RAIN GARDENS

Rain Gardens
Rain gardens are created with absorbent, yet free draining soil and planted with vegetation that can cope with occasional temporary flooding. A Rain garden is designed to recreate the natural water retention of undeveloped land. The aim is to reduce the volume of rainwater running off into drains from impervious areas and treat low level pollution. Many gardens and driveways are being paved over and this is resulting in significantly reducing the amount of natural percolation of rainfall into the water table.

The standard solution to surface run-off has always been to create a series of pipework and divert often contaminated rain into local streams and rivers that often can’t cope with the increased levels of rain. If we channel this water into vegetated areas we can create a series of habitats that can often be linked to create natural wildlife corridors.

Water is a vital resource for people and wildlife. In the UK we expect to have enough water to meet our needs – having water readily available is something we often take for granted. Even in record breaking periods of prolonged summer rain, water is a precious resource, to be used and managed wisely. Even one rain garden can make a small but positive difference in addressing localised flooding and the quality of the local water environment. Alongside other sustainable drainage systems and actions to tackle diffuse pollution, rain gardens can be an effective part of a bigger solution. (Excerpt from the UK Rain Garden Guide)
Dave Wardle
Environment Agency

Rain Garden Planting

Rain gardens can be planted to attract wildlife  and can reduce the cost of maintenance, for example, where frequently mown lawns are replaced. They can be easily combined with schemes to harvest rainwater. By increasing the amount of water entering the soil, rain gardens help to reduce the effects of drought and help gardens to thrive without the need for irrigation.

A very wide range of plants can be planted in rain gardens, however we avoid using plants that do not withstand occasional flooding – for example species which are usually associated with dry Mediterranean style gardens, like Lavender. Other plants to avoid include those susceptible to root rot including Azalea, Juniper and Chinese privet.

Occasional weeding may be required during the first two years of the life of the rain garden.  As the plants in the beds mature, they will fill in any gaps and suppress weed growth.

Contact us for more information on rain gardens or to discuss your project

Rain gardens