This year’s obsession

I have recently–within the past week–become obsessed with rain gardening.

If you aren’t familiar with the concept, a rain garden‘s purpose is to expedite replenishment of groundwater and to reduce pollution by harnessing the filtering power of soil and plants. In a residential setting, the homeowner chooses a site for the garden, perhaps where water tends to naturally flow or accumulate during heavy rains, but in general it’s sited between the house and wherever the water returns to the storm runoff system. The ground is excavated between 3 and 6 inches below the normal soil line, and the soil is amended with generous amounts of organic matter to create a filter bed. Swales help direct the flow of water into the rain garden and berms slow the flow out of the garden. The water sits there and drains into the surrounding ground slowly, filtered by the soil and the plants’ roots. The plants chosen for the bed should be resilient, able to withstand about 3 days of waterlogged soil, but also be accommodating of periods of drought. The bed should not retain water for longer than 3 days, Continue reading