For homeowners who are looking to become as eco-friendly as possible, a rain garden is an excellent solution. In its most basic form, a rain garden is a shallow depression that captures the water that runs off of your roof; it is then planted with trees, bushes, flowers and other plants that thrive on this water. Rain gardens works like a natural filter, protecting the water quality by reducing the amount of storm water runoff that pours down from your roof. In a similar way, bio-swales channel surface runoff from parking lots and roadways, filtering it with a variety of plant media. This type of water has been found to be a key source of water pollution.
Although rain gardens have actually been around for some time, they are not as common as other types of landscaping. This is probably due in part to the fact that rain gardens require a extensive knowledge of engineering-related topics like water table levels, land sloping, the types of soil the homeowner has, and how to calculate the approximate amount of water volume. This increased level of knowledge means that rain gardens are not typically a do-it-yourself project that is tackled by weekend warriors.
At Terrain Planting and Design, our team of landscape architects can help you to plan and install a rain garden. Roof tops here in New Hampshire can be a terrific source of water for landscaping; it is estimated that one inch of rain on a 1,000-square-foot roof produces around 600 gallons of water. Instead of just running down into storm drains, rain from roof tops can be captured and directed into a rain garden, where it is used to irrigate plants. In addition to using rainwater to help the plants grow, rain gardens and bio-retention swales also provide habitats and food sources for wildlife like birds and butterflies.
The landscape architects from Terrain Planting and Design can also create this type of eco-friendly water filter at commercial locations. When New Hampton School was concerned with poor water drainage around their buildings, we partnered with engineers to create a stormwater management plan that re-directs the water into bio-swales before it can get into the local water system. We created attractive rain gardens that are strategically placed throughout the school’s property, so the water that runs off the new dorm’s roof now helps to water bushes, flowers and other plants.
If you are concerned about the amount of storm water runoff at your home or business, please give us a call. In addition to our knowledge of rain gardens, we also have extensive experience in shoreline permits, wetlands management and native plant species. We will be happy to work with you to transform your existing landscape into something that is beautiful and “green” in every sense of the word.