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Tips About Rain Gardens

Updated on December 28, 2014
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For years, Yvonne has been developing a sustainable homestead complete with chickens, food plants, on-site water, solar power, and more.

Rain Gardens Keep Storm Water on Site

One of the new Green landscaping techniques is to utilize low areas in your yard to build rain gardens which will keep excess storm water on-site. Rain gardens positively impact the environment in a number of ways. Many people are building them all over the country, especially in dry climates. So take a look at the information, pictures and other links here if you'd like to learn more about this new way to conserve rainwater in the garden.

Beautiful Rain Garden Plants

Plants include Salvia coccinea, Liatris, Giant Coneflower and begonias.
Plants include Salvia coccinea, Liatris, Giant Coneflower and begonias.

What is a Rain Garden?

A rain garden is a shallow depression that keeps storm water in place for a day or two, allowing it to soak in so that it can be used by the plants. You can create a rain garden in a low area where rain water collects naturally. In urban areas, rain gardens can be combined with French drains to channel the water to other flower beds or away from the house.

Rain gardens help reduce water pollution, especially in cities, and also help to alleviate flooding by allowing the water to soak in and be filtered before it reaches ditches and streams.

By using a combination of native plants and easy to grow, drought resistant naturalized plants, a rain garden can be quite beautiful all through the year. The native plants in rain gardens attract birds, butterflies, pollinators and other wildlife. Creating a rain is easy and this small change in an urban or suburban yard will positively affect the safety of our supply of fresh water.

The photo above was taken in our rain garden. The plants include (from back to front) native Blazing Star (Liatris), native Louisiana Iris, non-native Amaryllis, native Red Morning Glory, non-native Begonia and native Coral Nymph Salvia coccinea to mention a few.

How Rain Gardens Work

This diagram shows the process and reasons for this type of sustainable garden.
This diagram shows the process and reasons for this type of sustainable garden. | Source

More Rain Garden Flowers

Native plants do well in rain gardens because they can take the natural cycle of flooding then drought. Other old fashioned perennials like Canna Lilies, Homestead Verbena, Spider Lilies and Abutilon also do well. Here are a few pictures of lovely flowers that can be grown in a rain garden.

Indian Pink and Daisy Fleabane

Indian Pink and Daisy Fleabane are hardy native plants. They do well in moist soil, but can also tolerate drought conditions. Hummingbirds and butterflies use Indian Pink.
Indian Pink and Daisy Fleabane are hardy native plants. They do well in moist soil, but can also tolerate drought conditions. Hummingbirds and butterflies use Indian Pink.

Giant Coneflower, Rudbeckia maxima

Pollinators are attracted to the flowers and songbirds eat the seeds. In the wild they grow in ditches and moist areas.
Pollinators are attracted to the flowers and songbirds eat the seeds. In the wild they grow in ditches and moist areas.

Angle-Pod Blue Iris

Colorful native Louisiana irises grow in wetland areas. Butterflies and other pollinators use the flowers.
Colorful native Louisiana irises grow in wetland areas. Butterflies and other pollinators use the flowers. | Source

Birds and Animals Are Attracted

Mockingbirds eat insects and berries from the garden. The males often sing their sweet songs from a tree nearby.
Mockingbirds eat insects and berries from the garden. The males often sing their sweet songs from a tree nearby.
Cardinals often build nests and raiselyoung in the shrubs along the edge.
Cardinals often build nests and raiselyoung in the shrubs along the edge.
Green Tree Frogs, the Louisiana state amphibian, hide among the stems of the plants and gobble up small insects.
Green Tree Frogs, the Louisiana state amphibian, hide among the stems of the plants and gobble up small insects.
A spicebush swallowtail butterfly drinks from the purple homestead verbena that grows in the garden.
A spicebush swallowtail butterfly drinks from the purple homestead verbena that grows in the garden.

Rain Garden Poll

Do you have a rain garden?

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Rain Gardens

Rain Gardens: Managing Water Sustainably in the Garden and Designed Landscape
Rain Gardens: Managing Water Sustainably in the Garden and Designed Landscape

A complete how-to book about building and managing rain gardens.

 

Rain Garden Video

Plant Natives Go Green

Source

© 2009 Yvonne L. B.

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    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Rain gardens rock!!

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 8 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Absolutely lovely and inspiring... I like all your garden lenses. 5*