Low-maintenance rain gardens on Lake Champlain

Asked October 7, 2015, 2:04 PM EDT

Hello, I live on Colchester Point Road. To allow our private paved road to drain runoff, ditching (a very shallow V) was performed for about 100 meters on the non-lake side of the road.The slope of the ditch/road is quite shallow. There is a big tree stump remaining in the middle of the ditch, which goes around it. The ditch drains the road and grassy slopes. There is a catch basin at the end, which drains into another basin under our driveway and then through a small culvert pretty directly to the lake, coming out about 120 feet away at the top of our stone wall above our beach. What could we plant in the ditch along that road that would absorb as much pollution/nitrogen/phosphorus as possible and still be low growing (not tall) and require little or no maintenance? The water comes out at a metal grill at the top of our wall (rock slope) above our beach. The stones range from enormous to small. What could we plant there on/among the rocks that would absorb additional nutrients and pollution from the culvert but not break up the rocks protecting our back yard? We are not opposed to tall grasses or bushes at that point on the wall. Again, low maintenance is a priority! A second question (separate from the ditch culvert): Should we plant something all along the edge of the rock slope or among the rocks to protect the lake anyway? We don't use chemicals or fertilizers for gardening, except for compost. Thanks! Note: On attached photo CULVERTEXIT, the culvert empties into a bowl of rocks at center Rt of photo. Sue

Chittenden County Vermont

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