What is a rain garden?

During a storm, rain travels through downspouts, runs across lawns and streets, and then is ushered down a storm drain that dumps the water into streams and lakes. This would be fine, except for the fact that pesticides, fertilizers, debris and oils contaminate the storm water before it reaches the drain, therefore polluting natural bodies of water as well. To prevent this contamination, homeowners are growing rain gardens near runoff sources to help capture the storm water and filter out the pollution. What exactly is a rain garden? Let’s dive in to learn more about these eco-friendly landscape solutions.

What’s a rain garden?

A rain garden looks like your typical beautiful collection of flowers, but it is also a depressed area that helps collect rainwater and filter out pollutants. When the storm water reaches a rain garden, it stops running and starts soaking into the ground instead. Ultimately, rain gardens reduce the amount of polluted water entering streams and lakes. 

What types of flowers are required for a rain garden?

The best plants for a rain garden are native flowers and grasses. In Maryland, you can find a wide variety of native species to grow a beautiful and useful garden at your local Homestead Gardens. Here are a few that Homestead’s experts recommend:

  • Cardinal Flower (red or blue)
  • Bee Balm
  • Blazing Star
  • Joe-Pye Weed
  • Black Eyed Susan
  • Goldenrod
  • Swamp Milkweed

If you’re an avid gardener and are looking for new projects to start, consider growing a rain garden. These eco-friendly solutions bring beauty to your home and work hard to reduce pollution.

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