Rain Gardens

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Link to CBC article. Opens in new tab.

Link to CBC article. Opens in new tab.

There’s a large amount of rain expected today– where will it all go? This amount of water coming all at once, lands on paved surfaces and grassed areas compacted by drought– then rushes into the storm sewer or into basements instead of percolating through the soil. Toronto has a program to help residents create rain gardens to slow the water down and keep it on the land. The screenshot (at right) links to an interesting article on the CBC web site.

Rain gardens provide a creative opportunity for beauty and diversity. Many native plants are perfect for rain gardens, able to tolerate saturated soil for short periods, as well as drought. It is still important to chose the species mix wisely, according to the amount of sunlight the area receives as well as the size of the plants when mature.

Rain gardens can be simple or complex, deep or shallow, large or small. They don’t all require expensive digging equipment or landscaper assistance. Here are some links to help you explore the options.

U. of Connecticut Design Guide

Vermont Rain Garden Manual (opens pdf)

CMHC site, for the technically minded

Photo tour of Ontario rain gardens

Toronto Regional Conservation Authority info (opens pdf)