Rain gardens are a excellent way of creating beautiful landscapes while protecting one of the most precious resources. They are water features that celebrate natural procedures, and they are constantly shifting — growing during storm events and then subsiding. Their varying states nurture a variety of wildlife and plants.
At a pristine environment, rain is composed by plants or absorbed into the ground, where it recharges local streams and groundwater. Rain gardens enhance these natural processes, raising groundwater infiltration and helping to break down contaminants, keeping them out of local waterways.
What Can a Rain Garden Do?
In urban areas, impervious surfaces (such as paving and rooftops) prevent rainwater from entering the ground, so it must be collected and discharged. Increased runoff from these surfaces creates excessive peak flows which lead to erosion and water degradation.
This runoff often contains biological contamination, from fertilizer and pet waste to oils out of roads and driveways. The cost of conveying and treating this runoff is substantial, which is why a growing number of public utilities are offering incentives to homeowners that reduce runoff by constructing rain gardens.
Choosing a Location
Look for present low points into your yard at least 10 feet from property lines and homes, but close to the impervious surface that’s causing the runoff.
The size of your rain garden will depend on local rainfall, the tributary area and the soil type. Poorly draining soils could be amended with mulch, which acts a bit like a giant sponge, holding water where it could be picked up by plants.
Rain gardens fill with water during and after. The water percolates into the soil and dissipates via a process called evapotranspiration, a combination of evaporation and the release of moisture from crops.
Nevertheless, it is a good idea to plan for water discharge into a place away from buildings. Seasonal pools like this you are a good solution, and they are a valuable habitat for amphibians and other wildlife. These ponds dry up in the summer, so that they don’t encourage mosquitoes.
Planning Your Garden
freshwater gardens come in all sizes. This little rain garden designed by Vinita Sidhu collects the runoff out of a garage roof.
Select many different plants to accommodate the various zones within the backyard. The lowest points will receive more water and keep moist longer than crops on greater sides.
Luciole Design Inc..
Native plants that could tolerate both occasional flooding and dry intervals are great choices for rain gardens. Your city and state cooperative extensions are most likely to have great resources available to help you design your rain garden. The Seattle Public Utilities Rainwise Program is one of many great resources.
Disconnecting roof downspouts keeps clean roof runoff out of the sewage system. Rain chains both manage and observe rain and supply visual attention, even during periods of rain. Here, a rock-lined channel moves the water out of the home to the rain garden.
Rain gardens are a excellent way to soften an official landscape or to present a transition from formal to normal regions of the landscape. Choose plants that enhance your garden and make a cohesive look.
Have you got a rain garden? We’d really like to see it. Please post a photo below!
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