A Rain Garden is a shallow, bowl shaped garden designed to capture storm-water run-off. Typically down spouts are directed into the garden where the water is collected and allowed to drain slowly. Rain Gardens are planted with deep rooting native plant species that can tolerate very wet as well as very dry soil conditions.
As more and more houses are being built there are fewer green spaces to absorb storm water run-off. This storm water in most areas is being put into the sewer system, which in periods of heavy rains can get overwhelmed and cause flooding. A Rain Garden is a great way to collect this water and use it in the landscape. Rain Gardens can be designed to add a variety of color with plants such as, Great Blue Lobelia, Butterfly Milkweed, Aster, and Gray Headed Coneflower.
Rain Gardens should be at least 10 feet away from the foundation. The size of the garden depends on the area that is being drained. For example, a roof area that is 10' X 10'(100 square feet) would need a drainage area of at least 5' X 6' (30 square feet). A garden with a very clayey soil would need to be bigger to allow for slower drainage.