A rain garden is an attractive garden with a special purpose - to improve local water quality, increase landscape aesthetics and habitat area for native wildlife, and reduce the impacts of storm water on area streams.
Communities around the country have experienced dramatic reductions in storm water pollution due to many citizens installing rain gardens on their properties. Below you can find an educational brochure, planting plans, and material supplier list - all the information for a fun do-it-yourself project at your fingertips. If you don't want to do-it-yourself, check out our contractor list.
Customize your rain garden to not only help improve water quality but also fit it to your own landscape preferences or needs. Do you have a lot of shade in your yard? Do you want to make sure plants don't get too tall and block your views? Or would you like a bird and butterfly garden? See below for easy to understand planting plans and plant lists:
How to Build a Rain Garden Fact Sheet
Bird and Butterfly GardenLow Diversity GardenPartial Shade GardenShort Stature Garden
Note* Various plant species can be substituted for those suggested by the garden plans above. Keep in mind that different plants require different amounts of light and water.
What does the cross section of a rain garden look like? How do I build and construct a rain garden? What are the different types of rain gardens?
Provided below are technical drawings accompanied by a simple graphic. Pick which one matches your needs. This section explains the different application of each of these rain gardens:
Below Ground Rain Garden DiagramTypical Cross Section of a Rain Garden
Rain gardens require less maintenance than a conventional garden; however, in order to ensure the garden is properly maintained and functioning, the operations and maintenance checklist has been put together for your use. It is an easy to use guide to assist you in keeping your rain garden looking beautiful and functioning properly.
Operations and Maintenance Guide
Material supply lists are provided to help you find the necessary materials to build and plant your garden.
Wondering where you can find the necessary native plants, soil amendments, or drainage stone for your garden? The lists below provide those resources:
Service Provider IndexLocal Suppliers of Top Soil, Sand and Compost
The planning and construction of a small rain or native garden can usually be a do-it-yourself project; however in some instances, it may be necessary to hire a professional.
You want to make sure the professional you hire is able to design your garden to your satisfaction and also fulfill city requirements. This fact sheet is designed to help you get started in the process of hiring a professional to assist you with your garden design and construction.
Hiring a Professional