From Anna on July 10th, 2008 in Green Remodeling
Even if you are not an avid gardener or have never grown anything in your life, you may still find a rain garden a captivating and innovative way to grow organic food while taking advantage of one of our greatest natural resources: rain water. Rain gardens are a wonderful way to live greener while reducing the destructive runoff caused by heavy rains.
The concept of rain gardens originated in the 1990s in the state of Missouri. The purpose was to capture the runoff from roofs, driveways, and walkways before it made its way into storm drains and streams where it becomes polluted. The garden is designed to naturally filter the water through several layers of soil, root systems, and even rocks. This process supports biofiltration, which cleans the water before it reenters our water sources.
To build your rain garden, begin by selecting an area that will collect drainage off of a roof or other surface. The garden beds will need to be slightly sunken to collect as much water as possible. Check your soil; if it is too hard to absorb enough water, replace it. The ideal combination of soil would be about 60% sand, 20% topsoil, and 20% compost. Choose plants that have deep root systems for greater filtration, as well as those that are native to the area and will not require additional fertilizers that would totally defeat your purpose.
According to a recent article in SF Gate, “Rain gardens also conserve water where we’re going to need it – in our gardens. Rain gardens capture storm water, clean it up.” This article exemplifies the response to growing concerns regarding water shortages. If you would like to create a rain garden in your yard, request the assistance of a prescreened landscape contractor in your area today.