Rain gardens beautifully handle stormwater runoff
This is the fourth in a series about handling stormwater in the home landscape.
Rain gardens are beautiful, functional and an effective way to maximize the capture of rainwater on your property.
They are interesting landscape features that absorb the rain from roofs and driveways and keep runoff from entering stormwater drains and taxing our water treatment systems
Rain gardens purify and filter out pollutants, replenish aquifers and reduce potential downstream flooding. If you choose plants carefully, they also appeal to pollinators and birds, bringing nature to your garden.
The best place to locate a rain garden is near where downspouts empty or downhill from areas prone to erosion or runoff from impervious surfaces such as paving. Here are more tips for site selection:
• Plan the garden at least 10 feet away from a structure’s foundation to prevent infiltration into the space.
• Decide where you want to view it. Is it to be a feature seen from your house or a place with a pleasing street view or some attractive screening?
• Don’t choose a spot where water tends to pond; you want the water to infiltrate the soil.
• Check local municipal requirements and be sure to locate underground utilities.
• Don’t place your garden over a septic system, drinking water well or at the base of a tree.
Once a potential site is identified, do a drainage test by digging 18 inches deep. Fill the hole with water and allow to drain. Refill the hole with water and assess the infiltration rate by checking with a ruler each hour.
the garden will hold water the longest. The perimeter can hold most of your favorite plant choices.
Our region has its challenges with flash flooding and aging stormwater infrastructure. In creating a rain garden, you are doing your part to alleviate these problems. It goes a long way toward improving the environment and our quality of life.