South Carolina Rain Garden Manual


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South Carolina Rain Garden Manual

  1. 1. Carolina Clear RAIN GARDENS A RAIN GARDEN MANUAL FOR SOUTH CAROLINA GREEN SOLUTIONS TO STORMWATER POLLUTION As development increases, so vious surfaces also prevent the receive stormwater runoff and does the area of impervious natural infiltration process that allow the runoff to slowly infil- surface. Impervious surfaces occurs in forests, fields and open trate to the groundwater table. include roadways, rooftops, areas. Instead of adding to the As well as intercepting storm- parking lots and sidewalks. groundwater supply, stormwa- water runoff that could have Without planning and appro- ter flushes the landscape, often added to flooding problems, priate management, water that leading to increased flooding, the rain garden allows nature runs over these surfaces picks erosion, sedimentation and to play a role, removing some of up pollutants along the way damage to wetlands, ecosys- the pollutants that would have and carries them directly to tems and waterways. otherwise affected water qual- our lakes, rivers and estuar- ity. During infiltration, plants ies. These pollutants include use excess nutrients for growth, bacteria, nutrients, litter, sedi- sediment is trapped in the gar- ment, oils and metals. Water den and biological processes that heats up on parking lots remove pathogens. Dissolved and roadways also can lead metals and nutrients bind or to warmer than normal water adsorb to soil particles, and are entering nearby waterways. removed temporarily out of the This runoff, called “stormwa- system. Rain gardens, like any ter,” is generated by precipita- garden, also become habitat for tion, snow melt and irrigation bees, birds and butterflies. water that runs off the land. Stormwater is the greatest Many other stormwater manage- threat to our nation’s surface Rain gardens have become a ment techniques address only a waters. popular and attractive method portion of the problems caused by stormwater runoff. Rain gardens, for property owners to decrease however, have the potential to As well as creating hard sur- the impact of their impervi- solve all of the problems of storm- faces where pollutants can be ous surfaces. Rain gardens are water runoff before they occur. washed into waterways, imper- landscaped depressions that Kevin Beutell, Stormwater, October 2008
  2. 2. SITING YOUR RAIN GARDEN MAKING THE BEST OF A DEPRESSED SITUATION Rain gardens should be located in an area to which rain water typically flows. If a depression already exists in your yard, this could be a good candidate for siting your rain garden. If not, a depression in the ground could be easily dug. Remember, the depression in the landscape should NOT have a seasonally high water table. This would inhibit the amount of infiltration that would take place and restrict the variety and potential suc- cess of the plants you use in your rain garden. Often, rain gardens are built down slope of the downspout and at least 10 feet away from the home. SIZING YOUR RAIN GARDEN YOUR INNER ENGINEER The size of your rain garden is dependent on the area that runs off into the garden, the volume of water it will need to temporarily store, and the soils that will do the infiltrat- ing. The Center for Watershed Protection recommends that the rain garden area be between 20 and 30 percent of the drainage area directed to the depression. For bestSIMPLE TIPS FOR results and plant growth, it is also recom- mended that the rain garden depression beRAIN GARDENING approximately 6 inches deep.SUCCESS: Rain gardens are typically designed water in the rain garden so that it Be aware of utility lines before to store and infiltrate a 1-inch has the time to infiltrate. you dig. Call P .S. at 811 .U.P storm. In cases where a storm will or 1-888-721-7877 to request produce more than 1 inch of rain Since rain gardens are supposed to information before digging. in 24 hours, excess water should reduce the amount of runoff and be able to leave the rain garden encourage infiltration of stormwa- To help envision the shape without eroding soils and carry- ter, soils play a major role in their and layout of your rain gar- ing away mulch and soil. Your effectiveness and success. Soil den, lay a rope or garden rain garden design should include mix and drainage piping are two hose in the shape and size an overflow so that excess water decisions the designer makes in of your rain garden. Keep from larger storms can be diverted determining drainage capabilities this outline as your digging boundary until complete. out of the rain garden. To prevent of your rain garden. The soil mix overflow from eroding the soils selected must have a balance of A curved shape makes the around the rim of the rain garden, clay soils that will support plant rain garden look more inter- stones or turf reinforcement can growth and fix pollutants within esting and natural. The lon- be used. A berm will also keep the soil, as well as sandy soils that gest length of the rain garden will encourage infiltration. Sandy should be perpendicular to loam to loamy sand is the most the slope of the property. recommended mix for rain gardens, resulting in permeability rates of 1 Remember, if you have a to 6 inches per hour. If possible, septic system, you should be start with the native soils from sure that water is not routed to the drainfield area, which the depression and amend them could reduce the effectiveness to get the results your rain garden of your drainfield and lead to requires. system failure! To find out if your Trees are primarily for large soil needs to be rain gardens (at least 150 amended, you square feet) and should be should do two planted at least 8 feet apart. things - conduct a Consult your Horticulture soil perk test and Agent or nursery for more have your native advice.2 soil tested. For
  3. 3. are well-drained, the depression, the closer to the have the soils test- 20 percent size estimate for your ed by your local rain garden. extension office. The results will rec- Installing an underdrain is a way to ommend any nec- ensure that your rain garden infil- essary amenities to trates if a large volume of water include in the soil will be draining to the depression, mix so that your or if the native soils prevent prop- plants will have the er infiltration. Drainage pipes are best conditions for plastic and range from 4 to 8 inches success. in diameter and may be corrugated. The pipe should be installed 3.5 to To correctly size 5 feet below the surface, envel- your rain garden, oped in washed gravel and overlaid determine the area with geotextile fabric. of imperviousnessthe perk test, dig a hole in the that drains to the depression. Forarea where the rain garden will gutters with a downspout at eachbe installed. The hole should be end of the sloped roof, simplyapproximately the size of a coffee divide the size of the roof in half.can. Fill the hole with water. How Then estimate 20 and 30 percentmany inches does it drop in an of that roof area; the rain gardenhour? Ideally, it should be 1 to 6 should be sized to meet that rangeinches. Given that the site’s soils in area. The sandier your soils in PLANTING OPTIONS THE FUN PART Once the depression has been estab- lished with ample drainage, the next step is installing plants. Rain garden vegetation should be able to withstand brief periods of stand- ing water, yet thrive between rain events under dry condi- tions. Plants by region of South Carolina are listed on the following pages. Native plants are plants that are natural to a region, and therefore may be better suited for the soils and seasons and may also provide the best habitat for birds, bees and butterflies natural to that area. There are a few rules of caution and advice when choos- ing vegetation for your rain garden. 1. In situations where an underdrain is installed, plants such as willows will aggressively send roots down to reach water, leading to clogged drainage pipes. Therefore, whenever underdrains are in place, shrubs and trees with overly aggressive roots should not be planted. 2. Cherry trees should also be avoided in rain garden designs. Under flooded conditions, cherry tree roots will release a poison that will kill the tree. 3. Finally, other rain gardeners suggest that you keep the planting design simple by using fewer varieties of plants that are most suited to the conditions of the site. This will also allow you to find out what works best in your rain garden, and then plant more when needed. For more assistance with selecting the appropriate trees, consult the Home and Garden Information Center’s Fact Sheet “Tree Selection (HGIC 1004)” available at 3
  4. 4. After the plants are installed, the rain garden should bemulched with 3 to 4 inches of hardwood mulch. A pinebark mulch is too lightweight and could float out with thenext storm.It is important to remember that a rain garden is still a gar-den and requires some maintenance. The plants have theirown horticultural needs, and not all plants will survive theconditions within the rain garden. Plants should be in-spected seasonally, and the rain garden itself should be in-spected after major rainfalls to ensure that the plants, soiland mulch are stable within the depression. Weeding willbe necessary to reduce unwanted competition in your raingarden. Finally, any debris that flows into the rain garden should be removed. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION ADDITIONAL RAIN GARDEN POSSIBILITIESTypically, rain gardens are installed totreat rooftop, lawn and driveway runoffat residences. From a rooftop’s down-spout, rain gardens should be sited down-gradient, and water can travel through a1 percent sloped ditch (1 foot drop in el-evation over 100 feet of distance), gutterextender, or from a hose connected to arain barrel. Partnering rain barrels withrain gardens makes sense, as the barrelwill act as a settling basin for any solidsrunning off of the rooftop.If having a gutter extender over the lawntroubles you, it can be buried under-ground until it reaches the rain garden.Rain gardens can be installed at almostany property or facility with an impervi-ous surface and some area that will beused for the treatment from that imper-vious runoff. The following are some ex-amples of how rain gardens can be usedwithin the landscape:• Corner of barns to capture and infil-trate runoff.• Recessed parking lot islands.• Schools where the rain garden candouble as an outdoor classroom. Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)• Highway medians. Andy & Sally Wasowski, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center4
  5. 5. MOSQUITO CONCERNS AND OTHER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS friends in the installation of your rain garden - you Observe how long it takes can always help them build for your rain garden to com- theirs, too! The main cost pletely drain and monitor will be plants. Remember, how that may change each rain gardens do not need season. As for keeping mos- to be crowded with plants, quitoes at bay, rain gardens and many of the plants rec- also attract dragonflies which ommended in the followingPhoto by Sarah L. Voisin, published in The Washington feed on mosquitoes. pages grow in a clumpingPost on 7/12/2008 style, which will fill in more Many homeowners ask about each season. the cost of rain gardens. Rain Mosquitoes require 7 to 12 days in standing gardens can be inexpensive In times of drought, your water to lay and hatch eggs. Typically, rain features in your landscape. rain garden may need to be gardens will drain in under 24 hours, therefore Ask for help from family and irrigated. removing any mosquito concerns. LANDFORM REGIONS OF SC MOUNTAINS (MT) PIEDMONT (PD) SANDHILLS AND SOUTHEASTERN PLAINS (SH)Landform regions of South Carolina MIDDLE ATLANTICand the soil characteristics within AND SOUTHERNthese different regions can serve as a COASTAL PLAIN (CP)guideline to plant suitability throughoutthe state. Use the two-letter abbreviation inthe tables below to identify plants that mayor may not readily grow in each region. Inthe tables below, “ALL” refers to plant ap-propriateness across the state. NA refers toinformation that was not available at thetime of publication. 5
  6. 6. Polygonatum biflurom (Solomon’s Seal) Norman G. Flaigg, Lady Bird Johnson Wild- flower Center PERENNIALS & GRASSES SC NATIVE REGION TO SC? SCIENTIFIC NAME COMMON NAME PLANT CHARACTERISTICS Yellow-green, grass-like leaves for 2-3.5, sturdy stem at top holds spike-like cluster of small SH to CP Na ve Aletris farinosa Unicorn Root white, urn-shaped flowers. Blue-green color, deep roots, drought-resistant, ALL Na ve Andropogon gerardii Big Bluestem tawny color in fall; full sun; tall, reaching 6-8. Erect branching perennial, up to 2 tall; showy flowers with yellow stamens; best in shade and well-drained soils; 3-5 year lifespan, but re- ALL Na ve Aquilegia canadensis Columbine seeds easily. Pink bloom in mid-summer, valuable to bu erflies; suitable for coast and piedmont; CP and PD Na ve Asclepias incarnata Swamp Milkweed sun; 2-4 tall; small rose-purple flowers. Striking and rugged plant with orange flowers; a racts bu erflies. Slow to establish; easy to ALL Na ve Asclepias tuberosa Bu erfly Milkweed grow from seed. Full sun and 2-3 tall. Deep violet flowers in fall, fuzzy seedheads; drought-tolerant; can be 2-6 tall; may have 40 NA Na ve Aster novae-angliae New England Aster flowers at one me. 18-36", yellow-green to medium-green fronds, part to full shade, clump-forming. Great in background and more moist areas of the rain garden. Should be watered under dry ALL Na ve Athyrium filix-femina Lady Fern condi ons. Grows approximately 3-4 high. Blooms from April through October in red, orange, and CP and SH Na ve Canna glauca Canna Lily yellows. Very tropical looking. Clump-forming, grass-like, emergent plant; ALL Na ve Carex stricta Tussock Sedge used by waterfowl. Tolerates dry soils, shade; dangling oats are ALL Na ve Chasmanthium la folium River Oats ornamental and copper in fall; clump forming. Snapdragon-type white flowers, o en lavendar- nged. Robust perennial, 1-4 tall; a rac ve to hummingbirds and bu erflies; suitable for ALL* Na ve Chelone glabra White Turtlehead piedmont; sun.6
  7. 7. SC NATIVEREGION TO SC? LATIN NAME COMMON NAME PLANT CHARACTERISTICS Snapdragon-type pink flowers. Robust perennial, 1-4 tall; a rac ve to hummingbirdsMT Na ve Chelone lyonii Pink Turtlehead and bu erflies; suitable for piedmont; sun. Spreads rapidly; fragrant foliage, light greenMT Na ve Dennstaed a punc lobula Hayscented Fern turning yellow in fall.PD and Evergreen WoodMT Na ve Dryopteridaceae marginalis Fern Grows to 36", full shade, bluish-green blades. Misty blue flowers; spreads quickly; tolerates many soils, especially suited to heavy textured and highly organic soils; salt-tolerant; up to 3SH to CP Na ve Eupatorium coeles num Blue Mist Flower tall; full sun to part shade. Rapid growers can be 6 tall with wide heads of pink or purple flowers that a ract bu erflies;ALL Na ve Eupatorium fistulosum Joe Pye Weed no salinity tolerance. Lavender to pink flowers; semi-evergreen, lowALL Na ve Geranium maculatum Spo ed Geranium fragrant foliage; 1-3 tall. Swamp Sunflower, Narrowleaf Tall yellow daisies with maroon centers; goodALL Na ve Helianthus angus folius Sunflower seed source; salt-tolerant. Many types of daylilies, and their colors and height vary. Require well-drained soil and 1" of water per week in summer months. Clump- Non- forming and can be divided in spring and fall.ALL Na ve Hemerocallis spp. any hybrids Daylily Full sun. Alumroot, Coral Semi-evergreen groundcover with wine color inSH to PD Na ve Heuchera americana bells winter; airy flowers. Scarlet Rosemallow; 4-7 tall. Divided blooms greater than 6" inNA Na ve Hibiscus coccineus Texas Star Mallow width, July through September. Full sun. Shrubby and 3-8 tall, with huge white to pink flowers; can grow near water; salt-tolerant; Rose Mallow; Marsh numerous sturdy stems from a single crown.ALL Na ve Hibiscus moscheutos mallow hibiscus Strikingly showy. LEFT: Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower), Joseph A. Marcus, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center BELOW: Helianthus angustifolia (Swamp Sunflower), Andy & Sally Wasowski, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center 7
  8. 8. SC NATIVE REGION TO SC? SCIENTIFIC NAME COMMON NAME PLANT CHARACTERISTICS Easy to grow; spikes of lavender flowers, nectar and seed valuable; salt-tolerant; straight and CP and Gayfeather, Blazing slender perennial, reaching 3-4. Tall spike of MT Na ve Liatris spicata Star rayless, rose-purple flower heads. Brilliant red flower spikes, loved by bu erfly and hummingbirds; sun to shade; 1-6; showy ALL Na ve Lobelia cardinalis Cardinal Flower red flowers in 8" terminal spikes. Bright blue flowers a rac ve to hummingbirds, ALL Na ve Lobelia siphili ca Blue Lobelia sun to shade, 2-3 in height. Yellow, erect to sprawling, some mes branched perennial, usually 1-2 tall. Yellow ALL Na ve Lysimachia ciliata Fringed loosestrife flowers droop from stalks. Fragrant foliage, red to purple flowers, hummingbirds and bu erflies; dense, rounded clusters of flowers. 3 tall; leaves have a minty NA Na ve Monarda didyma Beebalm aroma; vigorously colonizes. Fragrant foliage, lavender flowers, hummingbirds and bu erflies; sun to part Wild Bergamot; shade; ensure good circula on to avoid mildew MT Na ve Monarda fistulosa Horsemint problems. Vigorously colonizes. 1-3 tall. Fragrant foliage, dusty pink flowers, a rac ve to hummingbirds and bu erflies; salt-tolerant; CP Na ve Monarda punctata Spo ed mint ranges from 6" to 3 tall. 3-4 tall. Part sun to shade. Ideal for back drop ALL Na ve Onoclea cinnamomea Cinnamon Fern and more moist areas of the rain garden. Spreads easily; lush green, rusty-gold in fall, ALL Na ve Onoclea sensibilis Sensi ve Fern spore heads persist. Suitable for coast to mountains; 2-3 tall; part ALL Na ve Osmunda regalis Royal Fern shade to shade. ABOVE LEFT: Geranium maculatum (Spotted Geranium), William Justice, courtesy of Smithsonian Institution; ABOVE MIDDLE: Veronia noveboracensis (Ironweed), Stefan Bloodworth, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center; ABOVE RIGHT: Eupatorium coelestinum (Mist- flower), William Justice, courtesy of Smithsonian Institution8
  9. 9. SC NATIVEREGION TO SC? SCIENTIFIC NAME COMMON NAME PLANT CHARACTERISTICS Very tolerant of flooding; fuzzy flower heads; good erosion control; suitable for coast toALL Na ve Panicum virgatum Switch Grass mountains; sun. Pink or purple spikes of tubular flowers;ALL Na ve Physostegia virginiana Obedient Plant spreads rapidly in moist soils. Lily family; graceful arching stem, pendulous Great Solomons flowers (o en hidden) greenish-white and bell-ALL Na ve Polygonatum biflorum Seal like; blue berries follow flowers; 1-3 full shade. Tall Coneflower; Great for stream banks; yellow daisies withALL Na ve Rudbeckia laciniata Cutleaf Coneflower green center; seed source. 2-3 in height, clumping warm-season grass; full sun; a racts birds and mammals. Suitable for coast; ornamental, slender blue-green stems turn radiant mahogany-red with white shiningALL Na ve Schizachyrium scoparium Li le Bluestem seed tu s in the fall, color remains all winter.CP and Yellow flowers in August through November;coastal ght clump of narrow, evergreen basal leaves;zone Na ve Solidago sempervirens Seaside Goldenrod 2-8 tall; dense flower heads. Evergreen grass with a green-white colouringALL Na ve Sorghastrum ellio Slender Indiangrass year-round. Long-blooming with purple or white flowers, lightly fragrant; grass-like foliage; iris-like leavesALL Na ve Tradescan a virginiana Virginia Spiderwort can form larger colonies when in full sun.ALL Na ve Tridens flavus Purpletop Clump-forming; full sun; 4 tall in flower. Tall red-purple flowers a ract bu erflies; tolerates inunda on; clump forming, growing 5- 8 in height. Deep green leaves and small flower heads occur in larger, loosely-branchedALL Na ve Vernonia noveboracensis Ironweed clusters.* Best documented in the Coastal Plain, though should thrive across the state. 9
  10. 10. Cephalanthus occidentalis SHRUBS (Buttonbush) Jeff McMillan @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database SC NATIVE REGION TO SC? SCIENTIFIC NAME COMMON NAME PLANT CHARACTERISTICS Up to 8’, medium shrub. Red berries persist in ALL Na ve Aronia arbu folia Chokeberry winter, scarlet fall color, bank stabilizer. Groundsel Tree; Salt Up to 10’. Salt-tolerant, white flowers become ALL Na ve Baccharis halimifolia Myrtle fuzzy seed heads in fall; sun to shade. Up to 6’. Striking purple berries on new growth, yellow fall color, sun to part shade; well-suited ALL Na ve Callicarpa americana Beautyberry for mountains. Up to 8’. Tolerates flooding, white bu on flowers persist, a racts hummingbirds; salt- ALL Na ve Cephalanthus occidentalis Bu onbush tolerant. Summersweet, Up to 8’. Extremely fragrant white or pink ALL Na ve Clethra alnifolia Sweet Pepperbush flowers in summer, yellow in fall; salt-tolerant. Small shrub with yellow flowers; sun to part Shrubby St. Johns shade; place on upper edges of rain garden in ALL Na ve Hypericum prolificum Wort drier areas. Up to 15’, deciduous, red to yellow berries persist through winter; a racts birds; suitable PD Na ve Ilex decidua Possumhaw for coast. MT and Medium shrub, 6-8; white flowers, black PD Na ve Ilex glabra Inkberry Holly berries; sun to shade. Medium shrub, 6-10; white flowers with red berries; sun to part shade; well-suited for ALL Na ve Ilex ver cillata Winterberry Holly mountains. Up to 20. White flowers, red berries, long las ng translucent scarlet berries, many cul vars, evergreen; full sun to part shade; ALL Na ve Ilex vomitoria Yaupon Holly suitable for coast. Non- 4-6 tall. Pink flowers with seed pod; full sun to ALL Na ve Indigofera amblyantha Pink Indigo Bush part shade. Medium shrub. Fragrant white tassel flowers, deep red or purple fall foliage; sun to shade; ALL Na ve Itea virginica Virginia Sweetspire well-suited for piedmont. Up to 8’. Very early chartreuse flowers, fragrant leaves, pale yellow fall color; part shade to PD Na ve Lindera benzoin Spicebush shade; suitable for coast.10
  11. 11. SC NATIVEREGION TO SC? SCIENTIFIC NAME COMMON NAME PLANT CHARACTERISTICS 15-20. Fragrant evergreen leaves, berries forPD to CP Na ve Myrica cerifera Waxmyrtle candles, can prune as hedge; sun to part shade. 6-12 globular shrub with upright branching. Older bark is orange-brown and exfolia ng.SH Na ve Philadelphus inodorus Mock Orange Large, white, sweet scented flowers. Large shrub. Found in northwest corner of SC in piedmont and mountains; evergreen, thicket- Rosebay forming shrub or tree with short, crooked Rhododenron; great trunk, large white blossoms; largest leaves ofPD to MT Na ve Rhododendron maximum laurel all rhododendrons, also one of the hardiest. Up to 6’. Very sweet fragrant white flowers inALL Na ve Rhododendron viscosum Swamp Azalea summer; part shade.PD, SH,southern Small shrub; pink to white flowers, red hip; fullCP Na ve Rosa carolina Carolina Rose sun. Up to 5. Na ve palm that slowly spreads; blackSH to CP Na ve Sabal minor Dwarf Palme o berries; drought-tolerant; suitable for coast. Up to 10’. Large white flowers and edible purple berries, fast growing thickets (new growth of American elder can be fatal toALL Na ve Sambucus canadensis Elderberry livestock). 5-12 tall. White flowers, purplish-black drupe;SH to CP Na ve Serenoa repens Saw Palme o sun to part shade. 5-12 tall. White to pink flowers, blue berry; sunMT to PD Na ve Vaccinium corymbosum Highbush Blueberry to part shade; salt-tolerant. Up to 10’. White flowers, bright blue berryCP Na ve Viburnum dentatum Arrowwood clusters, very tolerant of many soils. ABOVE: Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon Holly) Joseph A. Marcus, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center LEFT: Calicarpa americana (Beautyberry) 11
  12. 12. SC NATIVE TREES REGION TO SC? SCIENTIFIC NAME COMMON NAME PLANT CHARACTERISTICS Up to 15’. Mul -stem grey bark, white flowers, ALL Na ve Amelanchier canadensis Serviceberry early purple berries, red in fall; salt-tolerant. Up to 50’. Good bank stabilizer, beau ful ALL Na ve Betula nigra River Birch peeling bark, yellow fall color; salt-tolerant. Up to 30. Shade-tolerant, takes inunda on, ALL Na ve Carpinus caroliniana American Hornbeam unique silver fluted trunk. Up to 40’. Tolerates poor soils and salt, ALL Na ve Cel s occidentalis Hackberry excellent stabilizer, yellow fall color. Up to 40-50. Full sun; red or yellow (male) or ALL Na ve Chamaecyparis thyoides Atlan c White Cedar green (female) flowers; coastal habitat is suitable, though adaptable across the state. Up to 20’. Can be shrubby; fragrant pendulous ALL Na ve Chionanthus virginicus Fringetree white flowers and gold fall color. Height is 20-40. Single or mul -trunked tree with spreading crown and long-las ng white ALL Na ve Cornus florida Flowering Dogwood and pink spring blooms. Red fruits and scarlet autumn foliage. Mayhaw, May Up to 20’. Thorns a rac ve to nes ng birds, ALL Na ve Crataegus aes valis Hawthorn red fruit, purple to scarlet in fall. Up to 40-50. Sun to shade; evergreen, slow ALL Na ve Ilex opaca American Holly growing, ornamental red berries on female plants, white flowers. Up to 20’. Semi-evergreen, fragrant flowers, ALL Na ve Magnolia virginiana Sweetbay Magnolia bright red berries, o en mul -stem; sun to part shade. Up to 30-50. Tolerates flooding or dry rocky Black Gum, Black ALL Na ve Nyssa sylva ca uplands, spectacular scarlet in fall; sun to part Tupelo shade; suitable for coast. Up to 30-60;. Full sun to part shade; yellow NA Na ve Sassafras albidum Sassafras flowers, a racts birds.12
  13. 13. SAMPLE RAIN GARDEN DESIGNS Rain Garden Illustrations by Renee Byrd 13
  14. 14. Rain Garden Illustrations by Renee ByrdHOW MUCH MULCH DO I NEED? Rain Gard en Squ are Feet a n d Mu lch Coverag e b ased on DepthTo calculate the total cubic yards of mulch needed Cu b ic Yard sfor your rain garden project, follow these steps: of Mu lch 1" 2" 3" 1 338 sq. ft. 158 sq. ft. 108 sq. ft.1. Multiply the length of your rain garden by the width to find the square footage. 2 676 sq. ft. 316 sq. ft. 216 sq. ft.2. Multiply that square footage by 0.25, which 3 1014 sq. ft. 474 sq. ft. 324 sq. ft.will equate to 3 inches of mulch. 4 1352 sq. ft. 632 sq. ft. 432 sq. ft.3. Divide that value by 27 to yield cubic yards of mulch needed for your project. 5 1690 sq. ft. 790 sq. ft. 540 sq. ft. 6 2028 sq. ft. 948 sq. ft. 648 sq. ft.The table to the right can be used to quickly esti- 7 2366 sq. ft. 1106 sq. ft. 756 sq. ft.mate the necessary amount of mulch to purchasebased on various depths of mulch. 8 2704 sq. ft. 1264 sq. ft. 864 sq. ft. 9 3042 sq. ft. 1422 sq. ft. 972 sq. ft.Remember not to pile mulch alongside the stemof plants. Mulch is moist and can lead to rotting 10 3380 sq. ft. 1580 sq. ft. 1080 sq. ft.around the stem. 11 3718 sq. ft. 1738 sq. ft. 1188 sq. ft. 12 4056 sq. ft. 1896 sq. ft. 1296 sq. ft. Also, remember to break up any mulch that may be dry or clumped together as you * Using the table above, 1 cubic yard of mulch will cover 108 sq.14 spread it over your rain garden. ft. with 3” of mulch.
  15. 15. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AUTHOR AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSMore information about stormwater and Clem- Written and Designed byson University’s involvement in stormwater edu- Clemson Universitycation in South Carolina can be found online at Public Service Carolina Clear Katie GiacaloneYour local cooperative extension office can alsoprovide important soil sample, plant and pest The following people are greatly appreciated for theirinformation. To find the contact information for contribution to this South Carolina rain garden manual:your local extension office, check Contributors Cal Sawyer, Clemson University Center for Watershed Excel-For information on suppliers of native plants in lence; Bill Blackston, Clemson Cooperative Extension ServiceSouth Carolina, please consult the South Caro-lina Native Plant Society website at www.scnps. Plant Listsorg. Gary Forrester, Clemson Cooperative Extension Service; Betsy Kaemmerlen, Fuss & O’Neill; Bob Polomski, Clemson Coop-Documents and websites consulted in the de- erative Extension Service; Bill Stringer, Clemson Universityvelopment of this document include the USDA and President of the South Carolina Native Plant Society; LisaPLANTS Database (; Wagner, Clemson University, South Carolina Botanical GardenLady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (; Rain Gardens tri-fold brochure Rain Garden Drawings(Hitchcock, 2008); Designing Rain Gardens (Bio- Renee Byrd, Clemson University Department of Horticulture,Retention Areas) (Hunt and White, 2001); Rain The Cliffs Communities Botanical GardenGardens: A How-To Manual for Homeowners(Bannerman and Considine, 2003). Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Milkweed) Panicum virgatum (Switch Grass) Thomas L. Muller, Andy & Sally Wasowski, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
  16. 16. Use this space for your planting design and notes. You may want to include a scale bar anddirection of morning and afternoon sun.Information Leaflet 87 February 2009 Clemson University offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer. Public Service Activities