A landscaping idea that is
attractive and good for the environment:
A rain garden redirects rain
water from a downspout - perhaps diverting
it through a streambed lined with smooth
river rocks to resemble the bed of a fast-running
stream of water - leading to a depressed
area planted with plants that appreciate
wet spots, such as cardinal flower, blue
flag iris, fowl mama grass, assorted sedges,
swamp milkweed, marsh blazing star, etc.
In a suburban setting, a strategically
placed rain garden captures water that would
either stand in low pools in the yard or
seep into the basement. On a larger scale,
homeowners opting to create rain gardens
may also be helping the larger environment:
Potter, a civil and environmental engineering
professor at the University of Wisconsin,
explains that "as
urban development proceeds, the land becomes
covered with impervious surfaces — like
rooftops, roads and parking lots — that
don't allow rainwater to penetrate the ground.
Instead, it washes into the gutters and sewers
of city streets, eventually ending up as
only does increased runoff cause higher
lake levels and flashier stream flows,
but water quality declines because storm
water picks up sediments and pollutants
as it flows over ground. Rain gardens,
he says, provide one way to help counter
gardens help capture rainwater directed
from roofs or other surfaces. When it rains,
water initially pools in the garden's plant
zone, percolating quickly from there into
the permeable layer underneath. The permeable
zone then stores water until it seeps into
subsoil. Rain gardens may improve water
quality as well, capturing common contaminants
such as excess nitrogen and phosphorus."
University Communications News@UW-Madison
Rain Garden in LaGrange, IL
Because this area is
located between two houses and watered
regularly by a large downspout, it
is constantly dark and wet.
Our landscaping ideas
included removing the shrubs along
the fence to admit more light and replace
them them with sun loving plants.
Then we added a stream
here to see more pictures of this
Rain Garden in Evanston, IL
This lush raingarden was
planted in the summer of 2001. It is
fed by water from a downspout, which
flows into a depression in the front
A Rain Garden in LaGrange
The land that this
home sits on is the lowest point
in the neighborhood. Many other yards
slope down and drain into this area.
After a heavy rain, a depression
in the yard may hold a foot of water
for several days. Landscape designs
had to take this unique situation
The wettest area is
in the center of this photo. Click
here for more photos
this rain garden.
A Rain Garden in Oak Park, Il
A 25' long stream
bed was created at the base of
A Creative Rain Garden/Stream
Bed in N. Barrington, IL
A Pond in LaGrange
This is a three-level
pond, surrounded by native plants.
Another view of the plants.
A Rain Garden/Streambed in Lincolnwood,
||A downspout and garden
hose with an on-off valve are used
to create this rain garden.
Click here to learn more
about the stone work used in this garden.
this waterfall, created in front
of a downspout on this home in Vernon
Another downspout-powered water feature.
This stone waterfall in Evanston,
Il can use water from a nearby downspout
or a garden hose, when the weather is dry.
A gravel "streambed" carries
the water away from the falls and down
to a rain garden.
A Rain Garden in Claredon
sloped yard in Clarendon Hills just
asked to be home to a rain garden.
What with the downspout and birch,
the area was a perfect fit. Here is
the garden, newly designed and planted.
Note the downspout, waterfall,
streambed, garden basin, stonework
Here is a close up of
the "waterfall," just after
its creating in May, 2006. During a
rain, the stream and garden get water
from the downspout, but a hidden garden
hose acts as a secondary water source.
This photo was taken
three months after planting.
Alec enjoys the working
the gnarled old tree stump? Isn't this
a nice sight to see when you get into
your car to go to work in the morning?
View from the front of
the house looking down the stream into
the flower bed: a little bridge over
the stream would be nice for the children
to play on.
This garden is only 2 months
old and the soil is not good, because of the new
construction of the house.
rain garden in Lincolnshire is
built next to a stone patio and
fed by two downspouts and a garden
hose. Note the flagstone wall.
add from NewPgs\gardens\RainPgs\NBarring.htm to here
from graphics/rain/barrington cardinal.jpg streambed2.jpg streambed.jpg windchimes.jpg