A rain garden is like any other garden, either as a part of a huge garden, or part of a suburban landscape. A rain garden basically monitors the water it receives. In most large gardens, rain gardens are added as borders or as an entry feature, whereas in landscaping, they are used as features that beautify parking lots, sidewalks, traffic turns, etc. Rain garden plants are mostly grown in locations, where water can accumulate, without stagnating.
A rain garden is designed to imitate the hydrological action of a forest. Water is captured in a garden, which is dug and shaped like a basin that uses specific water intensive plants. Rain garden plants reduce the levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, and the overall sediment that gets drained in the garden by the action of the plants and the soil they grow in. The treatment that is given to the water, treats waste or pollutants by bioremediation (use of microorganisms) that can break down the undesirable substances. Rain gardens are mainly of two types; under-drained and self-contained. They are both used for the purpose of reducing water runoff volumes, improving storm water quality, and to facilitate infiltration of water into the soil. Some rain gardens have drainage systems that move excess water into a conventional storm sewer pipe system.
Types of Rain Garden Plants
Rain gardens are created using plants that can withstand extreme moisture, as well as thrive in it. Most horticulturists recommend the use of native vegetation to build a rain garden. Native plants are mostly fuss-free, have good root systems, that utilize the water and nutrients available in their own soils better than non-native ones. Trees, perennials, shrubs, wildflowers, can all be incorporated in a rain garden. Invasive or noxious species should be avoided in a rain garden, as they would take over most growth, and ruin the design of the rain garden. Following is a list of rain garden plants state-wise.
- Delaware: New England aster, blue flag iris, woolgrass, soft-stem bulrush, Canada rush, cardinal flower, arrow arum, etc.
- New Jersey: Virginia bluebells, wild geranium, joe-pye weed, white wood aster, Canada anemone, swamp milkweed, white turtlehead, etc.
- Maryland: Ebony spleenwort, Christmas fern, bottlebrush grass, wild ginger, smooth blue aster, black snakeroot, marsh marigold, white heath aster, etc. » Read more: Rain Garden Plants