After we told our neighbor we were planning to construct a rain garden, she asked us whether it would have any floating aquatic plants. We said, “Oh, no, it’s not going to hold water. It will fill up after a rain but then the water will seep into the ground within 48 hours.” Then she asked us if we were planning to keep fish in it.
I wasn’t surprised to hear this, though, because not a lot of people are familiar with the concept of stormwater management.
So, what are some of the benefits of building a rain garden?
- Beautiful, low maintenance landscaping – A rain garden is full of hearty, typically native, perennials, that can handle both wet and dry conditions.
- Native plants help native species – In particular, the plants we purchased have been inundated by monarch butterfly larvae, who attached their chrysalises to them.
- Reducing our stormwater footprint – Stormwater that runs off of hard surfaces such as our roof, sidewalk, and parking pad, flows to the alleyway picking up pollutants as well as contributing to huge spikes in volume in nearby streams. By keeping some of our runoff on site and letting it slowly seep into the water table, we’re doing our part to reduce erosion and pollution effecting Herring Run, the Back River, and the Chesapeake Bay. In some areas, large rain events also contribute to sewage overflows, which, in case you didn’t know, means raw sewage ends up in waterways – toilet paper and all.
- And, as already mentioned… less mowing!