Can a rain garden really do it all? We think so! Rain gardens offer effective stormwater management, beautify your outdoor space, and provide food for local wildlife. Whether you are planning to install a rain garden at home or simply curious about the process, read on to learn about how rain gardens can benefit your home.
Please note that this information is intended for homeowners who are interested in building a rain garden voluntarily on their property. Design, construction, and maintenance are simpler and less stringent than when a rain garden is required as part of the development process. Rain gardens built to comply with stormwater management requirements should be designed and built according to the standards and specifications provided by the local jurisdiction where the rain garden will be built.
What is a rain garden?
A rain garden is a landscaped area specially designed to collect rainfall and manage stormwater runoff. It is a planted shallow depression that temporarily holds runoff from impervious areas until it evaporates, is absorbed by the plants, or is absorbed into the ground. A typical rain garden is designed to collect and filter the first one-half to 1 inch of rain. The plants, microorganisms, and soil in the rain garden act as a filter to clean pollutants from the water.
A rain garden is made of several layers: soil, mulch, and plants of different heights and moisture preferences. Each layer plays an important role in managing runoff during storm events and has specific qualities that make the space qualify as a rain garden.