A rain garden slows the flow of rainwater runoff by using elements similar to those that occur in nature: plants, stone, shallow swales and depressions that catch and hold rainwater rather than let it run off unhindered. Plants that offer a diversity of both deep and fibrous root systems help make the soil more permeable, sponge-like and able to absorb a large amount of rainfall. Native plants are typically preferred due to their hardy nature. Water gathers temporarily in shallow depressions and is absorbed by the soil and plants as well as being filtered as it percolates through the soil horizon.
There are two major categories of rain garden design:
What is Rainscaping?
Benefits and Goals
How to Rainscape
What Do You Know About Your Site?
Is a Rain Garden Right for Your Site?
Design and Build a Rain Garden
Select Other Rainscaping Options
Soil Amendments and Mulching
Creek Corridor Vegetative Buffers
Rock Weirs and Filter Socks
The Missouri Botanical Garden Rainscaping Guide is partially funded by the Mabel Dorn Reeder Foundation and US EPA Region 7 through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (subgrant number G11-NPS-15), under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act.