Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Rain Garden

We are hitting the home stretch on our green home project and have finally finished the rain garden. For those of you who don't remember, a rain garden is an ecologically sound way of dispersing excess rainwater on your property. In our case, the excess rainwater comes from our underground rainwater collection tank that is fed from all of our roof gutters. It only takes two inches of rain to fill our thousand-gallon tank so we must be prepared for it to send water through the overflow tube into our backyard.

The area it overflows to is the rain garden, which must contain plants that can handle both floods and droughts.

The building of the rain garden was a multi-step process:

1. Dig a three-foot deep pear-shaped hole, 8' wide by 12' long.

2. Make sure the hole is contoured to slope away from the house.

3. Re-fill the hole with a 1.5' layer of river gravel followed by native soil conditioned with manure and mulch.

4. Plant the plants and lay a ground-cover of mulch.

The plants you see here are up to that task:

Blue Flag Iris
Soft Rush
Southern Shield Fern

We're almost done with all the landscaping. As you can see in these pictures, we have started on Maggie's raised beds vegetable garden.


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