Rain Gardens: A Continuing Trend

Posted by: IRRIGO on February 12th, 2013

What Is A Rain Garden?

A rain garden is a landscaped area planted with carefully selected plantings that soak up rainwater from roofs and paved surfaces in adjacent areas. Compared to most turf areas and gardens, rain gardens soak up approximately 30% more water. The water is allowed to slowly filter back into the ground (in most cases) instead of running off to the storm drains and applying heavy strain on aging municipal infrastructure.

Making Sense of It

Before we started taking over available agricultural lands and forests, turning them into cities of concrete and asphalt, rainfall had no trouble seeping back into the ground, where it was naturally filtered and cleaned by the earth before eventually ending up in rivers, streams, lakes and aquifers.

Now, rain falls on our roofs, concrete and other hard surfaces and even our lawns, and has nowhere to go. So we manipulate the land further, and install more materials in the ground to move this water quickly away from our properties. It has to be carried into drainage courses, most often ending up in our rivers, creeks and watersheds via storm drains. Moving with great speed and force, the storm water carries with it all the pollutants and sedimentation that it picks up along the way.

This is where we can make our own small contribution. By converting lawns and unused hardscape areas to lush and charming rain gardens and making a community effort to support larger-scale projects such as bio-retention gardens for commercial areas and parks, we can effectively help reduce stormwater runoff.

How Do Rain Gardens Really Help?

Some of the benefits of rain gardens are:

  • Reduce stormwater runoff
    • Lighter load on municipal water treatment facilities and stormwater systems
    • Fewer drainage problems and less backed-up water in roadways
    • Fewer pollutants (from urban stormwater) end up in rivers and streams
  • More water filters back into the ground, recharging natural aquifers
  • Invite birds, butterflies and many beneficial insects back into the neighborhood, promoting a healthier ecological balance.
  • Aside from water, our traditional –though arguably changing- approach to turf and lawns often indicates chemical and synthetic fertilizer applications to maintain their look. In comparison, rain gardens can be planted with hardy native plants that flourish without fertilizers and pesticides, and are generally much simpler to maintain.

These benefits are being recognized and appreciated by an increasing number of homeowners, workplaces and communities. People have a newfound appreciation for the economic, social and environmental impact of installing on-site stormwater filtration projects and restoring native vegetation.

  • to irrigate
  • to irrigate responsibly

We provide high quality irrigation and landscape lighting services in and around Victoria, BC. Contact us to discuss your project or how we can help maintain your existing system.