Rain gardens are• Attractive• Landscaped areas shaped to capture runoff• Planted with perennial native plants that do not mind getting "wet feet"• Built in a shape that allowswater to percolate• Amazingly beneficial
Rain gardens• Enhance the beauty of yards and communities• Provide habitat for birds and butterflies• Help keep water clean by filtering storm water• Help alleviate flooding problems
Step 1: Locate and Prepare the Site• Pick a site for your garden that tends to collect water or where runoff from your driveway or downspout can be diverted into it• Your rain garden should be at least 10 feet away from foundations, underground utilities, and drainfields• You can also calculate the best spot(s) – there’s lots of help out there!
Step 2: Your Design - Select Your Plants!» For best results, native plants suitable for your garden’s conditions» Select a variety of native flowers, ferns, grasses, shrubs and small trees that will provide color and interest throughout the season» Group plants together for the most impact; estimate one small plant per square foot» Plants also provide food and habitat for birds, butterflies and bees.• There are many Resources for Garden Design and Plants• http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/der/riverways/pdf/raingardenfactsheet.pdf
Step 3: Prepare your SiteLay out a rope or garden hose in the shape desired as aguide for diggingCreate the “saucer” contour of the garden. For bestinfiltration, the bottom of the garden should be levelDig the garden; the depth of the depression is generallyfrom 4 to 8” (but sometimes as much as 12”)Introduce sand, gravel, peat, etc, that are needed to giveproper drainageCreate a swale to direct water into the garden from adownspout or pavement
Step 4: Get Out Your Gloves and Tools!Amend the soil to allow the rain garden to bothevaporate and slowly drain rain waters A roto-tiller or larger equipment may be requiredVolunteers needing to fulfill scout or schoolservice projects may be ready and willing to assistif you’re doing a rain garden for a school, church,or town building!
Step 4: Maintaining Your Rain GardenRain Gardens are Easy to Maintain but are not Maintenance Free During the first two or three years water and replace plants that did not survive, and/or rearrange plants to wetter or dryer areas if needed. Mulch annually to keep soil moist and allow easy infiltration of rain water2-3 inches of mulch every spring. Use a natural, un-dyed mulch. Weed annuallyKeep the plant community diverse and attractive, periodically clear dead vegetation and any debris
Opportunities Abound!One of my favorites – center of cul de sac!
See a Garden in Massachusetts, e.g.:• Cohasset: Water • Plymouth: Town Hall, Treatment Plant King St.; Lincoln St.; Stephens along Pond & Arrowood Field; Plimoth Streets. Plantation• Hull: Weir River Estuary • Scituate: Scituate High Center School; Hughey Rd.• Ipswich: IRWA, County • Wilmington: Eleven Rd; Partridge Place gardens along Silver• Leominster: Trustees of Lake Avenue, near Silver Reservations, Lindell Ave. Lake Beach
Many Resources, here’s a few!• http://www.greenscapes.org/Raingardens• http://www.greenscapes.org/Page-567.html• http://www.lowimpactdevelopment.org/raingarden_design/t emplates.htm• http://www.thejonahcenter.org/milardogarden.php• http://www.groundwater.org/ta/raingardens.html• http://rainkc.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/plants.search/index.h tm• http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/maho/la/la_005.cfm• http://learningstore.uwex.edu/Rain-Gardens-A-How-to- Manual-for-Homeowners-P372C82.aspx• http://www.for-wild.org/download/rainclay/rainclay.html
Opportunities – Adopt an Island Rain Garden?!?