If there is one thing Americans love, it’s a lush, green lawn. But what if your “backyard golf course” has a water hazard, or a soggy patch that floods because of rain? Experts agree, the best thing to do is plant a rain garden or, in some cases, even a wetland garden.
A rain garden is a dug-out, shallow area containing specially selected, native plants. These capture and cleanse rainwater running off hard surfaces, like driveways, parking lots and roofs. These plants not only remove pollutants from the water, but also they allow for absorption, storage, and the slow release of water back into the atmosphere and groundwater.
By mimicking nature, rain gardens help to keep the water entering our waterways clean while reducing flash flooding in neighborhoods. They also serve as wildlife habitat, reduce mosquitoes, and beautify the local community.
Please click here to download our brochure explaining these and many other benefits of rain gardens (PDF file).
To see rain gardens planted by local homeowners, please visit RainGardensfortheBays.org. Perhaps the largest example is the University of Delaware’s Native Plant Demonstration Garden located in Lewes. Both are projects in which the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary played a key role.
Please contact Sarah Bouboulis to see how you can create your own demonstration garden at your business, church, office, school, or public facility.
Click here to check out PDE’s quarterly newsletter, Perennial Pages, which focusses on native garden maintenance.