What is a Rain Garden?

What is a Rain Garden?

A rain garden is a shallow, vegetated depression designed to absorb and filter runoff from hard (impervious) surfaces like roofs, sidewalks, and driveways. Rain gardens are usually planted with colorful native plants and grasses.They not only provide an attractive addition to the yard, but also help to conserve water and protect our water quality.

At Jenkins Custom Homes, we applied for and were granted a permit for the first commercial rain garden in the City of Bee Cave. The rain falls into the butterfly roof and runs out an area at the end of the roof line and down the rock galley into the rain garden.

Rain Garden at Jenkins Custom Homes

How does a rain garden help?

As Austin becomes increasingly urbanized, native landscapes are replaced with impervious surfaces that prevent rainwater from soaking into the ground. Stormwater quickly runs off these hard surfaces, picking up pollutants from the land and carrying them to our creeks. This rapidly flowing water also increases the chances of flooding and erosion.

The goal of the rain garden is to keep the water on the land. Rain gardens, with their shallow compressions, capture stormwater and provide for natural infiltration into the soil. This provides water for the plants and helps maintain a constant flow of water into our streams through groundwater. They also help filter out pollutants including fertilizers, pesticides, oil, heavy metals and other chemicals that would otherwise reach our creeks through storm drains or drainage ditches. By reducing the quantity of water that runs off your property, rain gardens help lower the risk of flooding and erosion.

Learn more about the City of Austin’s Watershed Protection Department at growgreen.org.

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