Finally, Some Rain! Now We Can Talk About Rain Gardens.

2 min read

Thank goodness for this beautiful rain we are finally having! Let’s just hope that they are also getting it where it is needed even more than here. It seems timely to talk now about rain gardens and how they can be both a beautiful and functional feature of your garden.

A rain garden is usually constructed in a depressed area that collects rain water from a roof, walkway or driveway. It filters nutrients and pollutants, and allows the water to soak into the ground. When planted with grasses and flowering perennials, rain gardens can be a cost effective and beautiful way to reduce runoff and flooding from your property. Rain gardens help conserve valuable water and create excellent habitat for birds and butterflies.

If you are considering a rain garden on your property, keep these points in mind:

  • The rain garden should be at least 3 metres from buildings, so infiltrating water doesn't seep into the foundation. 
  • Do not place the rain garden directly over a septic system (it may be tempting to put the rain garden in a part of the yard where water already ponds).
  • Use a good drainage gravel at the bottom of the rain garden, followed by a layer of sand
  • When choosing plants for the rain garden, select those that will tolerate occasional water logging when it floods, but extended periods of dryness when there's no rainfall.
  • Remove as much soil as possible from the roots before planting because the potting mix will reduce the porosity of the sandy soil.
  • Choose fibrous rooted plants which make use of the sandy medium they're growing in, but allow water to percolate through. There are many native and indigenous plants that fit that bill  - Baloskion (Plume Rush), Imperata (Cogon Grass), Lepironia (Grey Rush), Lomandra (Mat Rush), Nandina (Heavenly Bamboo), Pennisetum (Swamp Foxtail), Westringia (Native Rosemary)
  • Once the garden is planted out, top it off with about 50mm of pebbles. The stones act as good mulch and they're heavy enough not to float away if they get flooded. The air gaps between them allow ponding so only in a really big downpour will the overflow be needed. A mix of Mary River pebble, as well as some larger rocks looks fabulous, and does the job perfectly.

As always, if you need a hand calculating which products would be best for your rain garden, and how much, give us a call on 5453 7100 and we will point you in the right direction.



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