Rain Gardens

Rain Gardens are a beautiful and environmentally friendly way to control storm water runoff.
Water that runs off our lawns, driveways, roads, and roofs during heavy rains becomes polluted with fertilizer, road salt, and many other chemicals, as it passed over these hard surfaces. By directing this water into the storm sewers the pollution ends up poring directly into our streams, lakes, and finally the ocean. Controlling storm water run off in an environmentally friendly way can be done using Bio-swales and rain gardens.

Bio-swales are basically miniature wetlands positioned in such a way as to capture water running from hard surfaces (streets, parking lots, etc.) slow and disperse it so that most of it infiltrates into the soil. For municipalities capturing rain water in this way lessens the strain on the city’s sewer system.
<- New raingarden.

For the residential client the equivalent is a rain garden. Directing the runoff from roofs and other hard surfaces to an specially prepared portion of the property which is then planted with moisture loving plants does the trick. This is particularly useful in areas where municipal bylaws have changed to disallow the direction of such runoff directly into the storm sewer system.
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This raingarden may be located too close the home.

Raingardens attract wildlife.
Rain gardens also provide habitat for beneficial creatures such as toads that eat large numbers of insects. Birds, butterflies and many other types of wild life will show up to take advantage of the dense plant cover and moisture used in a rain garden.

Designing and Planting a Rain Garden

You may think that a simple way of handling rain water runoff from your roof would be to direct the water into your water feature pond. Unfortunately this causes too many problems to be advisable. Most residential ponds are too small to absorb safely the large volume of water coming off the roof in a summer storm. A drastic change in water level is not good for the fish as it will upset the ecological balance of algae, acid, minerals and plant life that over time develops in a well constructed pond. But more urgently it can cause the pond to over-flow into the surrounding land and undermine the pond’s (or waterfall’s) supporting structure causing damage that is difficult to repair.

If you are considering a rain garden for your home please contact Flowers in the Front Yard – we would love to help!