What is a Rain Garden?

Roof runoff is directed to a rain garden (Design: Terrasophia)
A Rain Garden is a landscape feature that is designed to collect rainwater.  It is a vegetated low spot or a shallow depression in the earth designed to collect rainwater runoff from roofs and other impervious surfaces and encourage it to slowly sink into the soil rather than rapidly run off into storm drains and waterways. Rain gardens are usually planted with deep-rooted climatically-appropriate low water plants that don't mind "getting their feet wet" in winter rains. They can be designed in all shapes and sizes and may include formal landscaping, fields of wildflowers and grasses, stone culverts and paths, and other aesthetically beautiful features.

Rain gardens are feasible and attractive, and create the maximum effectiveness for the least amount of effort. They can be easily built by hand. Transitioning from water use plantings, or water-draining landscape, to low water-demand plantings in a rain garden design can save thousands of gallons of water.


Rain Garden Features

You can use a network of any of the following techniques to create a water-harvesting rain garden that "slows, spreads and sinks" water into your landscape. Click on any of the items below to learn more about them and how they work.