Rain gardens are an easy way to return water to our aquifer, reduce erosion, and help prevent stormwater runoff.
Running down the driveway or patio, rainwater can pick up lawn chemicals and pesticides. A rain garden is basically a low section of the landscape planted with native plants that like to get their "feet" wet. The garden collects rainwater, giving it a chance to "strain" out impurities before draining into the aquifer.
They work best when they're placed at the bottom of downspouts or naturally low spots in the landscape, usually where water tends to puddle. They're especially useful for collecting runoff from paved surfaces. Rain gardens can be any size or shape and can attract thirsty wildlife.
When selecting plants, you'll need to consider how much sun your site gets and how much space is available. Make sure you select plants that are not just water-tolerant, but also drought-tolerant for the times between rains.
- Create a Rain Garden
- Florida Field Guide to Low Impact Development: Rain Gardens (PDF)
- Planting Pinellas: Plant a Rain Garden for Our Watershed
- Her Name is "Rain Garden" (PDF)
- Rain Gardens Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Rain Gardens: Function and Installation (PDF)
- Rain Gardens: A Manual for Central Florida Residents (PDF; large)
- Rain Gardens: Plant Selection and Maintenance (PDF)
Also on Gardening in a Minute
- Preventing and Capturing Runoff
- Preventing Erosion
- Rain Chains
- Rain Garden Plants
- What is Stormwater Runoff?
- Backyard Rain Gardens--North Carolina Cooperative Extension
- The Rain Garden--University of Georgia Cooperative Extension
- Rain Gardens--TAPP Water of Florida
- Rain Gardens for Watershed Protection--Florida Department of Environmental Protection
- Rain Gardens--Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
- Rain Lilies for my Rain Garden--Floridata.com