What is a Rain Garden?
A rain garden is a shallow, constructed depression that is planted with deep-rooted native plants & grasses. It is located in your landscape to receive runoff from hard surfaces such as a roof, a sidewalk, and a driveway. Rain gardens slow down the rush of water from these hard surfaces and hold the water for a short period of time. It allows the water to slowly filter into the ground rather than running off into nearby streams and lakes.
This landscaped area is planted with wildflowers, native plants, and shrubs. As the rain garden matures, you will enjoy a beautiful patch of flowers and plants that require less maintenance, watering, and chemical inputs than a traditional lawn. They are typically 150 – 300 square feet for a residential area.
Rain gardens are an inexpensive, simple to implement, and environmentally sound solution to urban storm water runoff. A Rain Garden will: filter runoff pollution, recharge local groundwater, protect rivers and streams, remove standing water in your yard, reduce mosquito breeding, create habitat for birds & butterflies, improve water quality, and reduce potential of home flooding.
Grass buffer strip around a garden slows the velocity of the runoff
Mulch layer provides a medium for the biological activities to occur to keep the soil moist
Plants use the runoff for moisture and nutrient requirements
Amended Soil layer is where plant roots collect the moisture and nutrients
A berm is at least six inches of soil or rocks that work like a dam to pond the runoff