Rain gardens

I have recently become interested in rain gardens, and I was looking for some tips and  inspiration. These are extremely popular in America, particular Portland, and Sweden, but I am hoping there are some more local examples! the advantages are numerous, including reducing urban heat island effect, increasing biodiversity, reducing the rain water reaching sewers, cleaning up our local streams, and many others.

A rain garden is an area of the garden that has been prepared to collect the water off nearby roofs or hard standing areas like your driveway, allowing the water to filter through the soil to the groundwater beneath. The soil and plants treat the water as it soaks through the ground. The plants are chosen to tolerate the soaking, and then the drying out, such as heucheras, some ferns, Siberian iris, etc. There needs to be a good mix of plants so that there is always some coverage over the ground.

If anyone has chosen to build one, I'd love to hear about it, especially which plants have done well in this country, and any recommendations for others.

thanks!

Posts

  • a programme I watched recently was talking about something similar, gardens helping reduce run-off in particular - it was part of an episode of a series I think called the Water Men/ think it was on BBC about a fortnight ago. they featured a garden somewhere doing exactly what you say. Might be worth trying to find on i-player? I found it a really interesting concept myself!

     

  • I too am attempting to build a rain garden on terracing. My garden floods during the winter and is bone dry in the summer as it is solid clay. 

    I used to have it all planted but had to wear wellies in the winter just to get to the front door!. I am building tiers at the front and will incorporate a small pond, by creating this on an upper level I should be able to with old most of the water and by the time it seeps through I hope that it will be slow enough to stop the flooding.

    I intend to surround it with hardy shrubs mixed with iris and rushes. A few 'little surprise ornaments' to intrigue the guests and end up with a fairly low maintance garden. 

    Anything I should be wary of?

    Regards

    Jacqui. 

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 14,851

    Not strictly relevant to your requirements but with a similar philosophy behind it is this

    http://library.uniteddiversity.coop/Water_and_Sanitation/Constructed-Wetlands-and-Reed-Beds.pdf

    The reed bed sewage system traps and slows down water flow, in this case sewage, and purifies it en route.

    I saw these in action many many years ago at the Centre for Alternative Technology and very impressive they were too.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    I think Pat and Tony have this system at Bridge Farm.

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 14,851

    Friends of yours?

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    Tumty-tumty-tumty-tum

    Tumty-tumty-tum-tum

    Tumty-tumty-tumty-tum

    Tumty-tiddly-tum...

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 14,851

    Green grow the rushes oh.....image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
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