A Rain Garden is a garden designed to catch and hold the rain water from structures
like roofs and driveways that otherwise would end up going into the storm sewers ultimately flowing into nearby streams, rivers
and lakes. The garden is designed to hold the water for a short time allowing
it to slowly seep back into the ground.
A Rain Garden serves to recharge the groundwater by reducing runoff by about 30%. Rain gardens also reduce the amount
of fertilizer and other pollutants flowing into nearby bodies of water. A well
maintained rain garden will add to the beauty of your yard with flowers while providing a great habitat for butterflies, birds
and other wildlife.
What are important features to keep in mind in designing the garden?
placement of the garden may be near a downspout or in a depression close to a driveway where the water naturally drains. The
garden should be excavated to a depth of about 4 inches. The bottom should be as level as possible with the addition of a
small berm on the downhill side if placed on a slope.
should include a variety of plants, with more flowers than grasses. All species must be able to tolerate extremes of soil
moisture conditions from very wet to occasionally very dry. Click to see a list of plants that are recommended for rain gardens. Or check out our database of rain garden plants with more information.
How do I maintain my Rain Garden?
Like any perennial
planting, weed control in the first several years until the plants are established is the key to success. Once the plants mature they should crowd out most weeds but may need occasional attention. Leaving the
dry plants over winter will provide winter interest as well as habitat for birds and animals. Clean up in the spring can be
done by cutting off the old stalks before new growth emerges.
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