration for puddings and cakes, Angelica archangelica is a tall, aromatic, perennial herb with attractive, rounded umbels, up to 4-6 in. across (10-15 cm), of white or greenish tiny flowers in early summer.

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Angelica atropurpurea (American Angelica)

Angelica atropurpurea (American Angelica) is a large herbaceous perennial with gorgeous, rounded umbels, up to 4-10 in. across (10-25 cm), of cream to greenish tiny flowers from early summer to early fall. The flower umbels are born on smooth, dark purple, hollow stems.

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Aponogeton distachyos (Water Hawthorn)

Aponogeton distachyos (Water Hawthorn) is an aquatic perennial with long, oval shaped, often mottled, green and red leaves, 3-6 in. long (7-15 cm) and small white flowers held just above the surface. The deciduous or partially evergreen leaves float on the surface of the water from a petiole up to 40 in. long (100 cm) arising from tubers growing at the bottom of water bodies. Profuse vanilla-scented, forked inflorescences bearing tiny white flowers with brown anthers bloom from fall to spring

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Aquilegia formosa (Western Columbine)

Native to Western North America, Aquilegia Formosa, commonly known as 'Western Columbine', features masses of pendant, glowing red and soft yellow flowers, 2 in. across (5 cm), with straight spurs and bushy golden stamens. They rise elegantly on long, thin stems above a lovely fern-like bluish-green foliage and bloom for weeks from late spring to early summer

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Aronia melanocarpa (Black Chokeberry)

Noted for its showy black berries and excellent purple-red foliage color, Aronia melanocarpa (Black Chokeberry) is a very adaptable, spreading, deciduous shrub which adds multi-season beauty to the garden.

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Aruncus dioicus (Goat's Beard)

Resembling the delicate Astilbe, Aruncus dioicus (Goat's Beard) is a great looking perennial with highly attractive feathery plumes of creamy-white tiny starry flowers which rise well above its dark green foliage

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