A rain garden is a planted depression designed to take as much excess rain run-off from a house or other building. It’s critical that a rain garden site be designed to provide sufficient drainage to handle the expected volume of water.
Rain gardens are emerging as an especially important element in urban design by replacing hard paved surfaces with plants and vegetation, helping to ensure a more sustainable environment by returning rain water to the aquifer, rather than have millions of gallons overload storm sewers and go directly into our rivers and other bodies of water.
Wherever implemented (urban or rural), rain gardens encourage biodiversity, are good for wildlife, reduce flooding, ameliorate pollution problems and provide humans with aesthetic pleasing habitats.
Our new small rain garden (established May 2012) uses a rain chain to divert our roof run-off into two 65-gallon rain barrels. The rain chain replaced a downspout that previously connected to our foundation drains. Two rain-barrels feed a rill that crosses our deck and spills into the newly planted rain garden.
So far there is no indication of the garden not being able to handle the roof run off. But if needed, we can simply take the overflow hose from the first rain barrel (normally it goes to fill the second rain barrel) and divert it back to the foundation drain.
Future plans call for adding more rain barrels to increase our storage capacity.