What is a rain garden?

Rain gardens were initially developed in the States around 15-20 years ago and spread rapidly to Australia and New Zealand.http://www.arc.govt.nz/environment/water/stormwater/a-home-raingarden.cfm

The concept was first promoted as a way for gardeners to contribute to reducing the growing problem of severe flash flooding in towns and cities. The idea is that the garden soaks up as much, if not all, of the rainfall that falls on it, preventing the excess runoff running into the drainage system.

In times of very heavy rainfall, all the runoff coming from roofs, paths, pavements, roads, and all the other sealed surfaces, can simply overload the drainage system, resulting both in large areas of flooding, but also, often, the discharge of untreated waste water into rivers and streams. With issues such as the paving over of front gardens, resulting in the increased run-off into the streets this causes, rain gardens are now becoming more popular in the UK too.

Rain gardens aim to prevent this happening, by using areas of planting to soak up that runoff. The underlying slogan for the movement is ‘disconnect your downpipes!’ – cut off the pipes coming from the house gutters, and divert the water into the garden. Paths can be drained off into planting, and large areas of paving or driveway replaced with more permeable materials.

Watch this video by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in the UK which explains how rain gardens work and how important they might be to combat future flooding caused by climate change http://www.wwt.org.uk/our-work/wetland-habitats/rain-gardening/a-series-of-rain-gardens  

Discover suitable plants for rain gardens  http://www.wwt.org.uk/our-work/wetland-habitats/rain-gardening/some-pretty-good-rain-garden-plants

This post was written by:

- who has written 872 posts on My Climate Change Garden.

I am not an experienced gardener - more of an enthusiastic amateur who learns by trial and error and who is keen to "manage" the effects of shifting weather patterns on my garden. Writing this blog is my passion and it has evolved over 12 years to inspire engagement with climate change outside our back doors, in our personal gardens and green spaces. My mission is to fertilise and expand this platform to grow a community of global gardeners communicating about the effects of climate change on our plants and exploring how each individual can make small changes in our lives to become more sustainable. The future of our gardens and #OurPlanet is in our hands - please plant your own seeds for our collective sustainable future.

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