Rain Garden Success Stories

Susan Selby’s Rain Garden, July 2012













Susan Selby was the first brave person to try out the SRRCD’s new Rain Garden program in 2009. After two years of tending to the garden, she now has created a wonderful piece of heaven in her own backyard that works to her advantage!

The rain garden is built around her sump pump output (the graveled area at the foreground of the above photo), which also incorporates the run-off from the Selby’s double garage roof. Originally a wet hole, she has been able to transform the sullen spot by amending the soil and planting the right plants, with some help from the SRRCD. How was she able to make such an astounding difference? By successfully implementing the simple techniques used to build a ‘Rain Garden’.

A rain garden takes a low-lying area and transforms it into a water-tolerant perennial garden by replacing clay soil with sandy compost. The rain garden is not meant to hold standing rain water but rather to absorb the rain water, holding the water in the soil for water-loving plants.  Once established, a rain garden will not have any visible water 24 hours after the rainfall event.