While we are typically expecting seasonal downpours during May, it’s a great time to highlight the value and beauty of a Rain Garden. If you’ve never heard of a rain garden, you’re not alone. Many people think about gardens for growing delicious herbs and vegetables, creating borders, and surrounding existing structures like sheds or trees, but Rain Gardens can provide additional beauty, value, and an environmentally sound addition to any property!
Essentially, the function of a Rain Garden is to capture and cleanse the water running off a property, roof, yard, parking area, driveway, or sloped area. The medium of a rain garden serves to capture runoff and retain the water within the soil / roots of the plants for a duration of time, allowing the plants to naturally capture and remove pollutants found in the runoff water. Rain Gardens are beautiful and help prevent pollutants from seeping into fresh water sources. For more information about the way Rain Gardens work, there’s a great article on Wiki with fantastic images to explain the importance of these simple and beautiful garden spaces.
Rain Gardens are easy to maintain because they rely on native species that will naturally thrive in our climate, and once installed, they can be essentially “ignored” for months at a time. For our particular region, here in South Wisconsin and Northern Illinois, some of the best plants for Sunny Rain Gardens are Black-eyed Susan and Blue Flag Iris. For Shady Rain Gardens, great plants include Blue Phlox, Dutchman’s Breeches, and Hairy Wood Mint. For a comprehensive list of great plants visit Prairie Rivers website for a PDF document listing all suitable plants.
Here are some great examples of beautiful Rain Gardens from the Lake County Website.
If you are interested in improving your landscaping with a beautiful Rain Garden to help control runoff, please give us a call. We are trusted by residents of Janesville, Beloit, and all surrounding cities, and we will help improve your property’s value and beauty!