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Learn about Rain Garden

Rain Garden

A shallow, bowl-shaped garden bed with drainage gravel underneath it, planted with plants that love water. It collects water from the downspouts of nearby buildings and allows the water to percolate down into the ground, replenishing groundwater supplies.

Ensure the slope of your ground is sloped away from your house - this is important for drainage anyway. Find a suitable site in your yard, at least 10 feet away from your home, that the water will flow to. Dig a hole approximately three feet deep and about 5 feet in diameter in porous soil. Fill the bottom of the hole with course drainage gravel about a foot thick, and add about a foot of fertile garden soil. Leave a bit of a bowl-like depression in the ground so that the water will sink in there. In the bowl, plant a variety of perennial water-loving plants, bushes, shrubs, and grasses that are native to your area. Example plants in Canada include Blue Flag Iris, Black-eyed Susan, and SwitchGrass. There are excellent guides online. Or look for a landscaping company that offers rain garden design and construction.

A rain garden is a cost-effective way to manage storm water on your property. It reduces erosion and the impact of runoff on streets, storm drains, and waterways, especially in urban areas with heavy rainfall. It's also an opportunity to make a beautiful water feature in your garden.

Many cities in the State of Minnesota, USA, have adopted rain gardens for storm water management in a big way. In people's yards and along streets, you'll see places where the storm water runs into managed gardens, instead of into the Mississippi River via the storm water drains. This is helping keep the river healthy and saving the budget of the city because rain gardens cost less to build than new storm water pipes. Nicer looking too!