Rain gardens are an aesthetically pleasing solution to your stormwater runoff problems. Whether water from a sump pump, hillside runoff, tiling, storm drains or ponding water in your yard, rain gardens can help manage the situation.
What is a Rain Garden
A rain garden is a shallow depression in the landscape that water runoff is temporarily captured. Captured water can infiltrate and filter through soil rather than run into streets and storm drains. By installing rain gardens, homeowners can create landscapes that add beauty, wildlife habitat, and interest to a yard while managing storm water more sustainably.
The Design Process
Form follows function when it comes to rain gardens and through my designs I work hard to combine technical data with the personal desires of my clients. The main steps of rain garden installation involve:
- Site evaluation: to determine water sources, locates, calculations
- Infiltration Test: estimating a site’s drainage
- Design: garden designed to capture rain water and soak it up with plants and existing soils within a 48-72 hour period
- Grading: economical, low maintenance option to convey rain water into the rain garden
- Swales: another method to convey water away from the house
- Overflow: design a safe, long-lasting path out of the rain garden directly or indirectly
- Mulch: conserves moisture, and provides a weed and erosion barrier
- Plant Selection: species that tolerate wet conditions will be used
I am a recent Master of Public Affairs and Master of Science in Environmental Science graduate from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Bloomington has been my home for the past five years. I’ve become aware of the major stormwater runoff problems our county faces, and believe that rain gardens and other green infrastructure are a sustainable solution. I have been researching and developing rain gardens for IU the past year. I am excited to continue to offer my green infrastructure services by partnering with Bigger Green.