Written By: Stormwater Engineer Phil Gaebler

Wisconsin experiences a lot of change over the course of the year. The native plants that thrive in rain gardens are adapted to the extreme weather fluctuations and are also in pretty fierce competition with their garden neighbors. The interaction of plants with the seasons is something we are all familiar with on some level but when the year is condensed to two minutes, the changes are much more dramatic.

This video was created using a trail camera mounted to the tree in my terrace (the area between the sidewalk and the street). It took two photos a day from May 2021- July 2022. I then went through the photos and picked the best shot from each day and stitched them together into a time-lapse video. Each shot gets 0.3 seconds of show time resulting in a 2 min video for the entire year. I hope this video shows how beautiful a rain garden can be year-round, and encourages residents to install them in their own yards! For me, this project highlighted the variability of daylight, how quickly some plants grow, how late spring comes to Wisconsin, how late into spring it snows and that if you put a rain garden in your front yard the 

camera can’t see how infrequently you mow your lawn.I ended up splitting the video so the start date is 2/13/2022 – 7/04/2022 and then time travels back to 6/24/2021-2/12/2022. This is so the video starts in winter and ends in winter and shows the spring explosion in the first 30 seconds. Hope you enjoy the show, and consider building a rain garden in your yard, helping our City reach its 1,000 rain garden goal.

Rain Garden Resources:

rain garden screen shot of timelapse video

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Engineering and a link back to the original post.